Research Paper

About the Distribution of Metal Objects in Prepalatial Crete



Although metal objects have been used as evidence in different interpretations of the socioeconomic changes identified in Prepalatial Crete (c.3100-1900 BC), they constitute an understudied category of material. This paper argues that metal objects on Crete were subject to complex processes regarding the creation of meaning; a more comprehensive appraisal of metal objects on the island may cast new light on these issues. Copper-based, gold, lead and silver objects are investigated from their ore extraction locations outside Crete to their final deposition, linking the different steps of the process of creating an artefact with different layers of meanings for the metal and, subsequently, for the finished objects. This study evaluates differences in the use of metals, with a particular focus on their intra-island depositional patterns. It seeks to identify differences in the roles of metals within Cretan communities as well as regional fashions in the use of metal objects. It is suggested that metals had different characters
since their depositional patterns vary, and that people consciously chose certain metals to make specific objects and also used metal objects in different ways, reflecting the socio-economic context for each region.

Keywords: regionalism, Prepalatial, metallurgy, Early Bronze Age, Crete

How to Cite: Herrero, B. (2004) “About the Distribution of Metal Objects in Prepalatial Crete”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 15(0). doi: