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THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS*

Introduction

The discovery of new palatial buildings during the last decade or so, and the redefinition of precisely when "New Palace" structures were erected, l have highlighted the need to be totally clear as to which phase of the New Palace period we are discussing when comparing sites . LM IB Archanes, for instance, cannot be compared with MM HIB Galatas. Thus, one of the aims of this paper is to attempt to characterize each Neopalatial phase at Knossos, not so much ceramically as architecturally, and to isolate deposits relevant to activities within the Palace during these phases. At Knossos, I think it is not an exaggeration to talk of three New Palaces, each with clearly different, if enigmatic characters that will have important repercussions when discussing the relationship of Knossos to other major sites in North Central Crete and the rest of the island, an issue not examined here. Instead of using a numerical system to denote these three successive New Palaces, I have been bold enough to name them here in a manner laden with interpretation and open to dispute. I do not expect the names to stick in perpetuity. The MM HIB Palace, I call the New Palace, plain and simple, in its most unadulterated form. I argue here that, although a successor to the Old Palace, it was not a re-building with additions but rather a completely new construction project, all parts designed and executed at once to create a single monumental building. The LM lA Palace is suggested as the Frescoed Palace, a building where, for the first time, monumental frescoes were employed in the most

* Acknowledgements: The paper given at the conference was entitled "Capitally, what is this city of ours?" Neopalatial Knossos - one view of its history and role in North Central Crete." The paper intended also to deal with the position of Knossos in North Central Crete, but it soon became clear that the presentation of the Palace itself was quite enough for one paper. I hope to present my ideas on the Palace within the broader context of the City and the Region at another time. I would like to thank Jan Driessen for giving me the opportunity to "represent" Knossos at the Workshop. Of the many scholars who have studied the Palace, in whole or in part, I should particularly like to thank Marina Panagiotaki for discussions over the years and specific comments on the first draft of this paper. In addition, I have had helpful discussions with Gerald Cadogan, Jan Driessen, Tim Cunningham, Carl Knappett, Sandy MacGillivray, Hugh Sackett, lannis Sakellarakis, Judith Weingarten and Peter Warren. I am grateful to Ann Thomas for her drawings of pottery included here. Above all, I thank Sinclair Hood who introducedJan Driessen and me to the details of the Palace in 1986 in connection with Mason's Marks, and with whom I have had many discussions over the years. Some of those acknowledged here disagree with some of my conclusions for which I alone am responsible - except where noted.

Zakros: late LM lA or even LM IB (c f. PLATON, BSA Conference Knossos: Palace, City and State 2002

[forthcoming] , and PLATON, this volume); Phaistos: late LM lA or LM IB (cf. LA ROSA, this volume); Galatas: MM III (cf. RETHEMIOTAKlS, this volume).

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Colin F. MACDONALD

public areas perhaps as a form of cult propaganda. The LM IB Palace, I call the Ruined Palace for reasons expressed elsewhere 2 and by no means universally accepted.

I realize that this is a most contested hypothesis and here I merely qualify my thoughts

on the matter. Of course, there is a fourth Palace in this sequence, the Mycenaean Palace which itself may be divided up into two phases, if not Palaces, that of LM Il,

representing the completion of rebuilding after LM IB, and that of LM IIIA before the final destmction. A substantial LM II destruction within the Palace is apparent from

may be that the Ruined Palace is

Evans ' s material in the Stratigraphical Museum. It

also the Palace under reconstruction, representing the attempt to build what became the Mycenaean Palace.

The Beginning of the New Palace Period at Knossos

The New Palace period is a difficult concept to grasp since there is no single ceramic period in which "New" palaces of Crete can be said to have been built. For

Knossos, at least, the New Palace period begins in MM IIIB and here I briefly restate

the proposal I have made elsewhere 3 for beginning the New Palace period oJ Knossos

in that ceramic phase, as opposed to MM IIIA after a MM IIB destruction. It is clear that the great Palace at Phaistos was thoroughly ruined by a large earthquake in

Middle Minoan IIB, but it is m y b e lief that

of the Mesara, and that damage to the sites of North Central Crete was, therefore, not

so great as to bring an architectural end to the Old Palace at Knossos. The localised nature of destruction due to earthquake has yet to be appreciated by archaeologists. I turn first to two houses at Knossos that were destroyed as a result of a massive earthquake, the earthquake that appears to have thrown blocks from the SE Angle of the Old Palace several metres into one of these houses, named by Evans, the House

of the Fallen Blocks, with the House of the Sacrificed Oxen to its west (PI. II:23-24,

its epicentre lay to the south or southwest

III

and IVa-b).4 These houses have affected the way the history of the palace has

bee

n viewed for three main reaso ns. 1) The vivid image of a catastrophic earthquake

invoked by the House of the Fallen Blocks led Evans to use the term , the "Great Destruction," and to apply this emotive label to an entire destruction horizon in the Palace. 2) Evans dated the destruction of these two houses to Middle Minoan IIIB and

linked this event to many other deposits within the p alace itself. 3) The magnitude

2 At the conference, the label used was the Ghost Palace. On reflection, since I can env isage a badly d amaged complex, under reconstruction, continuing to perform certain functio ns, notably in connection with cult, the term "Ruined" seems a m ore reasonable way of describing what I m ean . For the proble m s of LM IB within the Pa lace at Knossos see Troubled Island .

3 C.F. MACDONALD, "Defining Earthquakes and identifying the consequences in North Central Crete during the Old and New Palace Periods ," in Proceedings of the 9 th International Cretological Congress (forthcoming).

4 Plate n is the main lo cation plan of the paper. PM n, 296-303 . A.J. MACGILLIVR AY, Knossos:

Pottery Groups of the Old Palace Period (1998) 46-49. The presence of a serpentine and white limestone lamp-maker's workshop is noted h er e by P.M . WARREN, "A Stone Vase-Maker's Workshop in the Palace at Knossos," BSA 62 (1967) 199.

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

37

of this event was used by MacGillivray to illustrate the end of the Old Palace period, dated by him to MM lIB, contemporary with the event in the Loomweight Basement. 5 Both Evans and MacGillivray appear to have been in error, Evans simply having misdated the material from the houses, which belongs to MM lIB and MM IlIA. MacGillivray had to interpret the evidence from the Houses of the Fallen Blocks and Sacrificed Oxen as MM lIB destructions disturbed during MM IlIA since there is a large amount of MM IlIA complete vessels amongst the deposits. This same admixture

and beneath the West Court. 6

The relatively simple explanation I prefer is that, following a massive earthquake at the end of MM IlIA, the ruins were dug out, perhaps in search of victims and salvageable goods, and in preparation for rebuilding. Formal evidence of this may be the deposition of the Oxen Horns and Tripod Tables in the House of the Sacrificed Oxen. There followed the largest single building campaign ever seen at Knossos. Much of the west side of the palace was dug out and levelled, whereas massive fills of mixed MM lIB and IlIA were deposited in basement rooms on the east side to act as terraces for new constructions. MM IlIA is the latest pottery from beneath many floor slabs on the east side of the New Palace, well illustrated by that from beneath the floor of Room of the Olive Press or Drainheads (PI. Il: 15, Xa). Thus, in physical, architectural terms, the New Palace replaced the Old after the MM IlIA earthquake. This is an architectural, stratigraphical and historical dividing line of the strongest order. At Knossos, there followed another large earthquake towards the end of MM IlIB (causing Evans's somewhat hyperbolic "Great Destruction") followed by major rebuilding connected with anti-seismic measures and a re-organization of the way in which the palace functioned. What follows is an examination of certain parts of the palace in order to disentangle the original MM IlIB remains from those of LM lA, which are most prominent today (PI. Il). The necessary dating evidence is provided en route, much

of which has been discussed

can b e found in several deposits in the Palace (PI. Xa)

b y Sin clair Hood, Peter Warren and Vronwy Hanke y,

and Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier,7 as well as others, whose work I hope I have adequately acknowledged in the relevant sections.

