Table Proposed Synchronization Of Lm Ia Stages At Kommos Knossos And Palaikastro

Kommos Knossos Palaikastro

(Warren 1991) (Bernini 1995)

Early LM IA MM IIIB/LM IA transition MM IIIB

Advanced LM IA MM IIIB/LM IA transition LM IA?

Advanced LM IA Interval of unknown duration

Final LM IA Mature LM IA LM IA

The presence of a mature LM IA Knossian straight-sided cup with darkon-light reed pattern in a final LM IA context at Kommos further supports the contemporaneity of the two stages.173 In view of the chronological proximity of the advanced and final stages at Kommos, it is likely that advanced LM IA at Kommos would have overlapped at least in part with the interval between transitional MM IIIB/LM IA and mature Lm IA at Knossos conjectured by Warren. The proposed synchronisms between the LM IA stages of Kommos and Knossos are summarized in Table 9.

It is more difficult to synchronize the Kommian LM IA subphases with the MM IIIB/LM IA phasing for Palaikastro proposed by Bernini.174 Rejecting Warren's MM IIIB/LM IA transitional phase, this author instead assigns to MM IIIB pottery groups that contain both dark-ground and lustrous dark-on-light patterned pottery. Without accepting her phase terminology, it is possible, in spite of major stylistic differences, for us to draw rough parallels between Bernini's ceramic phases and those distinguished at Kommos.175 Overall, it seems that Bernini's two MM IIIB deposits from Palaikastro correspond best to early LM IA deposits at Kom-mos. Assemblages at both sites include a mixture of light-on-dark and dark-on-light patterned pottery. Lunettes-and-solids as well as tortoise-shell ripple motifs occur at both sites, and the range of light-on-dark patterned motifs is limited, consisting mainly of spiral friezes.176 In addition, two East Cretan vases datable to Bernini's MM IIIB phase have been found in early LM IA contexts at Kommos.177 Dark-on-light patterned vases, however, make up 50% of the assemblage at Palaikastro, being much more noticeable than in the earliest LM IA stage at Kommos.

  1. Cup C 6501 from the west end of Rooms 20/22 in Building T (trench 52A, pail 43, and trench 56A1, pail 92).
  2. Bernini 1995.
  3. Bernini does not give any stratigraphical evidence and little stylistic reason for assigning these deposits to MM IIIB rather than to an early stage of LM IA. She merely states that her MM IIIB deposits are stylistically closer to the Protopalatial light-on-dark tradition than are her

LM IA deposits (Bernini 1995, p. 59). This is not a sufficient reason for abandoning Warren and Betancourt's excellent and unambiguous boundary marker for the beginning of LM IA, namely the appearance of lustrous dark-on-light painted schemes other than tortoise-shell ripple. I do agree with Bernini, however, that Warren's term "MM IIIB-LM IA transition" is cumbersome and potentially misleading (see above, note 158). Since it is in fact an early stage of LM IA, it would be better to call it simply "early LM IA."

  1. A stirrup jar (C 6654) decorated with lunettes-and-solids has been found in an early LM IA context in Building T (see note 160).
  2. These are fine jug C 6632 with a dark-on-light frieze of lunettes and a light-on-dark frieze with a curvilinear pattern, possibly a spiral, from Room 19 of Building T, and medium-coarse jar C 10758 with a dark-on-light ripple pattern, from Space 16 in Building T.

Bernini's so-called LM IA pottery assemblage, on the other hand, agrees best with that of the final LM IA stage at Kommos and "mature" LM IA at Knossos. Dark-on-light patterning is now dominant at all three sites, and the widespread popularity of blob-centered spirals and foliate bands with central stalks at Palaikastro is paralleled at Knossos only in the "mature" stage, which corresponds to final LM IA at Kommos. Collar-necked jugs are prominent in this stage at the three sites.178 However, a few characteristics of Bernini's LM IA deposits are still reminiscent of advanced LM IA at Kommos and Warren's MM IIIB/LM IA transitional stage at Knossos, either indicating regional differences or suggesting that Bernini's LM IA deposits fit early in final LM IA at Kommos. In both the LM IA phase at Palaikastro and advanced LM IA at Kommos, straight-sided cups are still important in number, but they have lost their painted ornament, being dark monochrome coated or unpainted instead. Tortoise-shell ripple still is a popular motif in both these stages as well, as it is in the transitional MM IIIB/LM IA stage at Knossos. In the final LM IA stage at Kommos and mature LM IA at Knossos, straight-sided cups are much in decline, and tortoise-shell ripple decoration has almost disappeared. A tentative synchronization of Bernini's Palaikastro phases with the LM IA stages of Kommos and Knossos also is presented in Table 9.

