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Azoria Project Research Design 2002-2006



The Problem
Our understanding of the development of ancient city-states has been improved in recent years by cross-cultural perspectives that emphasize agricultural specialization, the establishment of new political roles and patron-client relationships, and changing patterns of socioeconomic interaction between city and countryside (e.g., Smith 2003; Nichols and Charlton 1997; Schwartz and Falconer 1994). While this development was apparently neither uniform nor consistent geographically or culturally, the city-state is recognized as a new kind of polity, demonstrating a level of sociopolitical elaboration very different from its village roots. The process of city-state formation can be seen to involve a “phase transition,” an increase in complexity, in which new urban and rural relationships were formed, and in which local kinship systems were not suppressed or controverted, but restructured in new venues of economic interaction and social competition (cf. Yoffee 1997).

Along the same lines, investigators of the early Greek city-state (or polis) have demonstrated the fundamental role of kinship systems, social corporations, and the organization of agricultural and pastoral production in the formation of cities and states from 800 to 600 B.C. (Morgan 2003; Morris 1997; Small 1997). Although the Aegean seems to be an ideal context for the study of the city-state given the wealth of archaeological, historical, and regional information available for fully-formed cities of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., the region lacks archaeological evidence from urban centers for the periods of the formative phase (1200-800 B.C.), as well as during the transformation to city-statehood from the seventh to the fifth centuries B.C. The project proposed here is the excavation of an early urban site in northeastern Crete in the Greek Aegean, examining stratigraphically this “phase transition,” the point at which an Early Iron Age (EIA) village (1200-800 B.C.) was transformed into a nascent city-state in the Archaic period (ca. 700-600 B.C.). The purpose is to investigate the process of city-state formation by examining the ways in which changes in agricultural and pastoral activities relate to emerging social and political organization.

Contemporary and later historical sources for Crete (700-300 B.C.) indicate the existence of lineage-based elites who created new civic institutions and maintained political power by restricting access to specific social corporations (Willetts 1955; Aristotle Pol. 1272a; Strabo 10.480a; IC I x 2; SEG XXVII 631). Corporate group membership and citizenry were apparently drawn from traditional land-owning clans who supplied agricultural and pastoral produce for a communal meal—a civic institution in which payments and offerings, storage, and consumption of food were social-symbolic rituals, reinforcing group identity and articulating the sociopolitical hierarchy of the urban community. The purpose of the excavation at Azoria is to recover archaeological evidence for this formative social system, to explore the relationship between foodways and the political structure of the city, and through integration of archaeological correlates of food production and consumption to design models of Archaic city-state formation that are applicable in the Aegean, the Mediterranean and beyond.

Although the Greek city-state has long been recognized as a viable paradigm for the theoretical “ruralized city” (Southall 1998), for more than a century work in the Aegean remained synchronic and descriptive, rooted in the documentation of remains of monumental architecture, drawing on literary and epigraphical evidence to reconstruct the political geography of the city center and its political structure (Flensted-Jensen, et al. 2000). Over the past two decades however, archaeological investigation of cemeteries (Whitley 1991; Morris 1987), sanctuaries (Alcock and Osborne 1994), and settlement patterns (Rich and Wallace-Hadrill 1991; Morgan 2003) has reshaped the study of city-states in Greece. Through the application of methodologies derived from Aegean, Mediterranean and world prehistory, and approaches utilizing the results of intensive archaeological survey, researchers have established sets of questions for future work (Branigan 2001; Morris 2000; Morgan 2003; Jameson et al. 1994). The study of the Greek city-state however still lacks two things: (1) a diachronic perspective on the site-level and within an urban context—that is, a sufficiently preserved and continuous stratigraphy during periods of urbanization—and (2) detailed information on agricultural and pastoral production (well-preserved and contextualized plant and animal remains) which formed the basis of the early economy and important contexts of political and economic interaction within the early city. The Azoria Project excavation fills these gaps, reintegrating the archaeology of the classical Greek city into overlapping discussions of urbanization and city-state formation in Aegean, Mediterranean and world archaeology.

Current research on the city-state in Aegean, ancient Near Eastern and Latin American contexts stresses the importance of socioeconomic interaction, particularly the ways in which land was used, labor was organized and controlled, and food was produced, processed, stored and redistributed (cf. Zeder 2003; Stone 1997; Morris 1997; Pyburn 1997; Schwartz 1994; Jameson 1992; Garnsey and Morris 1989). Central in these discussions is the social significance of agricultural production and consumption, the reorganization of the food-producing countryside, the agro-economic context of the city center, and public commensality as a civic institution. Through excavation of an early Greek city, the Azoria Project examines how changing patterns of food procurement and redistribution relate to the developing urban environment. The project’s emphasis on the identification of the earliest and formative stages of “civic institutions”—in which rituals of commensality are viewed as fluid social practices, combining cultic and political behavior and articulating political hierarchies and relationships—indicates the relevance of this work to studies of urbanization and city-state formation in the Mediterranean and beyond.


The goal of the project is to draw connections between human landscapes of city and countryside, evaluating material patterns that underlie the concept of the ruralized city (Southall 1998). The premise is that the study of urban contexts of food processing and consumption can help us to understand the organization of rural production which affected or determined the sociopolitical roles of city dwellers. Historical sources for the early Cretan city define social relationships in terms of connections to the food-producing countryside: on the one hand there were citizen estate owners and non-citizen small-share holders, and on the other, laborers, serfs, and slaves who were dependent on elite rural estates or produce from public land. The goal of the Azoria Project is to identify these agents archaeologically, predicting that evidence of foodways can reflect human relationships with the hinterland and give us a more nuanced view of social roles in the community than that derived from extant historical sources. The broad aims of fieldwork are to document parts of a nascent Greek city center (ca. 1200-500 B.C.) that are relevant to reconstructing stages of its development and to analyze evidence for subsistence and surplus production that relate to the restructuring of kinship relationships and the emergence of corporate groups. The plan of this stage of work (2005-2007) has three primary objectives: (1) to understand food provisioning in the civic context; (2) to recover evidence for class differences in terms of differentiation of processing and consumption patterns in various domestic and civic contexts; and (3) to explore stratigraphically earlier EIA levels at the site within both civic and habitation areas with a view to understanding the changes in the formal structure of the site, the economic systems, and social organization of the settlement throughout the Early Iron Age and before the establishment of the city in the seventh century B.C.