South Propylaeum (PI. lI:l, Ill, IVc-d, Va-b and XI)8

I will begin with the South Propylaeum, in its present state much reconstituted from the remains of the LM lA phase and concrete. In the New Palace of MM IIIB (Evans chose MM IlIA as a date for the Propylaeum's construction without

5 MACGILLIVRAY

6 MACGILLIVRAY (supra n. 4) 98.

7 E.g. M.S.F. HOOD, "Back to basics with Middle Minoan IllB, " in D. EVELY, I.S. LEMOS and S. SHERRATT (eds) Minotaur and Centaur (1996) 10-16; P.M. WARREN a nd V. HANKEY , Aegean Bronze Age Chronology (1989); and W.-D. NIEMEIER, "Knossos in the New Palace Period (MM Ill-LM IB)," in D. EVELY, H. HUGHES-BROCK and N. MOMIGLIANO, Knossos. A Labyrinth of History (1994) 71-88.

(supra n. 4) 48-49 .

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Colin F. MACDONALD

firm evidence), its dimensions were more impressive and daring than later. The Propylaeum, as it exists today, is that of the "Cup-Bearer" fresco, which appears to be connected both thematically and in size (large-scale) with the frescoes in the Corridor of the Procession, often dated to LM IB or LM II (see below). That the LM lA walls of the Propylaeum were also frescoed is I think highly likely, particularly given the poor quality of the masonry of the walls of the Propylaeum in this phase. Evans says:

"If the M.M. III walls were already

compounded of the ruins of earlier structures,

the rubble material of this later (LM lA) fabric represents the ruin of a ruin."9

The original and thicker sidewalls of MM IIIB were some two and a half metres

further west and east (PI. IVc and Va). The MM IIIB Propylaeum was austerely embellished with dadoes of finely grained stone with a marble finish, fragments of which were found in and around a cist beneath the east wall of the LM lA Propylaeum. Furthermore, both here, in the area of the SW Porch 10 and at the NW Corner Entrance of the Palace,II fragments of stone cornices were discovered with relief

decoration of rosettes or half rosettes and triglyphs, all apparently belonging to the

MM IIIB Palace. I also discovered some fragments in my excavation of the Southwest

House, presumably deriving from the area of the SW Porch. The enormous care and effort expended on the MM IIIB Propylaeum and the wide span of the structure were not to be repeated when, after the MM IIIB earthquake and accompanying fierce fire for which there is much evidence throughout the palace, it was rebuilt on a smaller

scale in LM lA, this time frescoed instead of "dadoed." This indicates to me that here

was a transformation from austere monumentality in MM IIIB to greater structural

stability in LM lA, the smaller spaces being opened up by light, large-scale, painted decoration of a ceremonial nature.

Cist

beneath East wall of LM lA Propylaeum (PI. II: la, III and XI)12

One feature of the South Propylaeum is worth marking well. The only reason

that

we can date the Second Propylaeum to LM lA is the existence of a fine, ashlar-

built cist beneath its east wall and extending beyond, but well within the confines of the First Propylaeum. This cist, which may have been lined with painted plaster, was found during a test in 1925 and contained some fragments of the original stone dadoes of the Propylaeum 13 and pottery - mostly handless cups and bowls (PI. Vb) - datable to MM IIIB, and closely resembling pottery found in other cists I shall mention later. Not only, therefore, is the stratigraphic succession plain and simple,

but also this is the first of a number of clearly datable occurrences of cists in or close to public places, which were all closed in MM IIIB. For the West side of the MM

IIIB Palace, this is very much a cist horizon, even leaving aside the numerous cists

or kasellas of the West Magazines, probably also installed in MM IIIB as part of the

9 PM n, 690.

10 PM n , 163, fig. 83 and 166, fig. 84.

] 1

PM

n , 591 , figs 368, 370.

]2

PM

n,

699-702 , fig. 439.

13

PM n, 698, fig. 438. G .n.5 in the Guide to the Stratigraphical Museum, Knossos (SMK).

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

39

overall plan of the area. A final note on the Propylaeum: Evans noted the discovery of four faience figures (really glass according to Panagiotaki)14 with the point of a bronze sword or d agger and a bronze votive of a youth by the south-eastern anta of the early Propylaeum and attributed the faience (glass) figures to the same workshop as that which produced the contemporary Temple Repository figures.

Corridor of the Procession (PI. U:25, Vd)15

Re maining with the matter of frescoes, I shall digress for a moment to the Corridor of the Procession where the main surviving fragments have been placed afte r LM lA - usuall y LM IB or LM 11 in terms of their creation. 16 The monumental processional figures and the bull were attached to the east and west walls of the

Corridor by

from life-size figures of women were found below the latest paving of the Corridor indicating an earlier scheme of related design. Assuming that the earlier fresco fragments represent an early "Procession Fresco," the earliest time to which they could d ate should be given by the construction of the walls on which they were painted. In 1987, excavating on the east side of the Corridor, we were able to give a terminus post quem of MM IUB for the construction of the east wall of the Corridor in area DVII 21 (PI. 1I:26a and Vc-d). I suggest, therefore, that the first p aintings belong to th e post-seismic ph ase, th a t is LM lA , and tha t th ey were painted togeth er with frescoes adorning the South Propylaeum, which replaced the sumptuous marbled dadoes of the MM IIIB New Palace.

the SW Porch and fragme nts showing dre ss designs and j ewell e ry

Central Palace Sanctuary (PI. 11:4)17

has been fully discussed by Panagiotaki 18 in

her admirably detailed study of the area. The area was quite different and more understandable when originally conceived in Middle Minoan IUB. Here one can see most clearly the MM IIlB line of the west side of the Central Court some two and a half m e tres west of that adopted in LM lA. Access to all parts of this area from the Lobby of the Stone Seat was direct via polythyra on the south, west and north.

The Central Palace Sanctuary

14 M. PANAGIOTAKI in MEL ETEMATA 62 1, pI. CXXIXc. Panag iotaki thinks that thes e may h ave been made by the same school of faience·making as the Temple Repository figures , although she suggests that the earl iest Minoan glass belongs to LM IB b ased on ev idence from the Royal Road . In fact, the Royal Road material allows us to say that Minoan glass manufacture had at least begun by LM IB and could even have started earlier.

15 For the Corridor of the Precession see, in particular, PM n, 682-5.

Wall Paintings

16 M.S.F. HOOD , "Cre tan Fresco Da tes ," Proceedings of the International Symposium, the

of Th era (Thera, 30 August-4 Septem ber 1997) (2000) vo l. 1, 19 1-208.

17 For a sup erb ly detailed account of the excavations , architecture and finds from the Ce ntra l Palace San ctuary see M. PANAG IOTA KI, The Central Palace Sanctuary at Knossos (19 99). See

PANAGIOTAKI (supra) 1-6 for previous research in the area.

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Colin F. MACDONALD

Panagiotaki has clearly explained how rooms such as the Temple Repositories Room

and

Room of the Tall Pithos were originally one space. 19 She has also demonstrated

that

the south wall of the West Pillar Crypt is a later addition and that the pillars in the

Crypts appear to have originally been located further south, possibly right on the E-W

axis of the Lobby.2o This will be seen to be of importance below where I suggest that

the Lobby was positioned exactly (not approximately) at the centre of the long west

side of a MM lIIB Central Court of substantially greater dimensions than that defined

today which I assign to the rebuilding of LM lA. The key MM IIIB feature to be noted here is the proximity to the centre of the Central Court of the huge Temple Repositories (essentially large cists) and three slightly smaller cists to the north, which could have been connected to Repositories at this time. 21 The staircase that ascends over the three northern cists to the piano nobile,

a very prominent feature of the west fac,;ade of the Central court was not built until LM lA at the earliest since it is built over the MM IIIB cists, and could even belong to

a LM IB or LM II palace. The function of the cist and five vats in the Vat Room may

have

been connected to the Repositories, unless the vats are LM lA and only the cist

MM

IIIB.22

The contents of the Repositories are well known, particularly through

Panagiotaki's publication. Apart from the famed faience objects, over 50 sealings

and a clay tablet inscribed with Linear A on both sides were found - MM IIIB is the

period of Linear A inscribed discoveries at Knossos. The liquid capacities of the two cement-lined repositories were respectively about 4,300 and 3,600 litres. In addition, there were substantial numbers of large closed vessels - at least 16 jugs, 5 jars and 13 amphorae. As many as 10 or 11 Bird Vases, probably Melian in origin, may come from the Temple repositories and the Cists to the North. All together, the vessels would have held over 250 litres of liquids. 23 These were certainly not stored in the cists, but perhaps on shelves in the room that at that time (MM IIIB) included the later Great

19 PANAGIOTAKI

(supra n . 17) 250.

