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“East Greek” pottery and the earliest mints of Crete

Paula Perlman (University of Texas at Austin)

A recent study of “East Greek” pottery of the archaic and Classical periods from coastal sites in southern Turkey, the Levant, Cyprus, and Egypt demonstrates that a significant portion of this pottery (almost 10%) was produced in central Crete (Gilboa et al. 2017). These vases provide for the first time archaeological evidence for commercial relations between Cretan communities and communities of the eastern Mediterranean in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. This paper explores the implications of this evidence for our understanding of the production of coinage on Crete, which not only commences at the same time and at the same centers as the production of Cretan “East Greek” pottery but also shares the same standard as the coinages of Cilicia, the Levant, and Cyprus. Consideration of the broader implications of these developments in commerce and coinage suggests that our picture of early fifth-century Crete as an isolated backwater is misleading.

Session/Panel Title

Bridging the “Gap”: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Cretan polis in the Archaic and Classical periods

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