Research History
(a) The results of intensive survey and their implications for the present plan of work. The intensive survey (1989-1992) in the region of Azoria showed a pattern of small villages (ca. 0.5-1 ha.) in the Early Iron Age (1200-700 B.C.), clustering in mountain regions that provided stable water supplies and arable soils for rain-fed agriculture, and environments for year-round herding. This pattern suggested a mixed household economy, with discrete groups of sites centered on upland water supplies, arable land, and pasturage (Haggis 2001a; 1996; 1993). Haggis thought that these clusters formed communities of socially integrated and interdependent villages organized in kinship groups, fitting well with current models for the Early Iron Age economy (cf. Flint Hamilton 2000; Cherry 1988; Foxhall 1995; Garnsey and Morris 1989). Azoria is the largest site in the group (10-15 hectares in size), and the only one to show evidence of being a town as early as 1000 B.C., with continuing occupation into the sixth century B.C. In the subsequent Archaic period (ca. 700-600 B.C.) the Iron Age settlement clusters were abandoned, coinciding with an evident increase in the size of the Azoria site. We hypothesize that this shift in settlement and apparent nucleation at Azoria reflects urbanization and should have accompanied changes in social organization and the ways the landscape was exploited.

(b) The results of previous excavations in the region and their relevance to the plan of work. Enhancing the picture derived from the survey, excavations conducted in the 1980’s at other sites in the immediate region of Azoria provide details of local Early Iron Age (EIA) agricultural and pastoral systems operating during the periods preceding the phase of nucleation, (Coulson et al. 1997; Day et al. 1986; Gesell et al. 1983; 1985; 1988; 1995). In the EIA village sites, culling patterns of sheep, goat, pig and cattle indicate a meat model consistent with localized household processing and consumption. Dumps next to houses show evidence of primary processing and while bones are broken consistently for pot-sizing, there is no evidence for nutritional stress, nor are there obvious differences in processing or consumption patterns across the site (Snyder and Klippel 1999).

The EIA botanical remains present a picture consistent with the faunal studies, indicating a localized, intensive, non-specialized farming centering on households and in-field gardens (Flint Hamilton 2000; cf. Cherry 1988). There is evidence of household processing and storage of emmer and bread wheat, barley, chic pea, and lentils, in addition to small amounts of olive, grape, pistachio and almond. Einkorn and vetch, probably grown for animal fodder, were processed within the houses.

The consistency of the EIA settlement pattern and evidence for household processing led to several questions that are central to the present plan of work at Azoria: are there concomitant changes in agricultural and pastoral production, storage and processing which would indicate critical and systemic changes in subsistence production, patterns of mobilization of resources, managerial roles, and social and political relationships? When did these changes occur; and are they coterminous with the archaeological evidence for urban structure at the site? Finally, given the apparently integrated settlement structure of the EIA, were there substantive changes in the way the hinterland was exploited accompanying the emergence of the urban center, or might we see typically “rural” functions continuing into the sixth century with changes occurring only in certain components of the economy (cf. Schwartz and Falconer 1994)?

(c) Preliminary results of recent excavation. Excavation in 2002 and 2003 (Haggis et al. in press) was conducted on the hilltop of the South Acropolis of Azoria. The main features excavated consist of (1) houses; (2) part of a large special-function building (civic complex); and (3) a series of concentric megalithic ring walls or circuit walls that appear to divide and structure the space of the hilltop. Our inference is that this urban horizon on the site around 600 B.C. suggests a threshold of power in which centralization of certain kinds of surplus may have been translated into differential access to land and labor. In the civic complex at Azoria the main building and adjoining storerooms accommodated large decorated clay jars (500-1000 liters each) containing olives and grapes; large clay ceremonial stands which were designed to hold large wine mixing vessels; imported ceramic drinking and pouring vessels; orientalizing iconography; and a number of bronze and iron weapons and armor fragments. An adjoining series of rooms seems to have been used as a winepress, and cooking and food processing areas. One of the kitchens had a midden of animal bones, marine shells, and seeds, which we believe are not remains of food preparation, but a dump of discarded debris from the dining hall itself. Thus, the civic complex contains unusually well preserved evidence for centralized storage, ceremonial dining, and food processing, a comparative context for assessing household production and consumption, and a clear starting point for exploring the nature of economic, ritual, and political activities at the center.


Theoretical Background
(a) The relevance of agricultural and pastoral systems in the study of city-state formation. Recent studies of early state-level polities have tended to examine the function of political economies as opposed to the implications of developmental models (cf. Schoep 2002; Stein 1998; Blanton et al. 1996; Cowgill 1993). Current work in Old World areas emphasize urbanization, urban-rural interaction, and agropastoral systems as critical areas of analysis of state form and function, as well as useful contexts for exploring social organization and power relations (Zeder 2003; Stein 1998; Yoffee 1993; 1979). In both Old World and Latin American areas the question of political and economic integration encompasses the analysis of agricultural and pastoral systems. These can be construed as operable mechanisms of elite appropriation of agricultural surplus (Stein 1994; Schwartz and Falconer 1994; Schwartz 1994; D’Altroy and Earle 1985; Earle 1987), reflecting the degree of central control over the countryside, surplus mobilization, and centralization of resources. While urbanization itself is viewed as only one expression of ideological and political power in state-level polities (Smith 2003; Schwartz 1994; Yoffee 1993, 1979), it is nevertheless an important archaeological context for unraveling the details of the political economy of the city-state and its changes through time.
In the Aegean we can say that cities emerged as centers of regional polities (ca. 800-600 B.C.) (Snodgrass 1991). Even though recent approaches to Greek state formation have distinguished diverse patterns of emerging complexity as distinct and often separate phenomena from the institution (and artifact) of the city itself (Morris 1991), studies of the city-state recognize the importance of agropastoral systems in defining the form and function of the urban center as well as providing important systemic links to earlier forms of political economies in the Early Iron Age (cf. Garnsey and Morris 1989). On a more basic level, agriculture and animal husbandry can be expressions of power relations within early state societies, while food mobilization and processing reflect economic complexity (cf. Halstead 1981; 1988; Gumerman 1997).
Thus, the problem of Greek city-state formation has developed within the context of this multi-lateral discourse, encompassing historical, archeological, and environmental perspectives (e.g., Mitchell and Rhodes 1997; Andersen et al. 1997; Small 1995; Snodgrass 1993; 1987; 1991; 1977; Coldstream 1991; Morris 1991). Local conditions notwithstanding, early Greek cities functioned as economic and political centers of territorial polities—poleis or city-states, ethnos or “nation” states, among other variations (Morgan 2003)—which were evidently based on agricultural and exchange systems. The Azoria Project seeks to recover and analyze evidence from the excavation of an urban center of one such polity, reconstructing the details of the political economy, while reshaping models of the formation of the city itself and its relationship to the hinterland.

