Glowacki co-edits book of papers examining ancient Crete housing

Kevin Glowacki

A new book co-edited by Kevin Glowacki, assistant professor of architecture at Texas A&M, is deepening the understanding of ancient houses and household activities in the Greek island of Crete.

Glowacki and collaborator Natalla Vogelkoff-Brogan, an archivist at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, also penned an introductory chapter to “STEGA: The Archaeology of Houses and Households in Ancient Crete,” a collection of the papers of a May 2005 colloquium at Ierapetra, a town in the island’s southeast corner.

The book contributes to the discussion of ancient Greek households by focusing on the island, as opposed to recent conferences and publications that studied ancient housing throughout the Mediterranean, said Glowacki and Vogelkoff-Brogan in the book’s introduction.

The 38 papers in the book demonstrate a variety of methodological approaches to themes including understanding the built environment in all of its manifestations, the variability of domestic organization, the role of houses and households in mediating social or ethnic identity within a community or region, household composition and household activities of all types, ranging from basic subsistence needs to the production and consumption characteristics of a group of residences.

Ancient Crete was home not only to one of the earliest state-level societies in the Aegean, it also gave rise to numerous independent city-states in later periods and, during the Roman empire, included examples of both a colony and provincial capital, wrote Glowacki and Vogelkoff-Brogan.

“By bringing together scholars working in prehistoric as well as historical periods of Crete, the conference provided a forum in which to examine the potential of household archaeology for understanding the changing social dynamics of households and communities over long periods of time and in different political and economic environments,” they wrote.

Essential financial support for the publication was provided by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the College of Architecture and the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M.

STEGA: The Archaeology of Houses and Households in Ancient Crete” was published by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens as part of the HESPERIA SUPPLEMENTS series.

posted January 26, 2012