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The Late Minoan III Necropolis of Armenoi (Paperback)

Volume II - Biomolecular and Epigraphical Investigations

Ancient History > Prehistory > Mediterranean Prehistory

Edited by Robert Arnott, Edited by Holley Martlew, Edited by Michael J Tite, Edited by Yannis Tzedakis
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 120 b/w illustrations
ISBN: 9798888570463
Published: 7th February 2024
Casemate UK Academic



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The Late Minoan III Necropolis of Armenoi, Crete (ca. 1390–1190 BC) is the only intact, complete Late Minoan necropolis presently known, of which 232 tombs have been excavated. The research project was the first large-scale genomic sampling of skeletal material from a single site in Bronze Age Greece, as well as being the first time a multi-disciplinary approach with ancient DNA as its focus has been conducted on a large, well-curated necropolis assemblage. As such it provides a unique opportunity to answer archaeological questions, the most important of which are kinship, an analysis of the origin and ancestry of those buried in the tombs, the homogeneity of the population or otherwise, and diet. The analysis programme was only possible because the tombs had not been seriously disturbed, and human skeletal remains had survived and been expertly conserved. The results of ancient DNA, stable isotope analysis, osteological analysis, and radiocarbon dating are presented, providing the first detailed record of ancestry and kinship in this iconic period of Eastern Mediterranean prehistory.

In addition, the long-debated problem of the location of the wealthy city of da-_22-to, referred to many times in the Linear B tablets, is addressed and key evidence is presented. The rich finds in the Necropolis, the town excavation, and in the environs, support the interpretation that the ‘city’ that built the Necropolis is da-_22-to.

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About Robert Arnott

Professor Robert Arnott is an archaeologist, palaeoepidemiologist and medical historian, He is a Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford and former Professor of the History and Archaeology of Medicine in the University of Birmingham.

About Holley Martlew

Dr. Holley Martlew is the Co-Director of the Armenoi Project and the principal behind the initiation of a project which applied state of the art scientific analysis to ceramic artefacts and skeletal material from 16 sites in Crete, the Greek mainland, other Greek islands and the island of Vivara in the Bay of Naples. The results of this project were mounted in six international exhibitions in Europe and the USA.

About Michael J Tite

Professor Michael J. Tite is a Fellow of Linacre College, Emeritus Professor of Archaeological Science and former Director of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art in the University of Oxford.

About Yannis Tzedakis

Dr. Yannis Tzedakis is the Director-General Emeritus of the Greek Archaeological Service, the excavator of the Late Minoan III Necropolis of Armenoi and Co-Director of the Armenoi Project. Amongst other publications, he is co-editor of Archaeology Meets Science: Biomolecular Investigations in Bronze Age Greece (with Holley Martlew and Martin Jones, Oxbow Books, 2008).

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