(b) City-state formation in the Greek Early Iron Age. Historical models of early Greek city-state formation presuppose a shift from small-scale pastoral or mixed village-farming communities (Thomas and Conant 1999; Donlan and Thomas 1993; cf. Cherry 1988), with a chiefdom or big-man structure (Whitley 1991; Donlan and Thomas 1993) to larger more integrated sociopolitical and economic systems, with stratified social organizations, involving intensified trade, and extensive exploitation of the outfield lands surrounding nascent cities. The social dynamics of this transition remain untested archaeologically. Based on this model, we suggest that a shift from infield garden cultivation, characteristic of village-farming groups, to more specialized, extensive, and controlled use of marginal environments should be detectable in the faunal and floral record of Azoria. On the level of the site we are looking for conditions and contexts that suggest changing organizational structure, such as increase in size and nucleation; differentiation in house types; the appearance of special-function buildings; and variable contexts of storage, processing and distribution of staples. On the regional scale, our aim is to link the excavation results to a study of the carrying capacity of different environmental zones (Morris 1994) (such as those exhibiting rural installations of seventh and sixth century date), reconstructing a picture of the town’s territory.

(c) Urbanization on Crete in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. Cities in Crete seem to have developed rapidly in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. (Archaic period), although no site on the island has been hitherto excavated with a view to recovering evidence for sociopolitical change in the Early Iron Age-Archaic transition. The evidence to date comes primarily from intensive archaeological survey (e.g. Hayden 1997) and ancient literary and epigraphical sources (e.g. Perlman 2002). Recent scholarship has however postulated historical models for political and demographic changes in Crete, considering the seventh century B.C. a formative period leading to a threshold of reorganization, and rebuilding of power relationships on the island around 600 B.C. (Erickson 2002: 86; Coldstream and Huxley 1999; Prent 1996-1997; Huxley 1994:128-129; S. Morris 1992: 169-172; Morris 1998: 65-66). The lack of actual archaeological evidence for this transition notwithstanding, what we do know of the developed Cretan city comes from the study of contemporary and later civic inscriptions—public monuments (seventh-third centuries B.C.)—which describe a highly stratified social structure, a strict social and political hierarchy in which power was linked to ownership of agricultural land and membership in corporate groups that defined themselves in terms of kinship-based agricultural production, but also in public rituals of consumption which explicitly cross-cut kinship boundaries. Excavation at Azoria tests this historical model, examining agricultural production as an identifiable system of social organization and political power in the community.



The Working Model of City-State Structure
Our conceptual framework for Cretan city-state structure is composed inductively from a body of theory on the ancient city-state, combined with evidence from historical sources for Crete in the Archaic-Roman periods (700 B.C.-A.D. 100). Early law codes forming inscriptions on temples and other public buildings (700-300 B.C.) and later accounts of philosophers, historians, and geographers (400 B.C.-A.D. 100) provide an outline of Cretan social and political systems in the city-state which we can use as a working model of state structure. There was a strictly ranked social hierarchy (elite citizenry, various free non-citizens, and serfs and slaves) in which membership in elite social corporations (called a hetaireiai or “societies”) permitted citizenship and participation in government. Membership in this corporate group was restricted to male citizens and determined by clan affiliation and ownership of rural estates. The estates apparently supplied payments in kind of agricultural and pastoral produce for a public banquet (syssitia) in a central dining hall called an andreion, or “men’s hall,” which had combined civic/cultic functions. This corporate group thus formed a pivotal civic institution that articulated social and economic status and regulated participation in public affairs.

Excavations at Azoria in 2002 and 2003 contribute to the model. A monumental and centrally located banquet hall, and associated storage and food processing areas have been uncovered, around which are a series of concentric ring walls that contain houses. The walls divide and segregate the urban space, controlling access between different habitation areas of the site and the banquet hall complex itself. Our hypothesis is that the banquet hall is the men’s dining room (andreion) of the corporate hetaireia, with evidence of communal food storage, processing, and items of aristocratic display, such as ceremonial drinking wares and bronze armor. The civic building and ring walls seem to be important parts of the rebuilding of the site in at the end of the seventh century B.C, indicating a new scale of construction and spatial organization that may have served to articulate the identity of the community and perhaps new managerial roles and responsibilities—a materialization of the social hierarchy of the city, with the elite households situated in closest proximity to the central dining hall, and other descending social strata at the periphery.

This historical model, though skeletal in form, accords well with both theoretical approaches to the early Greek city, which have examined the relationship between social groups and land tenure (Jameson 1992; Garnsey and Morris 1989; Morris 1997), as well as cross-cultural perspectives that look at relationships between agricultural production and political roles and relationships (Smith 2003; Nichols and Charlton 1997; Schwartz and Falconer 1994). The aim of the project is to explore the implications of this model at Azoria through excavation, evaluating aspects of the floral and faunal record that suggest new social configurations: class differences in household consumption; the elite appropriation and control of certain agricultural resources; public storage and commensality; and differential access to and control of labor both within the city and in the countryside.


Objectives and Sampling Rationale
One recent model for land use on Crete for the Archaic period has predicted a dispersed pattern of hamlets on private estates in order to accommodate the complex relationships between serfs and citizens on both public and private land, emphasizing cereal production at the expense of olives and vines (Morris 1997; Jameson 1992; Garnsey and Morris 1989). The Cretan city seems to have been stratified along social lines, reflecting diverse relationships to the countryside: elite citizens controlled private and public estates that were worked by serfs and slaves, while non-elite shareholders were denied access to political offices, but owned some land and livestock. Our objective is to recover evidence for different processing and consumption patterns that suggest these social divisions—such as variable access to resources and differential relationships to agricultural and pastoral land. A working hypothesis is that the civic complex and elite houses will demonstrate control of luxury crops, herded livestock and certain wild species such as agrimi (a species of wild goat) that are associated with elite banqueting and social rituals of the hunt (cf. Hamilakis 2003). We anticipate that the primary storage and processing involved in provisioning elite urban consumption in the city will have been relegated to rural estates or the periphery of the settlement.

