Anthropology •  Archaeology and Classics

The Plain of Phaistos: Cycles of Social Complexity in the Mesara Region of Crete

L. Vance Watrous
Despoina Hadzi-Vallianou
Harriet Blitzer

The Plain of Phaistos presents the results on an interdisciplinary regional field project (1984-1987) carried out on the island Of Crete. This volume traces the changing patterns of settlement and cycles of social complexity from the Late Neolithic period to the present day within the heartland of the state of Phaistos. The authors and contributors publish geological, archaeological, environmental, botanical, historical and ethnographic studies that establish the regional identity of the Western Mesara. Using a combination of empirical, processual and post-processual theoretical approaches, the volume investigates a central problem - how and why did the Bronze Age and Classical states arise at Phaistos?


Archaeologist L. Vance Watrous is professor of visual studies at the University at Buffalo.

Despoina Hadzi-Vallianou is a researcher at the Archaeological Institute of Crete.

Harriet Blitzer is professor of art history and archaeology at Buffalo State University.


"Based on fieldwork carried out from 1984-1987, this volume presents an exemplary survey of the Western Mesara region of Crete with detailed treatment of its physical and archaeological characteristics."

– Book News, Inc. (2005)


Published By The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press

8.5 x 11 in. 776 pages 140 halftones, 135 figures, 108 tables