The maritime and Riverine networks of the Eurotas river valley in Lakonia
AuthorHitchcock, LA; Chapin, AP; Reynolds, JH
Source TitleJournal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies
PublisherThe Pennsylvania State University Press
University of Melbourne Author/sHitchcock, Lindsay
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHitchcock, L. A., Chapin, A. P. & Reynolds, J. H. (2020). The maritime and Riverine networks of the Eurotas river valley in Lakonia. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies, 8 (3-4), pp.328-344. https://doi.org/10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.8.3-4.0328.
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Lakonia is remembered in Homeric epic as the locale where Queen Helen was abducted to Troy, becoming the face that launched 1,000 ships. In Bronze Age reality (ca. 3000-1200 BCE), Lakonia was one of the earliest areas on the Greek mainland to be influenced by Minoan civilization, achieve social complexity, and progress toward Mycenaean statehood. We examine how these cultural developments were supported by Lakonia’s riverine topography. The perennial Eurotas River connected intervisible Bronze Age sites in the Spartan Plain with coastal port cities, thereby facilitating flows of ideas, people, and trade, particularly with Minoan Crete via the island of Kythera. We argue that Minoan interest in Lakonian raw materials resulted in the acquisition of finished prestige goods and specialized knowledge by Lakonian elites and contributed to emerging Lakonian social complexity. We conclude that Lakonia’s riverine landscape was an important factor in its early development toward Mycenaean statehood.
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