Households of middling city dwellers on the other hand might produce more evidence of subsistence and economic self-sufficiency such as produce derived from in-field farming and small garden crops, primary processing of meat, and grains for food and fodder. These middle classes attested in legal inscriptions on Crete—non-citizen farmers, artisans, merchants, scribes and laborers—might have had access to material wealth and hired labor, but restricted access to serf and slave labor, the best arable land, water supplies, and the full range of agricultural and pastoral products controlled by the citizen elite by management of private and public land. Using evidence of agropastoral production as an indicator of subtle social differentiation of households, the project examines relationships between extra-urban land use and the social topography of the city center. For example, traditional archaeological indications of status or class differentiation such as house size or material wealth may turn out to be ultimately less significant than evidence of agricultural production and consumption in distinguishing the nuances of civic status and urban roles. Presented with the highly nucleated pattern of settlement at Azoria, and the agro-literate hierarchical structure suggested by historical sources for the Cretan city-state (Morris 1997), we hypothesize that these non-elite social levels could manifest not in a size ranking, but in a spatial hierarchy of proximity down-slope from the civic complex. In order to address this question, an important aspect of our work is to expand the excavation units into areas peripheral to the civic complex, outside the area of houses on the hilltop.


General Criteria and Projected Annual Rate of Recovery
The area of visible contiguous architecture and artifacts on the surface of the site exceeds 8.0 ha. From survey we estimate a total area of 15.0 ha. The target area is about 6.0 ha. covering both north and south hills (or acropoleis). We have acquired for excavation the hilltops and immediate slopes, concentrating samples within an area of 3.0 ha. Given the unevenness of the terrain and that architecture is exposed across much of the surface of the target area, we have defined sample units (excavation squares) by visible architectural spaces (basically rooms and courtyards) rather than a measured grid. This flexible definition of unit size requires that benchmarks and survey points be located with a Total Station as needed during the course of excavation. Visible wall lines, streets, and contours determine the location of initial sampling units. Sampling sub-units (called “loci”) represent stratigraphic components of variable dimensions, within which the excavators measure the volume and dry-screen 100 percent of all matrices using quarter-inch mesh rocker sieves, collecting artifacts, bones, and occasional botanicals. “Intensive sampling loci” are defined as deposits requiring sampling for systematic flotation (described below). Each season we will excavate about 20 sample units (excavation squares) (0.10-0.20 ha. area total), dry-screen about 2600 samples (ca. 53,000 liters), and sieve by flotation some 450 (ca. 5-20 liter) soil samples out of which approximately one third will be standard samples, while two-thirds will be intensive samples.


Definition of Sampling Units
The excavation area (inclusive sampling universe) has been determined by a non-negotiable permit agreement with Greek Ministry of Culture in consultation with the local Greek Archaeological Service and the Department of Historical and Archaeological Preservation. It consists of an area of 3.0 ha. (ca. 20 percent of the site) situated in the center of the settlement, and divided by a series of three visible concentric ring walls forming separate terraces on the slope. Within this target zone, horizontal coverage of 0.50-1.0 ha. is feasible within the present five-year plan of work. Effective sampling units (excavation squares) consist of functionally defined interior and exterior activity areas—essentially rooms, transitional or liminal space, courtyards, passages, and streets—that are defined during excavation by structural and contextual criteria. Within these units, areas of storage, processing, and consumption are defined contextually, while stratigraphic sub-units (loci) subdivide the use contexts. Aggregate units of analysis emphasize social space. Therefore, contiguous blocks, suggesting rooms of households and civic internal and exterior spaces, are the broad comparative contexts for analysis.

The aim is to excavate widely across the target zone, recovering domestic and civic buildings and associated areas in order to explore the meaning of consistency and variation in storage, processing and consumption practices. To do this, we will complete the excavation of the civic complex discovered in 2002-2003 and place sample units across each of the three levels formed by the concentric ring walls in order to test the proposed concentric hierarchy of settlement. The goal is to excavate entirely each of the three areas defined by the ring walls on the west side of the site—about 600 m. sq. each or a total of 0.18 ha. During the two seasons (2005-2006), we anticipate completing the excavation of the civic complex, and recovering a total of 12 houses or room blocks (ca. 35-40 sample units). Successful completion of this plan would provide a site total of 18-20 houses and the complete civic building as aggregate units for comparative study. The expected rate of recovery takes into consideration the regular implementation of stratigraphic soundings, which will be conducted in all areas of the site that demonstrate the suitability and potential to derive useful diachronic contexts.

Sampling and Recovery Methods (Plants)
Botanical analyses are conducted by palaeoethnobotanists C. Margaret Scarry (UNC-CH, Anthropology), and Laura Motta (Cambridge, Archaeology and UNC-CH Research Laboratories of Archaeology). Wood charcoal analyses are conducted by Maria Ntinou (University of Thessaloniki; University of Cyprus, Archaeology, Wiener Laboratory, ASCSA, Athens). Scarry specializes in historic and prehistoric subsistence practices, plant production and procurement strategies, and foodways as evidence for social organization. Motta has carried out analyses on charred macroremains from several key sequences in parallel periods and contexts of state formation (900-600 B.C.) in the Italian peninsula. Ntinou is an environmental archaeologist, studying changes in landscape change and human behavior in the Neolithic-Bronze Age Aegean and Mediterranean. While this work is collaborative, Scarry is principally responsible for directing the recovery, analyses, and publication.

The recovery of carbonized plant remains requires the use of both dry sieving and flotation. Standard five-liter samples are taken from each stratigraphic sub-unit (locus) for flotation, while “intensive-sampling loci” are designated areas of primary or secondary deposition, features, and objects (floors, habitation deposits on or above floors, hearths, storage and waste pits, fill, and vessels) requiring larger and variable volumes of matrix. The aim of sampling is to document the total volume of the matrix of each of the loci, controlling the specific areas and amounts sampled, thereby allowing for quantitative comparison of the density, preservation, and species identified across the site. After flotation, both heavy and light fractions are sorted. Previous experience has shown that a large quantity of charred material may remain in the residue, therefore the heavy fraction will be sorted with naked eye, while the flot under a low-powered stereo microscope using 10x-30x magnification. Identification will be carried out using the microscope, comparing the archaeological material with a modern seed reference collection, aided by identification manuals and seed atlases.

The systematic collection of flotation samples from all loci and the intensive flotation sampling of identified functional contexts will provide a plant assemblage that is large enough (the first two seasons of excavation have produced over 800 samples) to permit quantitative exploration of variation in food use. Seeds, grains, nuts, chaff, etc. will be identified to the lowest possible taxonomic group using a low-powered microscope. Identifications will be made by reference to a modern seed collection, supplemented by identification manuals and seed atlases. The possible confounding influence of burning dung for fuel will be assessed by examining the quantity (and types) of weedy and wild seeds and chaff remains relative to wood charcoal (Miller and Smart 1984, Miller 1996). Samples examined thus far contain few weed seeds and virtually no chaff. This suggests dung was not used for fuel, but the possibility will be examined for all contexts. Evidence for grain processing (and the various stages thereof) will be assessed through evaluation of the proportion of cleaned grains relative to chaff and weed seeds (Hillman 1984; Jones 1984, 1992). Assessment of the stage of grain processing can be made by the sizes of rachis and glume fragments as well as the types and sizes of weed seeds. Exploratory data techniques (e.g., boxplots, principal components analysis, correspondence analysis) will be used to search for patterns in the distribution of specific taxa and groups of taxa (e.g., tree crops, cereals, pulses, weeds) that may be associated with variations in household status, functional context, etc.