Chronology of the Kiln

Dates for the construction and operation of the kiln are based on stylistic as well as stratigraphical evidence. Both the kiln output and its associated lustrous dark-on-light patterned pottery closely correspond in shape and decoration with stratified advanced and final LM IA remains excavated in Building T and House X. What is more, many vases from those stratified contexts, being identical to kiln pottery in fabric, surface finish, and other technical details, must be kiln products themselves. Thus there is no doubt about the contemporaneity of the kiln dump and those stratified advanced and final LM IA pottery groups. The pottery from Building T and House X is currently being prepared for publication by J. B. Rutter.

The stratigraphical sequence to which the kiln dump itself belongs places its date in LM IA, and rules out an earlier dating. A terminus ante quem for the kiln's abandonment is provided by the large LM IIIA2/B fill covering the kiln and dump (Fig. 8; see above, pp. 9, 28). A terminus post quem for its construction is given by the pottery associated with the debris of the ruined South Stoa of Building T, which was stratified below the kiln dump (Fig. 8; see above, pp. 8, 31).179 This pottery will be published shortly as well. It can be readily distinguished from the dump material by its much poorer state of preservation and by the absence of wasters and coarse red slabs. Apart from some Protopalatial sherds, this stoa pottery contains mendable vases and fragments of MM III and early LM IA date. It includes a few dark-on-light patterned sherds with lustrous surfaces that postdate the MM III phase.180 Their decorative patterns (tortoise-shell ripple, spirals) would be at home in the early part of LM IA. A post-MM III dating is likewise suggested by the presence of conical cups of types P and Q, as well as by the absence of polychrome-decorated vases and the

178. Two East Cretan vases have been found in final LM IA contexts at Kommos: a jug (C 7621) with darkon-light floral scrolls from the west end of Rooms 20/22, and dark-on-light patterned oval-mouthed amphora

C 11077 with illegible decoration from the sottoscala area (Space 5B) of Building T (from the part formerly known as Building J: trench 36A, pails 21, 22, 24, 26, and part of 18).

  1. Since excavations usually stopped when pre-kiln levels were reached, little stoa debris has been recovered from below the dump. Most of the studied stoa pottery comes from the areas east and west of the dump. Below the dump: trench 95A, pails 199, 200 (Fig. 8: section D-D). In all, 76 sherds weighing 2 kg. East of the dump: trench 84A/B, pail 49; trench 84C, pails 51, 52. Total of 499 sherds, weighing 4 kg. West of the dump: trench 95C, pails 84, 171, 177, 183, most of 186, 190, 192, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215. Total of 1,201 sherds, weighing 8.8 kg. In trench 95C, pail 186 also contained a few LM IB and later fragments. Some stoa debris was mixed in with the lower pails of kiln dump pottery over its entire area: trench 87B, pails 112, 115, 116, 116B, 116C, 116D, 116E, 117, 118, 118A, 120; trench 95A, pails 178, 182, 184, 201, 203, 206; trench 95C, pail 168.
  2. These dark-on-light fragments were found in trench 95C, pails 177, 183, 192, 211, and 215.

very limited repertoire of white-painted motifs, which consists of retorted spirals and a single reed pattern (on a kalathos). Specifically diagnostic of the early LM IA phase at Kommos are the presence of small local conical cups with flattened rims (type B), as well as the fact that all dark-on-light patterned fragments with lustrous surfaces are of unusual, and presumably nonlocal, fabrics.181 All this stoa pottery and destruction debris was found thoroughly mixed and is thought to have been deposited as a single mass in early LM IA, when the stoa was reduced to ruins.

A sounding (3.20 x 1.00 m to 1.50 x 1.50 m) done below the stoa debris just west of the kiln dump has revealed that at this location it was stratified on top of MM III and MM IIB strata. This sounding uncovered a shallow MM III foundation trench, roughly a meter wide and running adjacent to and below Building T's south wall. This foundation trench has been exposed over a length of 3.20 m. It had been dug into a MM IIB pebble floor belonging to the stoa of Building AA, Building T's predecessor, and was subsequently filled with soil containing Protopalatial and MM III pottery fragments. Below the trench a deep MM IIB stratum was uncovered, which extended north below the remains of Building AA's pebble floor. Thus at this location the stoa debris formed part of a tight strati-graphical sequence. Directly on top of this stoa debris was some kiln dump material mixed with stoa pottery. More important, the discovery elsewhere of pure kiln dump pottery stratified over stoa debris brings the kiln pottery in a direct stratigraphical relationship to the MM IIB-MM III-early LM IA sequence found in this sounding.182

