ABSTRACT

Settlement aggregation is a normative, culturally conditioned, and adaptive process in the Aegean from the Neolithic period on, seeing several phase transitions that resulted in village-size communities; middle-range settlements, such as towns and cities; and political or ritual centers of state-level confi gurations, such as palace-and city-centered territorial states. Aggregation and nucleation are perhaps interchangeable terms, though in many cases the actual material components and spatial organization of nucleated sites-especially those derived through surface survey-are not suffi ciently understood to present the details or form of aggregation. The recurrence and ubiquity of nucleated sites in the Greek landscape are probably related to kinship structures and concepts of the household; social and cultic connections to places; exchange patterns; and land use and subsistence practices. The motives and processes involved in periodic aggregation, as Jennifer Birch points out in the introduction to this volume, have perhaps received more attention in the context of regional surveys than in detailed site-level analysis of intracommunity organization. Even though work in the Aegean commonly addresses details of settlement organization, architecture, and spatial syntax, especially when they are relevant to culture-or period-specifi c questions (e.g., Glowacki and Vogeikoff-Brogan 2011; Westgate et al. 2007), because aggregation is both scale-sensitive and variable, and perhaps simply accepted as a normative settlement structure, it has not received as much critical attention or analytical focus as has the study of broad historical trends of settlement patterns. Even recent studies of Greek urbanization tend to apply broadly construed regional data and perspectives of landscape archaeology, marginalizing the form of aggregation and actual structure of urban settlements in their earliest forms (eighth to sixth centuries BC) (e.g., Branigan 2001; Cullen 2001; Morgan and Coulton 1997; Osborne and Cunliffe 2005; Owen and Preston 2009). While urbanization per se is not, properly speaking, the focus of this collection, I think that the small scale of Aegean cities in the Archaic period (seventh to sixth centuries BC), their variable sizes, organizations, and hinterlands, and the problems in defi ning their earliest forms, especially on Crete, suggest that looking at aggregation from the ground up could be a useful analytical tool for

visualizing the emergence of the new kinds of settlements in the Archaic period. The purpose of this chapter is to present an example of settlement aggregation on Crete in the context of Archaic-period urbanization.