Wood charcoal is collected during excavation by hand, dry screening and floatation and is subjected to the same provenience definition as other plant material and bones. The location, pattern of dispersal, and physical configuration of the charcoal are distinguished, mapped, and described during sampling in the field. The observational unit for charcoal analysis is the individual charcoal fragment. Anatomical identification of wood is based on its unique structure of basic elements, which varies between families, genera or even species. In order to determine characteristics of the anatomical structure—and thus the identification—analyses are carried out using a microscope (100x–1000x), fragmenting each piece into transverse, longitudinal tangential and longitudinal radial sections. Determination of genus is regularly possible by such analysis, while identification of species often requires biometric measurements using a Scanning Electron Microscope. Analysis of the charcoal will be conducted at the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies and the National Physics Laboratory in Athens (Demokritos) where appropriate microscopes, specialized atlases of plant anatomy, and a reference collection of modern carbonized species are available.

Sampling and Recovery Methods (Animals)
Zooarchaeological analyses are conducted by Lynn Snyder (NMNH, Smithsonian Institution) who works on the faunal record of Europe and North America, as well as classical and Early Iron Age assemblages in the Aegean. Snyder will coordinate the zoological sampling and processing, and is responsible for the publication of the faunal remains.

The faunal assemblage from Azoria is produced by the following methods. In intensive sampling loci (defined as strata of roofing clay, habitation and floor deposits, and floor packing, etc.), the entire matrix is measured and processed through the 0.25-inch dry screens, and all bone and shell is collected by locus and locus sub-divisions or “pails.” In order to maximize recovery of small mammal, bird and fish bone as well as botanical materials, flotation “standard” samples of five liters are taken across each locus, and “intensive” samples of 20 liters or more are collected from locations as described above for plants. The samples are processed by flotation at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP-SCEC), and the heavy residue is sorted with bone and shell fragments bagged separately by provenience.

The materials are sorted, examined, and identified as to the taxa represented, skeletal element, and side and bone completeness or portion. Species identification is conducted with the help of the INSTAP-SCEC comparative vertebrate skeletal collection, identification manuals, and field guides. In some cases, particularly in the identification of fish and bird, preliminary observations are made in the field, pending further work with extensive collections at the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the University of Crete, and the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. Bone fragments which cannot be reliably attributed to a specific skeletal element or species of origin are described generally by element type (e.g., long bone, vertebra, rib) or recorded simply as an unidentifiable bone fragment. Each specimen is examined for evidence of alteration by humans (cut marks, chop marks, breakage, purposeful burning), and non-human taphonomic agents (rodent or canid gnawing, root etching, weathering or exposure, incidental burning). The location of all human made marks is also recorded, by verbal description and pencil sketch. Where possible, sex and age determinations are made.

A number of zooarchaeological techniques will be employed to assess changing herding, culling and processing practices, differential access to specific species and/or food stuffs, and evidence of corporate, symbolic or ritual dining. Changing sheep and goat herd management practices can be assessed through investigation of age/sex and species distributions. The increased dependence on distance herding and initial culling/butchering of meat animals might also be reflected in changing patterns of body part representation in food debris accumulations. Age at death or harvest profiles may also reflect shifts from a general meat procurement strategy, or mixed product local subsistence economy, to one more focused on a single commodity, meat, milk or wool to support non-farming crafts persons or elite households. Recent methodological advances will help to determine the species and age at death of sheep and goats, and the changing ecological niches which these herds occupied, thus allowing us to detect subtle changes in herding practices (Halstead and Collins 2002, Mainland 1998, Ruscillo 2003). Patterns of bone breakage, cut and chop mark locations, and burning will be examined to determine culinary practices that might indicate bulk processing of large amounts of meat for feasting or ritual dining in the corporate and elite areas of Azoria, and the less formal household-level preparation of meals in other areas of the site.

Investigation of Agricultural Systems
One aim of sampling is to define differences in how agricultural products were manipulated and redistributed on the site. We suggest, for example, that a mixed group of cereals, representing crop-husbandry products and by-products in variable proportions, would be related to crop-processing activities (Hillman 1984; Jones 1984; Peña-Chocarro 1999). The contextual focus requires analysis of the distribution of seeds and processing debris, the assessment of the degree of homogeneity of crop types, and examination of methods of storage and processing by the recovery and analysis of glume and chaff fragments. The quantification of proportions of grains, chaff, and weeds in various assemblages—characterized by chronology, function, and location on the site—would give us an interesting picture of differentiation in patterns of crop processing and consumption that we can relate to social or economic activities.

On the one hand, contexts with clean grains and no glumes suggest the grinding of clean grain. Contexts rich in chaff waste, on the other hand, might indicate sieving before pounding. Our initial expectation is that primary processing of gloom cereals in domestic contexts will have produced an abundance of chaff and gloom fragments, while higher proportions of clean grains and grain fragments could be indications of supra-household or centralized procurement and storage of grain. Excavation at Azoria thus far has not generated any evidence for household-level primary processing and cleaning of grain, or the use of dung-fuel, even though the burnt abandonment phase of the site has produced an abundance of carbonized wood and plant remains. The overwhelming evidence of clean grain recovered from the large houses immediately connected to the civic complex, and from the civic building itself, points to centralized storage in an area of the site yet unexcavated or decentralized primary processing and storage in rural estates. A working hypothesis is that this pattern of processing might be connected to differential access to certain kinds of crops, land, and means of production and mobilization, with the large households and participants of the public banquet controlling serf and slave production in the countryside.

Banqueting associated with the Andreion Complex (banquet hall). Considerably more attention has been given to the faunal composition of communal meals than to botanical contributions. Nonetheless, various authors have suggested that feasts may be marked by consumption of plants that are symbolically important, high in fats, have psychoactive properties, and/or are labor intensive to produce or prepare (e.g., Gummerman 1997; Hamilakis 1999; Hayden 2001; van der Veen 2003). If these propositions hold, then archaeological deposits associated with organized social dining should produce evidence for the storage and preparation of such luxury foods. For Azoria, this might include seeds from tree (olive, pistachio, almond, pomegranate) and vine (grape) crops, and herbs and spices. While there might be evidence that cereals and pulses were included in communal meals, chaff and weed seeds derived from primary grain processing should be scarce or absent. Household deposits from the neighboring EIA village of the Kastro contain debris from grain and pulse processing but scant traces of tree and vine crops (Flint-Hamilton 2000), which at Azoria could then stand proxy for certain production strategies and methods of land use that may help us define corporate-group membership—the exploitation of elite rural estates for specialized production and centralized storage of luxury goods for public consumption.

The complex that comprises the andreion includes a storage room in which there were spatially segregated deposits rich in olive pits and grape pips and skins. These appear to be associated with discrete pithoi (large storage jars). Trace amounts of almond, poppy, cereal grain and pulse were also recovered. An adjacent room, contained abundant grape pips and features that may be part of a wine press. The operational kitchen associated with the dining hall produced a few cleaned wheat grains but no chaff or weed seeds. This suggests that while flour may have been ground there the grain was cleaned elsewhere. The post-consumption refuse dumped in the abandoned kitchen produced only small quantities of plant food debris. This would be expected from a meal where plants were presented in forms (wine, olive oil, bread) that would be consumed in entirety by the diners.

Contrasting civic, elite domestic and non-elite domestic contexts. The social partitioning of Azoria should be materialized in more than architecture. Civic and domestic space and elite and non-elite households can be expected to produce evidence of differential consumption of luxury crops and possibly cereals and pulses as well. Tree and vine crops are labor intensive (both to grow and process), take several years to produce, are less reliable, and provide items that while highly desired do not provide staple carbohydrates or proteins. The incorporation of tree and vine crops into meals in civic contexts and elite households should result in plant assemblages that have a higher diversity of cultivated plants than those recovered from non-elite households. While crop diversity may be greater in higher status and public contexts, non-elite households may show more variability in their use of grains and pulses. For example, wheat may be the preferred grain, while barley is grown for fodder. However, barley is more reliable and can be grown on a greater variety of soils. Non-elite households may consume maslins (mixtures of wheat and barley) or straight barley especially in bad years (Halstead 1987; Halstead and Jones 1989). Similar, considerations might hold for pulses with lower status households including vetch in their diet along with lentils, garbanzos, and fava.

Variation in evidence for crop processing can also be expected. Thrashing and sieving cereals and pulses is labor intensive. Where crops are thrashed and the degree to which they are cleaned before storage depends on the distance between households and fields and the available labor pool. Elite households with outlying fields (rural estates) and plenty of hands to process the crops might be expected to use thrashing floors (alonia) near their fields and store their grain fully cleaned. Non-elite households reliant on infields might thrash grain on alonia near their homes and store grain partially cleaned. Storing partially cleaned grain reduces the up-front labor by folding some of the work into routine cooking chores. Final processing of the grain would be on an as-need basis within the household; this practice would allow a family to spread the labor of cleaning grain over the year. Variation of in field location and crop processing would result in differences in the chaff and weed assemblages recovered from elite and non-elite households (Jones 1984, 1992; Halstead and Jones 1989). Civic contexts would be expected to show even less evidence of primary crop processing than elite households.

Urban vs rural systems of plant production and processing. It is proposed that the urbanization of Azoria coincides with increasing status and economic differentiation. Elite households were presumably connected to rural estates—from which tithes were paid to supply the andreion. In contrast, non-elite households maintained infield gardens to supply their domestic needs. This differential access to land and labor can be expected to result in variation in the production, processing and consumption of crops (see above). Besides, the location and timing of field crop processing, more extensive land holdings and attached agricultural laborers would allow elite households to devote some fields to tree crops and vines. The products of the orchards and vineyards would be a source of wealth, supply elite tables, and “pay” for membership in the andreion (cf.Hamilakis 1999). The existence of rural estates cannot of course be confirmed by excavations at Azoria alone (this will have to await future projects). Nevertheless, patterns along the lines described here would suggest variation among Azoria households in the agricultural practices.

Investigation of Pastoral Systems
The faunal analysis addresses questions of culture change at the end of the EIA: are there changes in the relative quantity, ages, and consumption patterns of cattle, sheep, goat, pig, and wild fauna; and what can these tell us about how the community was using their environment from the EIA to the Archaic periods? Shifts in meat production versus secondary products—such as dairy and wool—could indicate important changes in economy and social organization involving the control of labor and the allocation of land for certain agricultural activities. In neighboring Early Iron Age villages for example, herd-management practices appear to have been oriented toward local production and consumption throughout the life of the villages (cf. Klippel and Snyder 1991; 1999; Snyder and Klippel 1999).

At Azoria we expect that it will be possible to investigate the transformation of this local household production economy into one in which large-sale herding was controlled by local élites organized in corporate groups. If the elite interest in herding remains based on meat consumption, then we might expect to see not drastic changes in culling patterns, but rather changes in the range of species, volume exploited, and differential processing and distribution across the site. Finally, centralized control of flocks may result in decentralization (movement off-site) of meat and fodder processing, which might affect the volume of fodder crop remains (such as vetch and einkorn) as well as the appearance of the processed animals. Preliminary results from the 2002 and 2003 seasons are showing in the sixth century assemblages marked changes in meat preparation and a significant reduction in wild animals and fodder crops as compared to EIA contexts in the region. Lack of primary butchering debris, in the form of elements or element segments (e.g. lower legs and feet, and horn cores of ungulates) commonly discarded in the initial butchering process, suggests centralized or off-site processing—a pattern similar to that of the plant processing remains.

Banqueting associated with the Andreion complex (banquet hall). A number of recent studies (Ervynck 2003, Hayden 2001, Kelly 2001, Lepofsky et al 1996, McCormick 2002, Vardaki 2002) have considered the zooarchaeological signatures of organized social, ceremonial dining or feasting, based on ethnohistoric, ethnographic and archaeological site data. Discrete deposits which appear to have accumulated over a limited time period, characterized by low taxonomic diversity (e.g. selection of a small suite of preferred animal species), a restricted range of body parts represented (e.g. a high proportion of high quality meat cuts with little or no butchering or carcass reduction debris), redundancy in the species and meat cuts represented (e.g. preferred food species and portion supplied in abundance), or the presence of rare or symbolically valued species, all stand as potential indicators of corporate or ceremonial meals. Evidence of this sort is entirely missing from the neighboring EIA village of Kastro, while a single instance of such an event is present at a nearby Late Minoan IIIC site (Day and Snyder 2004).

At Azoria, one such deposit was discovered during excavation in 2002, in an apparently recently abandoned kitchen associated with the andreion in the civic complex. The faunal materials in this small room are spread rather evenly over the entire floor, with no clustering near a hearth or processing facility, and appear to have been deposited in a short period of time. In contrast to the more generalized food and butchering debris often encountered in abandoned areas of a site, sheep and goat dominate this assemblage. In addition, the body parts represented are almost exclusively those of the meaty upper body portions of the carcass; no primary butchering debris was recovered. The presence of one or more conch or triton shells in the adjoining room, plus abundant remains of top shell and limpet also distinguish this deposit.

Contrasting civic, elite domestic and non-elite domestic contexts. Differential access to prestige food stuffs, as well as highly processed foods or meat cuts can be presumed to characterize the corporate areas of a civic complex and, to a lesser extent, the households of the elite. As household consumers move away from self-sufficient provisioning, the resultant faunal assemblage will most likely reflect this in a reduced but possibly high status suite of animals, with preferred dressed meat being represented. Because the members of these elite households are less likely to be involved with the actual raising, herding, or initial culling and butchering of livestock, little or no butchering debris should be present (Grant 2002, Zeder 1991, 2003). In contrast, households of the non-elite may well contain evidence of lower value species, lower value meat cuts, and a wider range of body parts, as the producer/consumer utilizes all eatable parts of the animals which he or she has raised.

Urban vs rural systems of animal control and economy. In the Azoria region the faunal assemblages from neighboring EIA villages appear to reflect settlements of largely independent household/kinship groups, with perhaps some degree of communal herd management, but with each household responsible for its own provisioning. In these village assemblages, household debris middens routinely contained evidence of both primary butchering debris and food debris representing all parts of the animal carcass (Klippel and Snyder 1991, Snyder and Klippel 1999). In an increasingly urbanized context, with emerging specialization of craft and subsistence economies, individual consumer households can expect to be more widely differentiated in their proximity and access to the herding/production aspects of provisioning (Zeder 1991, 2003). In an emergent urban setting such as Azoria, where control and direction of distant herds may still rest in a local segment of the population, the distinctions between producer/consumer and urban consumer may be evidenced in elite and non-elite habitation areas of the site.

In response to increased dependence on specialized herding in locations away from the urban setting, one might expect a reduction in the number of non-domestic animals, a decreased range of dominant species, and a focus on a particular age range, as for instance, sheep become the preferred meat animal—the animals are repeatedly culled at an age to maximize meat and fat yield, or as secondary products such as milk or wool take on increased significance in the economy (Crabtree 1996, Grant 2002, Halstead 1996, Kapetanios 2003, Keswani 1994, Klippel and Snyder 2002, Zeder 2003). The occurrence of wild species might also decrease, as more easily manageable and more predictable herd animals are routinely supplied to the urban population. In this context, some species may disappear from the suite of desired or accepted animals (e.g. Snyder and Klippel 1996) while other species (especially if more rare due to expanding human populations and herding pressures on the landscape) may take on even greater symbolic or prestige significance (cf. Hamilakis 2003, Morris 1990), as evidenced at Azoria by the presence in several buildings of the preserved, articulated horn cores of agrimi.

Charcoal Analysis
Wood charcoal is well preserved in the late sixth and early fifth-century B.C. destruction deposits coinciding with the abandonment phases of the site, and the analysis is complementary to the study of the seed and animal remains, providing a potentially valuable source of palaeoethnobotanical and palaeoenvironmental information (cf. Badal 1992; Badal et al. 1994). Firewood remains may be recovered from narrowly defined contexts (e.g. hearths and ovens) or dispersed throughout excavated deposits, while other samples represent burnt architecture, installations, furniture, and implements. The former constitute the basis for the reconstruction of plant environments, while the later may result from a range of human activities involving the selection of wood for specific purposes, providing information on the managing of plants and the use of vegetation in order to meet specific practical and social needs. Random wood gathering is also a selective process dependent on the availability of the raw material, the distance from the settlement, the effort required to reach sources and other cultural factors. Therefore the charcoal produced through firewood burning in domestic or civic contexts may reflect random sampling of the plant environment, producing an archaeological sample that could be related to the composition of the ancient regional vegetation. Furthermore, charcoal dispersed in the anthropogenic sediments is likely to be the product of long term activities in relation to the overall occupation of a site, offering information on the succession of vegetation through time. The ecological reliability of evidence derived from dispersed charcoal samples is determined by the diversity of taxa in the assemblages, the reproducibility of the results in the different samples of the same unit or locus, the qualitative and quantitative coherence of the results from successive assemblages, and finally analogies drawn between modern vegetation (in temperate zones) and the archaeological charcoal assemblages (Badal et al 1991; Badal and Heinz 1991). We are implementing a systematic study of wood charcoal with two primary goals: (1) to identify and examine wood fuel and building material types in domestic and civic contexts in order to evaluate differential access to the raw materials and sources, and therefore different components of the environment; and (2) to integrate charcoal identification into botanical, zoological and soil studies in the reconstruction of the environmental context of the site.

Artifact Studies
The recovery, analysis, and interpretation of ceramics, stone tools, metals, and other materials comprises a separate component of the Azoria Project’s research design, currently supported by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and the National Endowment for the Humanities; it is largely omitted in the present proposal which focuses on the plant and faunal remains. Artifacts do form a fundamental part of the interpretation of archaeological contexts, not only in the assessment of storage and processing of agricultural produce, but in the definition of consumption patterns—the systemic contexts of human interaction and social organization. There are three levels of artifact analysis, beyond the routine processing stages of conservation, identification, recording and cataloguing: (1) form, (2) composition and provenience, and (3) contextual and formal analysis of function. These levels of study begin in the excavation stage (2003-2006) and comprise the crux of the study and publication phases of the project (2007-2011).

In the case of stone tools—the principal implements of processing—Tristan Carter’s (Stanford University) study will involve initially the assessment of composition and likely sources of materials, as well as the typological change from Bronze Age and Early Iron Age into the Archaic period. Such changes might parallel production and consumption patterns of the plant remains. While specialized industrial and agricultural activities are evidenced by the context and frequency of specific ground-stone tool types (cf. Blitzer 1995), the analysis of the full range of kitchen implements combined with the plant and animal inventory can give us a nuanced picture of processing strategies in various domestic and civic contexts of food preparation.

Relevant to the research design of the present proposal to the NSF, are formal, functional, and compositional analyses of pottery. The project looks at the emergence of new corporate groups and new patterns of procuring and processing agricultural and pastoral goods. In this context, pottery analyses emphasize provenience, function, and symbolic value: what is the distribution of imported pottery; and are there use patterns that suggest elite consumption? A formal and petrographic typology of local and extra-regional EIA wares has been established for the area (Haggis and Mook 1993) indicating that exogenous wares and foreign imports will be easily identifiable in the initial stage of study. Formal and compositional studies focus on the following questions: what is the nature of storage and transport of agricultural commodities, the vessels that stand proxy for these activities, and their differential distribution across the site and between houses and the civic complex? What differences are there between types of cooking and utilitarian vessels, suggesting differences in processing techniques? What is the economic and social symbolic value of the form, size, and decoration of vessels used for storage and consumption?