A terminus ad quem for the construction of the kiln is given by the latest pottery from the mound on which the kiln had been built (see above, pp. 8, 31). Very little has been excavated of this kiln mound, and its material is poorly known.183 For the most part its pottery resembles that of the stoa, and it is possible that stoa debris was used to construct the mound. However, the presence of a dark-on-light patterned, in-and-out bowl with a lustrous surface and a soft, pale fabric (62), found in a small sounding next to and below the level of the kiln wall on the east side, shows that the construction of the kiln mound postdates the earliest stage of LM IA and must have taken place in the advanced stage. For it has been pointed out above (p. 91) that the combination of such soft, pale fabric—which presumably is local—and a dark-on-light decorative scheme with a lustrous ground does not occur before the advanced stage of LM IA at Kommos. Also, the ledge rim of 62 is paralleled on an advanced LM IA bowl from House X (C 9675), and several of its motifs (fine tortoise-shell ripple,

  1. Van de Moortel 1997, pp. 238239.
  2. The unit of mixed kiln dump material and stoa pottery at this location was excavated with pail 168 of trench 95C. The underlying pure stoa debris was excavated with pails 171, 177, and 183 of trench 95C. Pail 183 included a dark-on-light patterned fragment with lustrous surface and nonlocal fabric, datable to LM IA (see above). The MM III foundation trench found below it was found with pails 1, 2, 3, and 4 of trench 97A, and the underlying MM IIB strata with trench 97A, pails 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 14. This sounding will be included in the forthcoming publication of the Kommian civic buildings. Its stratigraphy has only recently been studied and is incorrectly shown in Fig. 8.
  3. The kiln mound has been sampled in a sounding east of the kiln (trench 87B, pails 91, 119, 120), as well as in a narrow strip just north of the firing pit (trench 95A, pail 185). In total, 202 sherds were excavated, weighing 1.9 kg.

running spirals) are typical for the advanced stage.184 Its foliate band with stubby leaves thus far has not been attested before final LM IA. However, since the earliest pottery from the kiln dump is datable to the advanced LM IA stage, the kiln could not have been built after this stage. The foliate band of bowl 62 might be indicative of a date late in advanced LM IA.185

The pottery from the kiln and the dump is stratified on top of the destruction debris of the South Stoa, deposited in early LM IA, and of the kiln mound, built in advanced LM IA. It is associated with lustrous darkon-light patterned vases (63-70) datable to the advanced and final stages of LM IA, as they have been identified in stratified deposits elsewhere at Kommos, and it has itself clear stylistic affinities with both these stages. Thus it appears that the kiln's lifetime straddled these two stages.

Even though the kiln output is predominantly decorated in the light-on-dark scheme, and does not appear to include the small amounts of lustrous dark-on-light painted pottery found in association with it, the kiln vases cannot be dated stylistically to the MM III phase as this has been defined at Kommos. Unlike at other Cretan sites, the MM III pottery horizon at Kommos is well known, consisting of 27 homogeneous or largely homogeneous deposits that have yielded close to 500 inventoried vases.186 The kiln pottery lacks a number of ceramic features that typify MM III pottery assemblages at Kommos, such as conical cups with flattened rims, crude bridge-spouted jars, pitharakia, and polychrome-on-dark patterned decoration. In terms of dark-ground motifs, the kiln pottery lacks nearly the entire range typical for MM III pottery at Kommos, such as groups of diagonal lines, dotted circles, dotted lozenges, crosshatching, wavy lines, scale patterns, chevrons, quirks, arched half-foliate bands, thin

