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H 290 x W 205 mm

226 pages

133 figures, 5 tables (colour throughout)

Published Feb 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803270562

Digital: 9781803270579

DOI 10.32028/9781803270562

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Crete; trade; economy; numismatics; maritime; earthquakes; epigraphy; faunal analysis; Terra Sigillata; amphorae; production; social status; excavation; burials; dittany; settlement patterns

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Change and Transition on Crete: Interpreting the Evidence from the Hellenistic through to the Early Byzantine Period

Papers Presented in Honour of G. W. M. Harrison

Edited by Jane Francis, Michael J Curtis

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The theme of this volume, presented in honour of G.W.M. Harrison, whose academic contributions have enriched our perspective of Roman Crete, is change and transition, a topic that challenges some of the earlier approaches to Hellenistic and Roman Crete, and which presents a different perspective on historical events and archaeological evidence.



1. Foreword: G. W. M. Harrison and the Study of Roman Crete – Jane E. Francis ;

2. Introduction – Michael J. Curtis ;

3. The Export of Whetstones from Hellenistic Crete – Nicholas Victor Sekunda ;

4. La dernière ligne droite dans la rivalité acharnée et séculaireentre Phaistos et Gortyne – Adam Pałuchowski ;

5. Onomasticon and Social Identity on the Cretan Coins in the Late-Hellenistic and Roman Periods: A Case Study – Vassiliki E. Stefanaki ;

6. Τάφοι και Ταφικές Πρακτικές στο Αρχαίο Ρύτιο – Kαλλιόπη Γκαλανάκη, Χριστίνα Παπαδάκη και Κλέανθης Σιδηρόπουλος ;

7. Did Rome Really Change Anything? Settlement Patterns of Far Eastern Crete in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods – Nadia Coutsinas ;

8. Beside the Sea: Unravelling the Maritime Landscape of Hellenistic and Roman Crete – Michael J. Curtis ;

9. Becoming Roman: The Cretan Evidence of Augustan Stamps on Italian Sigillata – Martha W. Baldwin Bowsky ;

10. Origanum dictamnus (Dittany of Crete): Testaments, Uses, and Trade of a Sacred Plant in Antiquity – Anna Kouremenos ;

11. The Fabrics of Roman to Early Byzantine Cretan Amphorae from the Sphakia Survey – Jane Francis, Eleni Nodarou, Jennifer Moody ;

12. Health, Diet and Lifeways at Knossos during the Hellenistic, Roman and Late-Antique Periods – Anna Moles ;

13. Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and the AD 365 Earthquake on Crete – Scott Gallimore ;

14. Afterword – Jane E. Francis ;

List of Scholarship on Crete by George W. M. Harrison ;


About the Author

Jane E. Francis holds a PhD in Classical Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research focuses on the Roman period on Crete, including ceramics, fabric analysis, sculpture, Cretan caves, ancient beekeeping and landscape archaeology. She is one of the co-authors of the Sphakia Survey Project final publication.

Michael J. Curtis is a professional landscape and coastal archaeologist and a Tutor in Archaeology and Ancient History for Northamptonshire Adult Learning Service. He holds a BA in Archaeology from the University of Southampton and an MA in Archaeology from the University of Nottingham. He is an Honorary Fellow in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, where he is studying the Roman Imperial Ports and Harbours of Crete. He is the lead member in a Greek-led project researching and surveying the Roman harbour at Ierapetra, in eastern Crete, and within the UK is currently engaged in research into the Catuvellauni, a late Iron Age and Roman tribe in south-eastern Britain.


The first research on Roman and Late Antique Crete, long neglected in favor of the Minoan period, was undertaken in the 1970s by Ian Sanders. Since then, Roman Crete has become an integral part of the new historiographical trends in Classical Studies, thanks to the work of several researchers, many of whom have contributed to the volume under review. George Harrison’s 1993 monograph, The Romans in Crete, is also a major contribution, though sometimes overlooked. The present volume, dedicated to him, does justice to the work of a scholar who has also devoted a great deal of time to Greek and Latin literature.’ – François Chevrollier (2023): Bryn Mawr Classical Review