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3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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The Tastes, Smells, and Colors of New Finds from East Cretan Excavations

This lecture is an exploration of the Minoan Senses—the tastes, the smells, and the sights of Bronze Age Crete. Recent excavations at Bronze Age sites in East Crete supported by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete have yielded new evidence for craft production. The finished goods, though, are not the pots, metal tools, and stone vases that we typically associate with artisans at work in the Minoan palaces and houses on Crete. Rather, Greek and American excavations are using detailed recovery methods to record the food and drink of Bronze Age farmers and fishermen and the aromas and colors of Minoan fashion. This lecture focuses less on the type, provenience, and date of artifacts, and more on the everyday activities and the lifestyles of the occupants of three Late Minoan I (ca. 1600–1450 BCE) towns in east Crete: Mochlos (dug 2004–2005), Papadiokambos (2007–2012), and Chrissi (2008–2018). While Mochlos is well known, the other towns are new, only discovered in the past decades. Finds at these sites include unusually rich remains for the production and consumption of food and beverages and much rarer evidence for the manufacture of aromatic oils and deep purple dyes.

Free and open to the public.  

Co-sponsored by the Reed College classics department, the Dean of the Faculty’s office, and the Archaeological Institute of America.

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