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The Rural Landscape of neopalatial Kythera: A GIS debate

Issue: Vol 15 No. 2 (2002) December 2002

Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology

Subject Areas: Ancient History Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v15i2.217


Intensive archaeological survey on the island of Kythera (Greece) has revealed, in unprecedented detail, a landscape of dispersed rural settlements dating to the mid-2nd millennium BC. This paper deploys a series of GIS and spatial analysis techniques to illuminate the way this landscape was structured, in terms of social organization, agriculture and island demography. Discussion begins by quantifying site numbers, size and hierarchy. It then examines patterns of settlement dispersal, highlighting the subsistence strategies probably underpinning such a landscape. Emphasis is placed on reconstructing where possible the dynamics of colonization and the motivations behind site location. A final section proposes population figures for the island and considers a range of site-level interactions.

Author: Andrew Bevan

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