20 PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) 225, 227, 251. I hope in the future to examine one further possible arrangement of the Pillar Rooms. If what we see today is a radical re-arrangement of the area after the MM IIIB earthquake, but assuming that both pillars are in their original positions, I think it is possible that the two crypts and the corridor to the south were a single space with 6 pillars on an E-W axis. The closest parallel to this at Knossos, apart from the 12-pillared North Pillar Hall, is the Pillar Hall of the Unexplored Mansion on the same E-W axis. There are other similarities

between the Central Palace Sanctuary and Unexplored mansion including comparable room sizes and, more importantly, almost identical dimensions in their LM lA phase. If the Little Palace is the urban reflection of the Domestic Quarter of the Palace, was the design (and function?) of the Unexplored Mansion influenced by the Central Palace Sanctuary? Such a radical proposal, however, requires more detailed research than I have undertaken, as well as careful discussion with M. Panagiotaki. Note that PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) 253 even suggests the existence of 4 "crypts" in the Central Palace Sanctuary, with or without pillars.

21 Panagiotaki (supra n. 17) 250. For a MM IIIB date for the contents of the Temple Repositories and the cists to the north see HOOD (supra n. 7) 13. Also C.F. MACDONALD (2003) forthcoming, review ofPANAGIOTAKI inJHS 123.

22 PANAGIOTAKI (supra n . 17) 256.

23 These are very rough calculations based on Panagiotaki's detailed catalogue: PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) 175-179.

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

41

Pithos Room. The vases and the other relics in the cists will be a portion only of the original number and were presumably retrieved from the wreckage of the area after the MM IIIB destruction by earthquake and fire, and were deposited in the

repositories that were then covered by a gypsum slab floor and replaced by two very much smaller cists. The location of the five MM IIIB cists, the large capacities of two of them and the potential for supplying large numbers of people with liquids probably indicate that one function of this area was to facilitate a major gathering, ceremony or celebration in the Central Court. Ancillary rooms, such as the Vat Room - even

if it was separate from the Repositories - will have been involved in some way, and

direct access to the West Magazines to replenish supplies was afforded by a dog's leg corridor from the West Pillar Crypt. 24 But that was all to change in LM lA. The earthquake of MM IIIB caused widespread destruction by fire. The polythyron on the north side of the Lobby of the Stone Seat was blocked with burnt floor slabs and dadoes that had collapsed from walls. 25 The scheme of restoration adopted after the seismic destruction of MM IIIB

- as Evans put it - saw walls that had previously been lined with dadoes, covered with plaster unless the dadoes had survived intact. This may well be true in other parts of the Palace. In the Lobby, its fine stone seat was installed in front of the blocked polythyron, and it was then that the Temple Repository Room as we know it was divided from the Room of the Tall Pithos, and the two smaller cists installed with

a new gypsum slab floor. The pillars in the two Pillar Crypts may have been moved

to their present positions and two shallow cists installed on either side of the East Pillar, a feature also seen in the contemporary Unexplored Mansion. The shallow Vats of the Vat Room may also belong to this period rather than earlier according to Panagiotaki. 26 It also seems likely that this is the period (LM lA) when the fine collection of Stone Vases found to the south-west (PI. 11:3) was first put to ceremonial

use, although they are supposed to have collapsed into the room of that name during the final destruction of the Palace early in LM IIIA:2 - an arguable contention given the circumstances of their discovery in 1900, LM I (A or B) being a more suitable archaeological horizon. 27 It is dear that the kind of ceremonies that stemmed from the Central Palace Sanctuary underwent a change in the second phase of the New Palace, perhaps with less emphasis on mass participation in the Central Court than before, though this is merely a hypothesis since, apart from the Stone Vases, we lack any of the equipment that might have been used at such events. However, LM lA does appear to be a period during which access to the Palace became more physically restricted.

24 PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) Plan I.

25 PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) 248, pis. 32-33a. See PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) 247 for convincing possibilities for earlier phasing.

26 PANAGIOTAKI (supra n. 17) 43, fig. 15a.

27 For a brief discussion of the Room of the Stone Vases see C. MACDONALD in A. KARETSOU,

M. ANDREADAKI-VLASAKI and N. PAPADAKI, Kpr/1:T/-Atyv7fTOS. [JOAITWIlIKOl OeCYIlOl TPUOV

XIAlfTloJV. KC('t(XAOYOS (2000) 203 (Inv. no. 200), 245 (Inv. no. 247). Also see PANAGIOTAKI (supra n . 17) 275.

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Co lin F. MACDONALD

Throne Room Complex: Tank and Drain to the north (PI. 1I:6) 28

I shall pass over the Throne Room area since D. Evely and V. Fotou will have

much to say in their full publication of th e 1987 trials. It seems like ly, however,

that

the main period of construction represented by the extant remains belongs to

MM

IIIB, a period of gypsum slab floors and dadoes. Just north of the north pillar

of the Anteroom to the Throne Room and probably located within the MM IIIB

Central Court was a tank, beneath the later p av ing, which exited into a drain running northeast to the top of the North Entrance Passage, and connected with the fine storm drain that ran down its length. The tank and its drain in the Central Court were blocked during the MM IIIB destruction. The drain contained ewers (PI. VIlId) identical to examples in the Temple Repositories and the pottery from the tank includes obvious MM IIIB handless cups. The most southerly of the drains, running from the southwest, had been cut off and, therefore, put out of use, by the construction of the east edge of the Antechamber of the Throne Room, a modification

that appears to have taken place after the MM IIIB earthquake destruction.

North Entrance Passage and North Pillar Hall (PI. 1I:7-8; VI)29

Moving to the North Entrance Passage but bearing in mind the tank and drains of the north-west corner of the Central Court mentioned above, we might anticipate some changes after the MM IIIB earthquake given the evidence that its drainage system was damaged, if not blocked at this time. The main skeleton of the entrance passage comprises two hefty terrace walls running north-south onto which the Bastions were imposed at some point. Th ere is a clear difference in the quality of the masonry, the Bastions being much finer and covered with Mason's Marks, notably the Trident sign (PI. Vlb-c). Evans first placed the style of masonry and the Mason's Marks in MM IlIA and linked it with the Court of the Stone Spout (PI. Xb) and the South Light-well of the Queen's Megaron in the Domestic Quarter. 30 Hood placed all these in the post-seismic MM IIIB phase, essentially LM IA.3I However, each area must be treated on its own merits. In the case of the North Entrance Passage, the dating is intriguing but I would like to concentrate on the overall plan of the area since this is relevant to changes in the management of the palace. Two things are imm ediately worthy of note . The original west wall of the Entrance is linked with th e North Lustr a l Area when it turned at right angles west to join the north wall of the Lustral Area (PI. II:10 ; III in re d). Secondly, whilst th e main orientation of the Entrance is obviously

28 AR 1987-88, 68-69 for summary of the 1987 excavation s. PM drain, though incorrectly dated to MM lIB by Evans.

29 PM 1,385-404, Ill , 158-9l. JD.S.

Ill , 5 for mention of the tank a nd

PENDLEBURY, A Guide to the Stratigraphical Museum in the Palace

at Knossos (1933) JI-II. C.F. MACDONALD, "Notes on some Late Minoan lA contexts from the

and SHERRATT (supra n . 7)

Palace of Minos and its immedi ate vicinity, " in

EVELY, LEMOS

19-20. Troubled Island, 142-145.