  1. With its squat body shape and ledge rim as well as its exterior decoration of tortoise-shell ripple and bands, bowl 62 also closely resembles in-and-out bowls from Palaikastro and the Zakros Pits, as reported by Bosan-quet (Bosanquet and Dawkins 1923, p. 24, fig. 14). This bowl variety is not discussed by Bernini (1995), and seems to be not more closely datable than the LM IA phase in the East Cretan sequence. With their emphasis on tortoise-shell ripple, the bowls fit Bernini's MM IIIB (= Warren's transitional MM IIIB/LM IA) as well as her "LM IA" phase (see above, p. 93, Table 9). The Zakros Pits, according to Warren, are likely to date to the MM IIIB/LM IA transition, but may be as late as his "mature" stage of LM IA (Warren and Hankey 1989, pp. 7778).
  2. Also at Knossos and elsewhere, horizontal foliate bands may not appear before the "mature" stage of LM IA. A tiny jug fragment with this motif was found in the upper level of the Magazine of the Tripod, dated by Warren to an early LM IA stage postdating the MM IIIB/LM IA transition (Popham 1977, p. 193, pl. 29:c.3; Warren and Hankey 1989, pp. 72-73, table 2.5). However, this foliate band, consisting of paired, stubby leaves without central stalk, is a twin to a band found on a final LM IA teacup from House X (C 9775; Van de Moortel 1997, fig. 13). This and the small size of the fragment suggest it could well be a mature LM IA intrusion. A cup fragment with a foliate band from a transitional MM IIIB/LM IA level south of the Unexplored Mansion is likely to be intrusive as well (Popham 1984, p. 155, pl. 133:a). In other words, no examples of horizontal foliate bands come from unimpeachable transitional MM IIIB/ LM IA contexts at Knossos. Among the imported Minoan pottery at Akro-tiri, foliate bands do not appear before mature LM IA (Marthari 1990, pp. 61, 66), and at Palaikastro, the first occurrence of horizontal foliate bands clearly postdates the appearance of lustrous dark-on-light patterned motifs other than tortoise-shell ripple (Bernini 1995, fig. 6; see Table 9).

The in-and-out bowls continue to be a popular patterned shape in final LM IA and LM IB at Kommos, and in mid to final LM IA at nearby Seli (Kommos III, pp. 112, 114-115; Cucuz-za 1993, p. 69). At Knossos they are rare in mature LM IA (Popham 1984, p. 157), but they clearly continue into LM IB with a Marine Style example (Mountjoy 1984, p. 188, no. 98; contra Macdonald 1996, p. 19).

186. Kommos II, pp. 37-41; Wright 1996; Van de Moortel 1997, pp. 225235, 867-869.

Figure 45. Frequencies of dark paint colors noted on an estimated 317

vases

Figure 46. Decorative schemes on 365 cups and pouring vessels from the kiln and dump, excluding conical cups, bell cups, and side-spouted cups

running or retorted spirals, and pictorial, or "finicky," motifs. Instead, its dark-ground decorative repertoire is limited to white-painted thick retorted spirals and an occasional reed or arc pattern.

In contrast, there are plenty of convincing positive stylistic correspondences placing the morphological and decorative repertoire of the kiln vases in the LM IA phase, and more precisely in the advanced and final stages of that phase. The presence of hooked spirals as a decoration on conical cups (19) and a bowl (26) from the kiln assemblage is consistent with a LM IA dating, and has never been attested in a MM III context (see above, p. 90). The dark paint of the kiln vases, whether it is used for ground coating or for motifs, often is fired to a dull red color (Fig. 45), consistent with that of other LM IA vases at Kommos, whereas in MM III dark paint usually was fired to black or brown. A date after early LM IA for the deposit is indicated beyond a doubt by the absence of conical cups with flattened rims and the predominance of type C cups (1-7; Fig. 40). Also the appearance of the collar-necked jug (38-45) and the absence of small, crude bridge-spouted jars place the deposit in either of the two stages after early LM IA. Type D, E, and F cups produced in the kiln have thinner walls and finer fabrics than do early LM IA examples, and fit an advanced or final LM IA date as well (8-10). The absence of polychromy, and the reduction of the range of motifs to thick retorted spirals, apart from reed and arc patterns on kalathoi (32-36), also accords well with a post-early LM IA date (see above, p. 91).

Most of the dump pottery should be assigned to the advanced rather than to the final stage of LM IA. The large majority of type C cups are convex-sided with rolled-in rims (see above, pp. 66-67), and the teacups (20), with their baggy, almost carinated bodies and short everted rims, most closely resemble advanced LM IA teacups from House X (see above, note 89). In terms of the decorative repertoire, the proportion of monochrome to light-on-dark patterned vases is much higher than in early LM IA contexts (Fig. 46). Light-on-dark patterned decoration still is used on a wide variety of shapes, except on fine bowls, which are absent from the dump, and on straight-sided cups. Also several lustrous dark-on-light patterned vase fragments associated with the kiln dump pottery (63, 65-70) fit an advanced LM IA date. Several have soft, pale fabrics similar to those of the kiln pottery (63, 65-66), and their motifs—frequent tortoise-shell ripple, some running and retorted spirals, plant motifs on closed shapes— are those of advanced LM IA vases. The combination of dark-on-light patterning and a soft, pale fabric is found only on fine bowls, teacups, and bridge-spouted jars, which also fits better an advanced than a final LM IA date.

