Dr. Rodney D. Fitzsimons (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Trent University), "Taking a Seat at the Minoan Banquet: An Architectural Approach to the Minoanisation of the Aegean Islands"
The dissemination of “Minoanising” cultural traits throughout the Aegean in the latter half of the second millennium BC has long been of interest to archaeologists working in this region of the ancient world, with recent scholarship stressing the active, rather than passive, role played by the indigenous inhabitants of the various territories participating in this process. While much emphasis has rightly been placed on the adoption and adaptation of the wide range of “imported” artefactual, artistic, administrative, and technological cultural traits throughout the region, comparable changes in the built environment that resulted from the same phenomena of “Minoanisation” have received relatively little attention to date beyond basic enumeration. This paper seeks to address this lacuna in current scholarship, using as a starting point the Northeast Bastion at Ayia Irini, Kea, where a new Minoan-style banquet hall has recently been identified, and then reassessing the evidence for and significance of the adoption and adaptation of Minoan-style architectural motifs elsewhere in the southern and eastern Aegean. The focus of this study will fall not on the ultimate origin of “imported” architectural elements, but rather on the significant changes that the adoption and adaptation of such motifs wrought on the local physical, cultural, and socio-political landscapes.