30

PM I, 393-4, 401, a lthough the wall of the South Light Well of the Queen 's Megaron is assigned earlier in the same volume to MM IIA, PM I, 204, fig. 153.

31

HOOD (supra n . 7) 13.

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43

north-south, the entire complex was focussed on an east-west axis, the west leading to the Royal Road and the east, down the slope between massive walls, now mere foundations, and on down to the river Kairatos below. This would be the direct town access to the river, whereas the less public, Palace access was via the East Bastion (Pi. Il: 16), probably another MM IlIB construction. When the Bastions were built, the North Pillar Hall may also have been constructed. Thus, we move from a phase when there was direct access through a broad north entrance to the Central Court as well as past the North Entrance Passage down the hill to the river, to the next phase (LM l A) when access was heavily restricted on all fronts. The Pillar Hall could in part have functioned both as a kind of stoa and as a checking area for people and goods before leav ing or entering the town or Palace. T his may a lso be the time at whi ch the N .E. Entrance was constructed with fine ashlar masonry32 and a series of small tower like structures in the Theatral Area 33 and on the west of the North Pillar Hall (Pi. III

tower over ?MM IIlB wall marked in red; Pi. VIa labelled 'Tower'),34 though the

chronology needs deeper examination. 35 Control of access appears to have been a primary concern when making these alterations, although I should imagine that the bastions of the North Entrance Passage were also related to anti-seismic measures

acting as supports for the original walling. The Bastions can be assigned a terminus post quem of MM IIlB, possibly after

the earthquake, on the basis of tests made on the north side of Bastion A and inside the east bastions B-B and C-C. 36 Some of the relevant pottery is illu strated in Pi. Vlla.

I agree with Evans that they were not all conceived at once, with Bastions A and

A-A being later additions, but, on present evidence, they were all apparently built

within the same broad ceramic period. Either then, or after a LM lA earthquake, the northeast wall of the Entrance Passage was pushed outwards, knocking over at least

one pillar. The repairs chiefly comprised building a wall to the north (marked MM

1-1l on Evans's plan in Pi. VIa!) and removing one of the pillars completely. These will h ave taken place eith er early in LM lA or LM IB-IT.

note. First, there appears to h ave been

a broad monumental entrance in MM IlIB, precisely on the north-south axis of the

MM IIlB Central Court, a phenomenon that was lost when the Bastions were built

lin e). Secondly, the Bastion s and

after the earthqu ake (Pi. III axes marked b y red

Pillar Hall of the next period severely controlled access to and from both the Town

and the Palace. Thirdly, it is during LM lA that the monumental Bull Relief fresco

was probably exhibited in a public place on top of Bastion A, the last to b e added, unless the fresco belongs to MM IlIB, never having embellished the bastion but rather having been lost in fills of destruction debris from the MM IlIB earthquake as Hood 37

There are three main points worthy of

32

PM I, 391-92 fig. 283.

33

PM Il, 578-587, figs. 362-366.

34

PM I, 398-400, fig. 287.

35

Troubled Island, 142-145 were probably wrong to adhere to Evans's views of MM IlIA construction in the area.

36

HOOD (supra n. 7) 13, n. 32.

37

HOOD (supra n. 16) 67.

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Colin F. MACDONALD

has suggested. If it is a question of a monumental fresco under the public gaze, a phenomenon already seen in connection with the LM lA South Propylaeum, the suitability of the name Frescoed Palace, acquires more support - referring chiefly to the monumental frescoes displayed in public places, not to miniatures and or those with abstract motifs. 38

North West Lustral Area (PI. 11:10 and Vllb)39

Leaving this public entrance, we move to another area, again public and controversial but I should like to try and lay that controversy to rest today. The North West Lustral Area was probably brought formally within the palace when the 9riginal North Entrance Passage was constructed. Evans and Hood have consistently placed the main Lustral Basin within MM IlIA when it was also destroyed by fire. The limestone ashlar masonry behind the gypsum dadoes of the basin is, to me, reminiscent of the ashlar seen in one of the Temple Repositories and the Cist of the first South Propylaeum. However, we can do little with the dating of the Lustral Basin from the material found therein. If we take the area as a whole, we see that the North West Portico, which was built with Bastion A is not arranged in any logical way to accommodate the North West Lustral Basin; indeed the Lustral Basin has a slightly different orientation to this later LM lA complex. Rather the Lustral Basin lies alone in an enclosed area probably built at the same time as the large terrace wall to which it is attached on the south. The style of masonry here is identical to other major structural walls of the palace during MM IIIB. In addition, excavations in 1929 revealed a cist associated with black earth, in the northwest corner of the enclosure, no doubt used during public gatherings in connection with the Lustral Basin. Some of the material from the cist is illustrated in (PI. Vllb). With regard to the date of the latest material, I am in disagreement with Mr. Hood who suggested it was "clearly assignable to MM IIIA,"4o since it seems to me to go very well with that of the South Propylaeum cist (PI. Vb) and the tests beneath the Bastions of the North Entrance Passage (PI. Vlla), as well as the three cists below the later staircase north of the Temple Repositories. Although some of the pottery would not be out of place in MM IlIA, such MM IlIA features do occur in the MM IIIB deposit from the Hellenistic Kiln Area, and the latest features of both deposits appear to me to be MM IIIB. A selection of the MM IIIB deposit from the Hellenistic Kiln Area is presented in PI. IX. If the content of the NW Lustral Area cist represents material from the destruction of the entire area during MM IIIB, the Lustral Basin deposit may well be contemporary. This might also be the most appropriate horizon for the Khyan lid 41 found near the

38

For a useful discussion of the dates of Knossian frescoes see NIEMEIER (supra n. 7) 85-86.

39

PM

n, 405-419 , 59l.

40

HOOD (supra n. 7) 13.

41

PM I, 417-21, fig. 303 .

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

45

Lustral Basin and the cist. An absolute date ofjust after 1600 BC for the end of MM IIIB would be acceptable within the framework of traditional chronologies. 42 I would add this area to the list of public places facilitated by cists for ceremonial events in MM HIB, a phenomenon that is less ev ident, or smaller in scale, in LM lA. Note should b e made here of a destroyed cist investigated by Alan Peatfield in 1987,just on the south side of the southern wall of the NW Lustral Area (PI. 11: 11). "This appeared to have been wrecked and filled with debris in MM IIIB." 43

North-East Magazines (PI. 11:12 and Vllla-c)44

The North-East Magazines lie adjacent to the Central Court. These three basement rooms are notable for the large number of whole vases of a domestic character, clearly stacked and stored there. Well over 100 vases 45 were recovered including tripod cooking pots (25+), small pithoid jars (23+) and open j ars (20+), ewers (PI. Vlllb) of the kind found in the Temple Repositories (5+), straight-sided cups (5+) and handless cups (?5+), oval mouthed amphorae (5+), a beaked jug (PI. Vlllc) well par a lleled in two oth er MM HIB deposits (PI. Vllle) 46 and a steatite vase stand. Immediately to the west, on a higher level that I take to be a contemporary terrace (PI. 1I:12a and obvious in PI. Ill) , were many superb Vapheio Cups47 decor a te d with tortoise-shell ripple - variously dated due to their superior position to MM IIIB (by Hood 48 if the domestic vases, at a lower level to the east, properly within the confines of the building, could be MM IlIA) and to early LM lA (by Warren 49 if these other vases are MM HIB). My opinion is that they belonged to the same horizon , but th at they lay on different terraces in the New Palace and should all be d ated to MM IIIB. Architecturally, the main d e posit of jugs, j ars and tripod cooking pots belongs to th e first phase of the New Palace. The proximity of the North East Magazines to the Central Court and the emphasis on cooking vessels within the deposit may indicate

42 S. HOOD in MELE TEMATA 381-386, pI. LXXX, where h e follows K.A. Kitchen , as most

Aegeanists now do. See a lso WARREN and HANKEY (supra n. 7) 136 where Khyan is d ated 1648-1639 BC and the NW Lustral Area context to MM IlIA, with Evans. Also see C.F.

S. MANNING, A Test of Tim e

MACDONALD , "Chronologies of

(1999), in AJA 105 (2001) 527-532. The comment on the Khyan lid (528) is not very helpful since

it merely tries

will be clear h ere, foll owing the Egyptian dating used by Manning, MM IIIB can !;le brought to a

suitable end just after 1600 B.C.

43 AR 1987-88,69.

44 PM 1, 386-91, fig. 281 , 568-71, fi gs. 414-5. M .R. POPHAM, " 'Notes from Knossos,' Part I," in BSA

the Th era Eruption ," review of

to bring Manning's argument concerning ab solute dates to a lo gical concl usion. As

72 (1977) 193-4.

45 These rough estimates derive from PM 1,569, fig. 414.

46 PM I, 570, fig. 415c, paralleled by MM IIIB examples from the Area of the Hellenistic Kilns and the Blind Well in the Court of the Stone Spout, see below.

47 POPHAM (supra n . 44) 187, fig. lB , pI. 29 b-f.

48 HOOD (supra n . 7)

49 P.M . WARREN, "A

n ew Minoan Deposit from Knossos, c. 1600 B.C. and its wider relations ," in

BSA 86 (19 91) 334 . P.M. WARREN, "LM l A: Knossos, Thera, Gournia," in MELETEMATA III,

13.

898.

46

Colin F. MACDONALD

that their function within the context of Central Court ceremonies complemented that of other areas like the Central Palace Sanctuary where the emphasis was very much on liquids. Alternatively, if the North East Hall (PI. II: 13) can be considered contemporary with the MM IIIB basements, they could be service rooms for dinning in that area. The basements seem to have gone out of use after the MM IIIB earthquake and nothing is known of the later history of this area.

Court of the Stone Spout and Room of the Olive Press or Stone Drain-heads

(PI. II:14-15; X)SO

Moving south into the East Wing, it is here that massive fills beneath slab floors are encountered, the latest elements of which are MM IlIA as illustrated by the handless cups and bowls in PI. Xa from the first metre beneath the floor of the Room of the Olive Press or Stone Drain-heads. The laying of slab floors here and in the Magazine of the Medallion Pithoi and Corridor of the Bays, is a defining stratigraphic moment for the beginning of the New Palace as we should understand it. When discussing this area, Hood sl indicates that he would date the great ashlar west wall of the Court of the Stone Spout (PI. Xb), with its trident Mason's Marks, to the post-seismic restoration phase of MM IlIB, contemporary with the bastions of the North Entrance Passage and walls with such marks in the Domestic Quarter. That the installation of the drain-head is contemporary with the construction of the west wall of the Court of the Stone Spout is indisputable since the eponymous Spout is an integral part of that wall. True, its fine ashlar masonry with trident Mason's Marks is comparable with the Bastions the construction of which, as we have seen, should belong to the post-seismic phase to which Hood is referring. However, the water system leads into a so-called "Blind Well" which evidently went out of use after a destruction, the debris from which was found within. The pottery is clearly assignable to MM IlIB (PI. Xc) and I would suggest that the Drainheads and Court of the Stone Spout are all part of constructions carried out at the start of the MM IlIB New Palace, after the MM IlIA earthquake. This is supported by a test at the base of the ashlar wall with the spout, which produced MM IlIA pottery (PI. Xd). So, stratigraphically this works, the only point of unease being the similarity of the ashlar masonry of the Court to that of the Bastion A, apparently dating to post-seismic MM IlIB or LM lA - MM IIIB being the terminus post quem. If there is a difference in date between the Court and the Bastions, it is important to note it, since I do not wish to argue that fine large-scale ashlar masonry was no longer employed after MM IIIB, nor that it is a feature chiefly datable to the phase of re-building after the IIIB earthquake. Architectural construction remained at a very high level with absolute continuity of technical skills. What I do suggest, however, prompted by the evidence of the South Propylaeum and Central Palace Sanctuary, is that it was decided by those rebuilding the Palace after the MM IlIB earthquake, not to invest so much time in the labour- intensive architectural embellishments such as gypsum and marbled dadoes and stone

50

PM 1,362-5, figs. 263, 266, 379-81, figs. 276-6.

51

HOOD (supra ll. 7) 13.

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

47

reliefs. Good limestone, ashlar masonry in both periods illustrates that it was not only important aesthetically, but also structurally as an anti-seismic construction technique.

The Domestic Quarter (PI. lI: 17-21; lII)52

Further south, we reach the Domestic Quarter, the main layout of which I would assign to the New Palace of MM lIIB, even though a number of scholars suggest that either the whole quarter or, at least, the series of ashlar walls with Mason's Marks belongs to the post-seismic period whether termed "post-seismic" MM IlIB or early

LM IA. 53 It is a very complex region beyond detailed scrutiny in this paper. Evans

dated the massive south and west terrace walls of the South Light Well of the Queen's Megaron to MM lIA while assigning the core of the quarter to MM IlIA and certain major elements to post-seismic MM lIIB. Hood 55 inclines towards a post-seismic MM

lIIB date for much of the Domestic Quarter as well as the South Light Well ashlar

terraces, contemporary with the Bastions of the North Entrance Passage. I incline towards a pre-seismic MM lIlB date for the first main construction phase of the Neopalatial Domestic Quarter, including the massive terrace walls of the South Light Well of the Queen's Megaron. Great renovations did take place after the ensuing

MM lIIB earthquake, which are perhaps clearest in relation to the drainage system

(PI. lI:30). 56 This system was designed to serve the spaces of the Domestic Quarte r as originally laid out. Its construction is likely to be contemporary with much of the

main plan as we see it today, unless an earlier "Domestic Quarter" had a similar layout.

The original drainage system appears to be contemporary with the construction of

the great terraces in the South Light Well of the Queen's Megaron since at a certain point where the drain passes through the west terrace wall, the terrace and drain are

54

52

PM 1, 3 16-318 ,322 -3,32 5-367. A lso PM III , 401-404 for d est ru ct ive ep iso d es within the Dom est ic Quarter. Note the Egyptianizing amphora(e) above the "Ivor y De posit" dated to MM I1IB by Evans but recently to LM IB by N. CUCUZZA, "Egyptianizing Amphorae in Minoan Crete," in KARETSOU et al. (supra n. 27) 101-106.

53

E. Hatzaki has suggested the conte mporary construction of the Domestic Quarter and its architectural sibling, the Little Palace, after the MM IIIB earthquake (E. HATZAKI, "Was the Little Pa lace at Knossos the 'little palace' of Knossos?" in EVELY, LEMOS and SHERRATT [sup ra

n.

7] 34-45) but refers to C. MACDONALD and J. DRIESSEN , "The drainage, system of the

Domestic Quarter in the Pa lace at Knossos," BSA 83 (1988) 256-258 who present a very different

chronology, equally ermneous, with regard to the Domestic Quarter but based on Evans's dates.

HOOD (supra n . 7) 13 assigns to this post-seismic phase.

th e fine ash lar

walls with mason 's m arks in the Domestic Qu arte r

54

MM I1A: PM I , 204-5 , fig. 153;

MM IlIA plan:

PM I,

327-329, fig s. 239-40.

55

HOOD (supra n. 7) 13. NIEMEIER (supra n. 7) 83 favours a MM I1IB/ LM lA transitional d ate

following J.C. OVERBECK and C.K. MACDONALD, "Th e date of the last Palace at Knossos ," in AJA 80 (1976) 160-64. I h ave not had the opportun ity to r e-assess the evidence presented by

Overbeck and Macdonald.

Some

of the ev idence could relate to the

restoration of the Qu arte r

rather than its construction.

56

For a discussion of the drainage system see MACDONALD and DRIESSEN (supra n. 53). The rela tive sequence within the system is important, although I would mod ify the dating.

48

Colin F. MACDONALD

one and the same construction. 57 It should also be noted with regard to the Domestic Quarter, that it appears to have been laid out at the same time as the quarter to

the north that includes the

seismic MM HIB date was argued. After the earthquake, as already mentioned, m any alterations took place including the construction of two more drainage shafts and the installation of the Queen's Toilette into an existing polythyron. The drains were

partly blocked after another earthquake in LM lA to which period should belong the steatite locks and ivory acrobat, unless these are Late Minoan IB as obliquely hinted by Cucuzza. 58 Thereafter, partial restoration of the system took place including the in stallation of the stone U-shaped channel either in LM IB or LM H. To this phas e of

restoration a lso belongs

extra access to the First Floor of the Hall of the Colonnades. The LM lA pottery was found beneath the 6th and 7th steps, providing a terminus post quem for their

construction.59

The Domestic Quarter could have been a relatively secluded area of the Palace, less suitable for public access or participation. Yet it does not seem entirely devoted to private living quarters , "Royal" or otherwise, despite the many similarities it di splays with the Little Palace . 60 When laid out - according to my assessment in MM HIB, before the Little Palace - it was lavishly decked with squared floor slabs and ma ssive d adoes , usually of gypsum, many of which b ear the marks of a fire. (The

identifica tion of precisely which d es truction

for discussion.) Space does not permit a full discussion of its potential functions. The installa tion in LM lA of the Queen 's Toilette (or Washing Closet as I would prefer to term it) in one of the sequences of rooms that leads from the Hall of the Colonnad es through the Queen's Megaron into the Hall of the Double Axes, may indicate that these back rooms were at times used as preparation rooms, p erhaps for a priestess b efore h er e ntry into the H all of the Double Axes from the south. Other officials not privy to the preparation rituals would have entered more directly from the H a ll of the Colonnades a long th e north side. Yet others may have b ee n able to witness the activities through the pier-and-door partitions on the east and south of the H all of th e Double Axes. This general the m e, of course, stems from Niemeier's suggestions concerning the Throne Room Complex. 61 Nonetheless, some such ceremony that included bathing, the facilities for which were only form ally introduced in the second (LM lA) phase of the New Palace, may be indicated. Similar rituals, with or without bathing, could also have taken place in the first New Palace phase since the circulatory patterns were almost identical.

Court of the Stone

Spout dis cussed above where a pre-

th e construction of the Upper E-W Stairs (PI. H: 17) providing

caused the inte ns e burning m ay b e open

57

MACDONALD and DRIESS EN (supra n . 53) 243-4, fi g. 5

- sin gle block 1.4 0 long and 0.59 m. high.

But,

here, the Evans 's con stru ction date

of MM HA was erro neously (I now think) followed.

58

The Egyptianising ampho ra(e) above the "Ivory Deposit" were dated to MM IIIB by Evans but rece ntly to LM IB by CUCUZZA (supra n. 52) 101-106. r re m a in to b e conv inced with regard to the Knossian example(s).

59

PM III, 276 and POPHAM

(supra n . 44)

194-5.

60

H ATZAKI (supra n. 53).

61

W.-D . NIEMEIER, "On the funct io n of the Throne Room' in the palace at Knossos ," in Function

Palaces, 163-168.

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

49

It should be noted here that whilst one can admire the liberal use of stone embellishments in the MM IlIB phase of the Domestic Quarter, we know little of other forms of decoration, notably fresco. It is likely that Miniature fresco fragments of a bull scene from the so-called Ivory Deposit above the earliest floor in the 'Lair' can be dated to LM lA if we accept the Acrobat as LM 1. It is just possible that the Dolphin Floor fresco and associated Dancing lady from on top of the second phase of a wall bordering the east of the Queen's Megaron, could be LM lA; otherwise they must be assigned to the LM IB-Il reconstruction phase. Hood 62 seems reluctant to date any other fresco from the quarter to MM IlIB or LM lA, although he has dated the High Reliefs of Athletes and Griffins found immediately to the north of the Domestic Quarter to MM IlIB. But, as with the North Entrance Passage, it requires the assumption that the fragments were lost in fills of MM IIlB destruction debris when I think they could as easily belong to LM lA. The tendency towards an early date (MM Ill) for all the relief frescoes comes from the securely dated MM IlIA Bull Reliefs and Spiral Fresco of the Loomweight Basement. 63 At least we may assume some form of continuity, though not necessarily continuity in the precise use to which such frescoes were put - other than decorating walls. If my impression is correct, the Domestic Quarter will have been built with all the finest embellishments of Minoan Neopalatial architecture during the MM IlIB building programme, before the earthquake which necessitated a great deal of structural renovation, though luckily the Grand Staircase appears to have withstood the tremors, an indication both of the high level of structural engineering and the intensity of the earthquake itself, that is not so powerful as to justify the use of the term "the Great Destruction" in comparison with all other Knossos destructions. The modifications to the Quarter in LM lA did not include (re)decoration of the walls with large-scale frescoes unlike certain other more public parts of the Palace. Disruption to the area may have been less on this side of the Palace. Perhaps the attachment of the quarter to the Great Cutting afforded the structures greater seismic protection than the freestanding structures to the north, south and west. 64

The MM IIIB New Palace: one plan, one structure (PI. Ill)

Some of the most striking features of Palace plans 65 are that numerous walls are aligned over great distances on the same axes and that they appear to be the main construction lines of the New MM IlIB Palace. The adapted 1902 'sketch plan of Fyfe in PI. III shows some of the main lines as I envisage them. However, due

62 HOOD (supra n. 16).

63 PM 1,369-376, figs. 269-70, 273.

64 This is mere ly a fanciful hypothesis of my own , though

65 Se e S. HOOD and W. TAYLOR, The Bronze Age Palace at Knossos: Plan and Sections (1981). Here, I have reprodu ced the early sketch plan of the Palace made by D.T. FYFE (BSA 8 [1901-02] pI. 1) with the addition of the South East Angle and the Houses of the Sacrificed Oxen and Fallen Blocks from PM 11, 295 , fig. 172 . The red lines provide emphases for main MM IIIB structural terracing as well as Central Court axes.

perhaps worth following up .

50

Colin F. MACDONALD

to very slight inaccuracies in the location and alignment of walls, it is not possible to demonstrate the relationships adequately with existing plans. The most important wall line relationships exist where major terracing of the hill was necessary, notably on the south and east. Several major alignments appear important on the east slope, some of which are closely spaced terraces stretching over long distances on the far east side. The date of these terraces is not clear. One clear line in the middle of the east slope (we exclude the east line of the Central Court, although clearly it is the most obvious example) runs from the east side of the east Light Well of the Queen's Megaron, north under the west side of the polythyron of the Hall of the Double Axes to the west wall of the Court of the Stone Spout with its fine Mason's Marks mentioned above and dating to MM IUB. It could run even further north. The main function of these wall lines was to act as major terraces supporting the immense weight of structures behind them and stop them slipping down the hill. The south side of the Palace illustrates this even more clearly. However, due to the slight inaccuracies in published plans, it proved necessary, in May 2002 after the conference, to locate the major walls more precisely using an Electronic Distance Meter courtesy of the Knossos Office for the Conservation of the Palace. 66 The sketch plan in PI. XI is the first result confirming the main alignments which are obvious on the ground, but difficult to demonstrate using any of the other plans. A few apparent problems were encountered. Measurements taken near the bottom of a functioning terrace (S. side of Early Magazine A) tended to be located further south than those taken on the walls of the buildings they supported (e.g. South Propylaeum). This is entirely logical in that the structural terrace walls are broader than the walls of the buildings they would have supported. More work is required in disentangling the visible wall lines of the N-S terrace supporting the Corridor of the Procession. That said, the four most important wall lines (A-B, D and F in PI. XI and IU) are located on the south side of the South Corridor (F), the south side of the South terrace Basements (D), on the line of the pier-and-door partitions of the South Propylaeum (B) and in a line with the steps of the same structure. On this last line is

a wall which has not received any attention until now lying just south of the modern south end of the central Court (Wall A; PI. Xe, XI).67 It comprises massive blocks in

a style that, at M.S.F. Hood's prompting in 1987, I have come to associate with the

66 I thank Alexandra Kare tsou, head of the T.L'Lfl.E.A .E. T£XV1KO rpa<p£io KV(J)aou for her assistance, and also surveyors from the office who carried out the measurements and had them drawn up: K. Kontoyiannis and C. Ktistakis. 71 points were measured, most on the south side of E-W walls, which, when plotted allowed me to compile an "accurate sketch" plan (PI. XI) based on the Hood and Taylor stone-by-stone plan with additions and some interpretation from detailed and sketch plans reproduced in the Palace of Minos and various Annuals of the British School at Athens; some of the latter were drawn before major "reconstitution" in concrete. We tried to take measurements on stone that were dearly in situ and not part of restoration, however accurate.

