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"Minding the Gap": Reexamining the Early Cycladic III "Gap" from the Perspective of Crete. A Regional Approach to Relative Chronology, Networks, and Complexity in the Late Prepalatial Period


The proposed Early Cycladic III "gap" was identified through careful correlations in the late Early Bronze II ceramic records of the mainland and the Cyclades. The absence of Cretan material was noteworthy when viewed against the rich Early Minoan (EM) I–II record, revealing that large amounts of material in the Kampos and Keros-Syros styles was reaching the island via Cycladic colonies or trade. This article considers the wealth of new finds on Crete, which are helping scholars trace these developments from EM I to EM III. Studies have drawn attention to the role of a small number of gateway communities on the north coast of Crete in the transmission of Cycladic raw materials and products in the EM I–II periods. Significant changes in EM II suggest that this dynamic relationship was transformed as Cretan groups began to take a more active role in developing off-island networks to the east and west. The second half of the article highlights recent efforts in north-central and eastern Crete to define regional ceramic production in EM III and to consider major developments in the late Prepalatial urban and political landscape that appear to have played a role in the emergence of the first palaces on the island.

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