It is possible to refine the initial date of the kiln even more, placing it toward the end of the advanced LM IA stage. Such a date was already suggested by the band of stubby leaves on bowl 62 from the kiln mound, which dates the construction of the kiln and has only final or mature LM IA comparanda at Kommos and elsewhere (see above, pp. 95-96). The surprising rarity of dark-ground teacups and straight-sided cups in the dump likewise accords with a date close to final LM IA, when straight-sided cups will all but disappear and all teacups will have lustrous dark-on-light patterning. The high frequency in the dump of dark-ground closed vessels, such as bridge-spouted jars and jugs, does not contradict a date late in advanced LM IA, because such vessels remained popular in final

There are several indications that the kiln continued to be used into final LM IA. It has been argued above (p. 28) that the pottery found inside the kiln seems to represent part of the last firing load. This pottery differs in some respects from the bulk of the dump material, and these differences seem to have chronological significance. All type C cups from within the kiln and some from the dump have straight flaring walls and straight rims, representing a variety that is typical for final LM IA (pp. 66-67). Furthermore, medium-coarse side-spouted cups (25) and ampho-ras with dark-on-light painted plant motifs, which have been found inside the kiln as well as in the dump, have only final LM IA comparanda. The side-spouted cups are much more frequent in the red and light brown strata—which also may represent final kiln debris—than they are in the dark brown stratum. Also, the fine bridge-spouted jars from inside the kiln differ in several respects from the majority of those found in the dump. They are smaller in size, are provided with handles with circular section instead of grooved strap handles, and lack patterned decoration. No such bridge-spouted jars have been found in stratified contexts elsewhere at Kommos, but comparanda at other Mesara sites are datable to mature LM IA, thus suggesting a final LM IA date for the Kommian examples (see above, p. 75). Finally, several lustrous dark-on-light patterned vases asso-

187. E.g., final LM IA teacups C 9481 and C 9499 (Van de Moortel 1997, p. 260, fig. 13). See also p. 91 above.

TABLE 10. POTTERY DATES FOR THE DUMP AND FOR THE FINAL USE OF THE KILN

Vessel Shape

Dump

Kiln

Conical cups

type C

Adv - fin LM IA

Final LM IA

type D

LM IA

Absent

type E

Adv/fin LM IA

Absent

type F

Adv/fin LM IA

Absent

type P

LM I

LM I

type Q

LM I

LM I

type V

LM IA

LM IA

Teacups

Advanced LM IA

Absent

Straight-sided cups

Advanced LM IA

Absent

Bell cups

LM IA

LM IA

Side-spouted cups

Final LM IA

Final LM IA

Convex-sided bowls

LM IA

Absent

Conical bowls

Neopalatial

Neopalatial

Kalathoi,

fine

LM IA

Neopalatial

medium-coarse

Adv/fin LM IA

Adv/fin LM IA

Bridge-spouted jars,

fine

Adv/fin LM IA

Final LM IA

medium-coarse

Neopalatial

Neopalatial

Collar-necked jugs

Adv/fin LM IA

Adv/fin LM IA

Ewers

LM IA

LM IA

Rhyta

LM IA

Absent

Oval-mouthed amphoras,

plant motifs

Final LM IA

Final LM IA

others

LM I

LM I

Basins

Neopalatial

Neopalatial

Large jars

LM I

Absent

Pithoi

LM I

LM I

The most precise dates are in boldface.

The most precise dates are in boldface.

ciated with the kiln dump (64, 68, 70) show close similarities to mature LM IA vases from other sites, lending support to a final LM IA date for the demise of the kiln (see below).

It seems unlikely that the kiln was used until the very end of LM IA, however, because lustrous dark-on-light motifs, such as blob-stemmed running spirals or multiple thin wavy lines, which appear for the first time in final LM IA at Kommos, do not occur among the fragments associated with the kiln dump.187 Moreover, all of the rope designs on the pithoi of the dump are of the molded and impressed variety, and none is in the form of raised, incised bands, as are commonly found elsewhere in mature LM IA and LM IB (see above, p. 84). We thus may conclude that the kiln's lifetime spanned only parts of the advanced and final stages of LM IA. The stylistic dating evidence for the lifetime of the kiln is summarized in Table 10.