67 With regard to PI. Xe, it should be noted that the measurements were taken only a few hours after breaking my left arm. I have no idea if the accuracy of the measurements was been affected by this unfortunate incident.

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

51

construction of the MM IlIB New Palace. A similar style can be seen on the south

of Early Magazine A very nearly in line with this. 68 Surprisingly, the exact line of

wall A can be continued east with the original terrace wall on the north side of the Corridor of the Sword Tablets, and very probably in the direction of the Monolithic

Pillar Basement (PI. III

other successive terraces south of this wall (B, D, F). It is also found on the south side of the North Lustral Area (at PI. Il:ll) and perhaps also in the great foundations north of the North East Entrance (PI. Il:9). 69 In short, tracing this style of masonry may help us reconstruct a phase plan of the New Palace. In addition to the stylistic observation, we can note that the three of the terrace walls on the south side (B, D and F) are almost evenly spaced with a little less than 7 metres between them. The point of making these observations is that I believe that the alignments and spacing of walls are not fortuitous but by design. If further research can demonstrate this for the rest of the palace, as I believe it will, then we are dealing with the design of a single coherent structure. One architect or a group of architects working together drew the plans for a New Middle Minoan IlIB Palace. 70 Later repairs and additions have simply obscured the purity of the original concept. Although there may have been constraints on the design due to the Old Palace, I think these were few. It is at least demonstrable that most of the West Wing was built after the demolition of most earlier structures. Returning to Wall A, south of the modern border of the Central Court, it occurred to me that this could have been the original line of the southern border of the Central Court in MM IlIB. In order to check the likelihood of this hypothesis, I considered the potential size of a MM IIlB Central Court with its western boundary marked by the line made by the east wall of the Temple Repositories. This enlarges the Court (29.5m. by 56.7m. at its central point) but approximately maintains the proportions based on the existing Court (1:l.9). In addition, although the west edge of the eastern border of the court is rarely clear, the median north-south line of the north end of this hypothetical court runs through the middle of the North Entrance Passage as determined by the original east and west walls before the Bastions were

side

in red). Elsewhere the style

of m aso nry is evident in the three

68 It must be stated that the 1987 excavations here (DVII 17) recovered a deep deposit which I would have expected to provide a date for the construction of this wall. The latest pottery is without doubt LM I (not MM IIIB-LM lA tr ansition), a fact confirmed by me in May 2002. I have to conclude that this represents a complete rebuild of a MM lIIB wall against which another wall had been placed for support after LM lA. In TAW III.3, 84, I incorrectly assigned the DVII.17 deposit to MM lIIB/ LM lA which in any case would have provided only a terminus post quem for the wall. The existence of massive LM lA fills in this area is confirmed by the large deposit a couple of metres to the south in D.xXlII.l, some of the pottery from which was illustrated by me in supra

n.29.

69 In this regard it is of interest that the paving of the N.E. Entr ance runs over the southern most foundation wall. If the foundations are MM lIIB, it follows that a LM lA date for the N.E. Entrance as suggested above, is more like ly.

70 I am aware that D. PREZIOSI, Minoan Architectural Design. Formation and Signification (1983) has made similar suggestions using a different methodology referred to in PALYVOU's paper (this volume). There is no space here to examine his interesting proposals which are , at times, hind ere d by imprecise chronology.

52

Colin F. MACDONALD

built (PI. Ill, red line at N end of Central Court). This was not the case when the polythyron entrance to the Throne Room Area was built. If we consider the east-west median line of the court measuring from the south wall A (PI. Ill, E-W red dividing line of Central Court), we find that, on the west, the line runs through the middle of the Lobby of the Stone Seat, just south of the present pillars in the Crypts and ending in the line of the major dividing wall between Magazines V and VI where there is also an indentation of the West Fa~ade. On the other side, the line appears to run along the north side of the colonnades of the Grand Staircase and the north side of the north wall of the Hall of the Double Axes, and on down the hill. Thus, in the original

MM

IIIB Central Court, both the grand Staircase and the Central Palace Sanctuary

were

positioned precisely in the middle of their respective sides of the Central Court.

This

may also imply a direct, though not physical, connection between the two. The

1902 sketch plan in Plate III has been chosen since it appears to indicate the extent of the MM I1IB Central Court was understood in the very first years of excavation. I

only realised this four months after writing the original paper. Looking at the broader

picture, I think all these observations justify the consideration of the MM I1IB New Palace as both a new and single palatial structure designed by a single architect or group of architects. Shades of Daedalus?

Concluding Remarks

I chose to go into great detail concerning the New Palace at the expense of a thorough examination of its relations with the town and the broader region. Such an examination would have been entirely appropriate within the framework of the conference. However, I felt that before we could seriously discuss the relationship of the Palace to the town, and the role of Knossos in Minoan Crete, it was important

to characterize the palace by period, so that discussions can take account this instead of resorting to the usual Neopalatial generalizations. By no means all the ideas in this paper can be supported with incontrovertible archaeological evidence, but most can profitably be accessed on the basis of our present knowledge or form a starting point for new research. I would hope that one basic aim can be achieved over the next decade, namely a wall phase plan of the Palace. This would allow many more people to discuss the palace in an informed manner. My impression of the first two New Palace periods for which we have clear evidence is the following. The New Palace of MM I1IB was built in a single great building programme by an elite group with the consensus and participation of the broader community of Knossos. Enormous resources were expended on a single central building around the traditional Central Court. Access to the Palace was less controlled than in the next phase (LM lA) and there was also broad participation by the community in larger and smaller ceremonies and celebrations, no doubt of both a sacred and profane character. The Linear A script in MM I1IB is fully developed

and sealing practices seem advanced for their time. The outward impressions of the

Palace are of challengingly large proportions and of austere, yet rich architecture expensively embellished in different stones and with some frescoes, perhaps in the more private places.

THE NEOPALATIAL PALACES OF KNOSSOS

53

A strong earthquake severely damaged this New Palace with its over-ambitious proportions. A programme of re-building was then put into effect, but one that succeeded in excluding sections of the community that had lent their support to the original project. This may have translated into limitations on the size of communal celebrations within the Palace as the elite became more isolated within society. This time, the distinctly elite group of rulers may not have been able to harness the full resources of the community for re-building. Some new and impressive ashlar walls were built, particularly with their anti-seismic properties in mind (e.g. the Bastions), but others were built of re-used masonry and rubble (e.g. the second South Propylaeum). Many of the cracked dadoes and stone reliefs were apparently replaced with plaster and some new rubble walls were rendered with plaster and, in certain instances, with large-scale frescoes in more public places, perhaps with a view to emphasising the control exercised by the elite over major religious ceremonies and even to communicate their power more clearly to foreign visitors. These are just some of the most obvious changes I see taking place, enough at least to illustrate that the Frescoed Palace of LM lA was more than subtly different from its MM IlIB predecessor, the true New Palace. As for the successor to the LM lA Palace, there is no concrete evidence in LM IB - just a few walls (e.g. south side of early Magazine A) and stairs (e.g. east-west Staircase) that might have been constructed in LM IB. However, massive rebuilding must have taken place which I think was interrupted in LM IB by yet another catastrophic earthquake, before the Palace could once again be fully occupied and fully functional. This is the explanation I prefer for the absence of LM IB deposits in the Palace or LM IB dumps outside if these had been cleared out. The vivid signs of a large LM IB earthquake at Galatas and Archanes should indicate that Knossos too was hit by this seismic event, perhaps as great as that of MM IlIA. Through all this, of course, at least the West and Central Courts would have remained intact, and if they were focal points of ceremonial and religious activity in MM IlIB and LM lA, they could have continued as such even when the Palace was in ruins or under reconstruction, hence the name I have nominally and controversially attached to this third Neopalatial phase, the Ruined Palace.