An important part of the stylistic analysis of pottery is the examination of variation and standardization of wares and ware groups; this work is relevant to the definition of the social groups (such as the elite consumers within the andreion). A working hypothesis is that, in specific contexts, decorated pots were visual communicators, with unequivocal meanings, articulating a subtext of roles, statuses, power relationships, and specific social obligations of both producers and consumers. Stylistic diversity is seen here as the differences and variations in wares and shapes, particularly painted and slipped decoration on fine drinking, pouring, and dining equipment, as well as large decorated storage jars. The premise is that this diversity reflects symbolic rationing or a dynamic symbolic competition among elite ruling groups (kinship or corporate) in public or ritual venues such as feasting. In turn, this social display communicated or visually reinforced organizational hierarchies and other forms of political ordering and interaction (cf., Whitley 1991; Pollock 1983; Hodder 1989; 1982; Plog 1980; Clark and Parry 1990; Brumfiel and Earle 1987).

Composition of Field Team
The field team is made up researchers from the USA, Greece, Canada, UK, and Italy, representing a collaboration of approaches derived from fields of prehistory, archaeology, anthropology, environmental archaeology and history in both Old and New World contexts. The team consists of the project director (Haggis), field director (Mook), zooarchaeologist (Snyder), two palaeoethnobotanists (Scarry and Motta), one environmental archaeologist (Ntinou), and a lithics specialist (Carter). Non-funded consultants for the project include a soil scientist (Michael E. Timpson, Peterson Environmental Consulting. Inc); environmental scientist (Michael W. Morris, Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.); biological anthropologist (Maria A. Liston, Anthropology and Classical Studies, University of Waterloo), a specialist in comparative small-scale state formation (David Small, Anthropology, Lehigh University), and a Greek epigraphist/historian (William West, Classics, UNC-CH). Liston is a specialist in Early Iron Age cremation burials, and local paleopathologies. Morris and Timpson conducted the original soil survey of the Azoria region, evaluating natural and anthropogenic causes of alluvial deposition in the plain below Azoria, and its impact on land use in the Bronze Age and EIA. Small’s role in the project is to design models for the regional organization in the Early Iron Age, examining the broader cultural catchment of Azoria from a sociopolitical perspective, and thus complementing the work of soil scientists, botanists, and zoologist. In addition, there are six graduate-student trench supervisors, 35 undergraduate trench assistants, 16 local workmen, and 12 technical staff (a registrar, two conservators, two illustrators, one architect, one surveyor, one photographer, and four potsherd-washers). Biographical sketches are included only for senior staff.



Researchers assume that the formation of Greek city-states in the eighth and seventh c. B.C. involved a radical transformation of preexisting social hierarchies and political structure, and a shift in the nature of agricultural production (Thomas and Conant 1999; Foxhall 1995; Jameson 1992; Morgan 1990; Garnsey and Morris 1989; Snodgrass 1987). But these assertions remain untested. Given the importance of agropastoral systems suggested by historical sources (cf. Fisher and Van Wees 1998; Chaniotis 1995; Cherry 1988; Whittaker 1988), the plan of excavation at Azoria was designed specifically as an archaeological test case to approach problems of changing land use, social structure, and economic organization of the first cities of the Aegean, using an integrated framework—a dialectic between faunal, botanical, environmental, and archaeological and historical data.

Changes in methodology and the development of a diachronic perspective in the Aegean over the past 20 years have effectively resituated the problem of classical city-state formation in a Mediterranean (Andersen et al. 1997; Sherratt and Sherratt 1993) and world-wide discourse in archaeology (Nichols and Charlton 1997; Southall 1998). Researchers however still lack basic data on the form of nascent cities (ca. 700-600 B.C.), the process of urbanization in the Early Iron Age (ca. 1200-700 B.C.), and the formation of political institutions and economic systems that form their structure. In support of models of city-state formation and organization, classical archaeologists still require data that are contemporary with the conditions and processes in question (ca. 800-500 B.C.): household form and consumption patterns; the economic relationships between emerging civic institutions and social systems such as households, clans, and corporate groups; and the architectural materialization of an urban structure and new community identity. These processes and interactions are potentially definable archaeologically and comparable across the diverse environments and cultures in the Mediterranean basin. The Azoria project brings together American and Greek archaeologists with widely differing experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives to form a dialogue on the question of the emergence of the city-state. The participation of prehistorians, classical archaeologists, historians, zooarchaeologists, palaeoethnobotanists, physical anthropologists, and geomorphologists presents an unusual opportunity to integrate the results of a wide range of analyses into the study of human-environment interaction; to examine the occupants of Azoria as producers, consumers, and as agents of environmental change in the landscape.



Within the present funding period, we plan two ten-week excavation seasons (2005-2006) and one ten-week field-study season (2007). The total plan of work involves five ten-week seasons of excavation (2002-2006) and five ten-week seasons (2007-2011) of study and writing toward final publication. Each excavation season consists of seven weeks of excavation and three weeks of preliminary study and reporting, from May until August. Annually, the period from September to April will be spent conducting library research and preparing preliminary publications. Botanical and faunal analyses will take place concurrent with the excavation seasons (2005-2006) at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete (INSTAP-SCEC). The study season in 2007 will be conducted on Crete from May until August at the INSTAP-SCEC in Pacheia Ammos Crete. During the course of the year (September-May) analyses will also be conducted at the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (bone and wood charcoal analysis), the Research Laboratories for Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (seed analysis), and the Department of Anthropology at the NMNH, Smithsonian Institution (bone analysis).



Original excavation records are housed in the library of the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete, in the Archive of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and eventually digitized records will be a component of the central data-base of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina Digital Library Resource []). Preliminary reports of excavation are currently published on-line annually each fall, and publicly available ( Annual preliminary reports are published in printed from in the British School of Archaeology’s Archaeological Reports (cf. vol. 49 [2002-2003] 83-84) and Hesperia (Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens). Oral interim reports are delivered at the annual meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society for American Archaeology, and if appropriate, the American Schools of Oriental Research. Specialists will contribute to a final book form of publication and concurrently, and at various appropriate stages of study, any number of synthetic and interpretive works, articles, or problem-oriented studies. We will also publish a single-volume synthesis of the excavation written for both students and lay audience.


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