Colin F. MACDONALD

54

Colin F. MACDONALD

LIST OF ILLUSTR ATIO NS

(All pottery drawings are reproduced at a scale of 1:3)

PI. 11

Location Plan for the Palace at Knossos with some emphasis on MM IIIB

PI. III

elements. Sketch Plan after D.T. FYFE (after BSA 8 [1901-1902] PI. 1) with some additions . and major MM IIIB wall lines and axes indicated in red.

PI. IV

a)

Plan of SE Angle of the Palace (after PM ILl, 295 fig. 172); b) House of the

Fallen Blocks and Sacrifice d Oxen (2001); c) S. Propylae um, E. walls: MM IIIB (left) and LM l A (right); d) Plan of th e South Prop yl ae um (after PM 11, 691 fig.

 

434).

PI. V

a)

South P ropylaeum , west side (MM IIIB); b) MM IIIB pottery from Cist in S.

PI. VI

Propylaeum; c) Pottery from D.VII.21 ; d) General view of Early Magazine A area after excavation in 1987. No rth Entran ce Passage. a) Plan (after BSA 8 [1901-1 902] 5, fig. 2); b) Looking E. to MM IIIB N-S wall a nd an E-W wa ll knocked out of alignment b y an (?)

earthquake; c) Bastion A (left) abutting MM IIIB W wall.

PI. VII

a)

Pottery from beneath the Bastions of the North Entrance; b) Pottery from the

Cist in the NW Lustral Area.

PI. VIII

a)

Plan o f th e NE Magazines and NE H a ll ; b) Ewer from NE Magazines; c) Beaked

Jug from NE Magazines; d) Ewer from drain in NW corner of the Central Court;

e)

BeakedJugs from the Blind Well in the Court of the Stone Spout (left) and the

PI. IX

H ellenistic Kiln Area (right). Vases from the Hellenistic Kiln Area (KS_ 178) including a handmade jug with Linear A inscription (centre right).

PI. X

a)

Pottery from test beneath the floor of the Room of the Drainheads; b) Court

PI. XI

of the Stone Spout; c) Pottery from below the W wall of the Court of the Stone Spout; d) Pottery from the Blind Well in the Court of the Stone Spou t; e) Working plan of "Wall A:' suggested as the south e rn border of the MM IIIB Central Court. New sketch plan (May 2002) of the South end of the Palace with EDM points marked by red crosses.

11

/ , Theatral Area ," ,\ West Court r 0t::=:::jl~E==203::==E=3==::jSPMetres
/
,
Theatral Area
,"
,\
West
Court
r
0t::=:::jl~E==203::==E=3==::jSPMetres

LM lA South House

1. MM IDB South P.'opylaeum; a: Cist

2. W border of Cent"al Court, MM fiB

3. Room of Stone Vases

4. Central Palace Sanctuary a: E and W Pillar C'1'pts; b: Vat Room c: Temple RepositOl'ies

5. Throne Room

6. Tank and Drain blocked in MM fiB

7. North Entmnce Passage; a: Bastions A, Band C;

b: Ter"aces A-A, B-B and

C -C; c: 'Ea.1hquaked' Wall

8. North Pillar Hall

9. NE Entmnce

10. NW Lush'al Area; a: MM fiB Cist

11. MM fiB Cist inside N wall of typical fiB masonry

12. NE Pottery Stores; a: Vapheio Cups on upper te""ace

13. NE Hall

15. Room of the Drainheads/Olive P"ess

16. E Bastion

17. E-W Stah"S

18. Hall of the Colonnades

19. Hall of the Double Axes

20. Queen's Megaron

21. Room of the Plaster Couch with ?LM lA W .C.

22. SE Palace Angle

23. House of the Fallen Blocks - MM illA

24. House of the Sacrificed Oxen - MM illA

25. Conidor of the Procession

26. "Early Magazine A"; a: D.Vll.21

27. Magazines 1-18

28. Wall A, S border of MM IIIB Court

Central Court; a:

29. Terrace Walls of E Slope

30. Dmin of Domestic Quarter

A

B

c

D

E

F

G

H

K

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M

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10

11

12

13

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J(

roVIfT I

a • I II I I 100 METRES
a
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14

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16

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IV RU8BLE CON JECTURAL DITTO WALLS d

RU8BLE

CON JECTURAL DITTO

WALLS

d

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VI

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VII

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East Bastion B-B
J.II.l
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a

East Bastion C-C

~ !-7 E.I.ll NW Lustral Area Cist b
~
!-7
E.I.ll
NW Lustral Area
Cist
b
L1I ~ ~ West Bastion A East Bastion B-B J.II.l J.II.8 a East Bastion C-C ~
L1I ~ ~ West Bastion A East Bastion B-B J.II.l J.II.8 a East Bastion C-C ~
L1I ~ ~ West Bastion A East Bastion B-B J.II.l J.II.8 a East Bastion C-C ~

VIII

Central Court ;r'1':-"z};/.'}/,??,////"-".l7/ 7 ' /~~/~-"£.1ft/'1f/0~1L/<1}1.~
Central
Court
;r'1':-"z};/.'}/,??,////"-".l7/ 7 '
/~~/~-"£.1ft/'1f/0~1L/<1}1.~
tifter PM I,ftg. 281

b

c e
c
e

IX

IX

x

x a b M.II.S c L.I.4 d L.I.7 o .5 2n1. 1,,11 1 Modem Rubble I

a

x a b M.II.S c L.I.4 d L.I.7 o .5 2n1. 1,,11 1 Modem Rubble I
x a b M.II.S c L.I.4 d L.I.7 o .5 2n1. 1,,11 1 Modem Rubble I

b

M.II.S

x a b M.II.S c L.I.4 d L.I.7 o .5 2n1. 1,,11 1 Modem Rubble I

c

L.I.4

x a b M.II.S c L.I.4 d L.I.7 o .5 2n1. 1,,11 1 Modem Rubble I

d

L.I.7

o

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2n1.

1,,11 1

Modem

Rubble

I
I
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I

\

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\

WallA

----1--

- - - - - - - - - - - ;"'Fil:':',e-;::rac:':'e-;-1.4~2m=-."L--'-4 Block broken \
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Porch
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or space
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ly
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+

South Corridor

 

.----

 

FI

I1

I

T,

,1 '~I-

   

T

= Major Terl'acing

fOl' P alace and Slope of Hill

 

'l'

 

+ = Points measured by EOM

J

,

+s# = MMin

Station s of th e Palllc~ Grid

 

>

)- --

----"1 _

_

_

(points me ns ured a nd plotted by K Kontoyiann is & Y. Ktistakis coul'tesy of the T .A. n .E. A.E. T £XVIKO rpa <pEi.o Kvroooi>. Plan complied nod drawn by Colin Mllcdonald • May 2002)

South

Porch

o

1liiiiiiiiI --" - ---

_

,

t----'-"----'--L - J

_

J.IiI

_

I

I

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=-=- -=--=--_-_-

Cobbl.d

Terracing

?

-------

+S189

Terrac e wall

remond when

South House

co nstru cted

~
~

LM lA South House

Scale in metres

10

~