If we are correct in assuming that the final LM IA stage at Kommos was twice as long as the earlier two stages, the kiln would have been in use from before the middle of LM IA to sometime in its latter half. Depending on the duration of the LM IA phase—estimates in the literature range from 50 to about 120 years—the kiln may have been operational for as few as 5 to 10 years to as many as 50 or 60 years.188

Comparanda from Central Crete and Akrotiri

The kiln pottery and the stratigraphically associated lustrous dark-on-light vases that are unlikely to have been produced in this kiln show links with specific LM IA deposits from other Mesara sites as well as from Knossos and Akrotiri, supporting its mid to late LM IA date. Two published pottery groups from Aghia Triada dated by their excavators to the MM IIIB/ LM IA transition show a much more restricted range of lustrous dark-on-light patterned motifs than do contemporary Knossian deposits, and closely resemble the dark-on-light painted vases associated with the kiln dump. One of these groups is the destruction material from the House of the Alabaster Threshold.189 This group resembles the kiln dump in that it contains a majority of light-on-dark patterned pottery. It may be somewhat earlier in date than the dump, however, given the presence of some poly-chromy on teacups and straight-sided cups, and the use of light-on-dark decoration on bowls—features that do not occur anymore in the dump at Kommos.

Closer in date to the kiln dump may be the small pottery group from level IV in Room Delta at Aghia Triada.190 Its teacup HTR 123 closely resembles in shape and decoration our teacup 63 as well as other advanced LM IA teacups from Kommos. The fragmentary bridge-spouted jar from level IV carries tortoise-shell ripple, as does 65, and it has a register of multiple wavy lines. The latter motif does not appear before final LM IA at Kommos, so perhaps the jar from Aghia Triada belongs rather late in the transitional stage. Finally, the reed-decorated rhyton HTR 197 from level IV may be considered to be an example of the plant style, which is represented in the dump by 66 and 69. In view of these correspondences it seems that the absence of light-on-dark patterned pottery in level IV re-

188. Popham as well as Warren is of the opinion that LM IA must have taken about three generations to complete. Popham assigns it 75 years

(Popham 1990, p. 27), and Warren 100 to ca. 120 years (Warren and Hankey 1989, p. 169). On the other hand, Furumark saw LM IA as lasting only 50 years (Furumark 1972, p. 110; cf. Cadogan 1978, p. 210, table 1). In his most recent chronological study, Manning does not rule out any of these estimates but favors a duration between 50 and 100 years, with about 25 to 50 years for the latest, post-Theran stage of LM IA (Manning 1995, pp. 217, 220).

It is hazardous to venture an esti mate of the kiln's life span based on the size of the kiln dump, because we have evidence that an unknown part of the dump was removed in LM IA (see above, p. 41), and in the absence of sufficient roof remains we cannot estimate with much precision the number of vases the kiln could fire in a single session, nor do we know the breakage rate of vases fired in Minoan channel kilns. A minimum life span of 5 to 10 years would allow for the appearance of the few stylistic changes noticeable in the pottery record (see above).

  1. D'Agata (1989, pp. 94-96) has suggested the possibility that this group postdates the transitional MM IIIB/ LM IA stage because of the presence of two nonlocal Vapheio cups with spiral motifs over single rows of dots, an advanced form of decoration not yet found on Vapheio cups from the Minoan Unexplored Mansion. However, more recently, Warren has encountered a fragmentary Vapheio cup with a similar combination of motifs in his transitional MM IIIB/ LM IA deposit at the Stratigraphical Museum Extension site, and thus there is no longer any reason for dating the material from the House of the Alabaster Threshold later than the transitional MM IIIB/LM IA stage at Knossos (Warren 1991, p. 330).
  2. La Rosa 1986, p. 83, fig. 36:e-g; 1989, pp. 83-84.

flects the earlier disappearance of this decorative scheme at Aghia Triada rather than indicating that the deposit would postdate the kiln dump.

A large deposit belonging to the latter part of LM IA has been found in the Volakakis house at Seli di Kamilari.191 Its pottery is comparable to that of final LM IA at Kommos, and appears to postdate the abandonment of the kiln. Some of its dark-patterned motifs—running and retorted spirals, as well as the rare tortoise-shell ripple—resemble those of the dark-on-light painted pottery associated with the kiln dump. An especially close correspondence exists between fine bridge-spouted jar XXI-3 from Seli and teacup 64, which carry registers with identical decorative motifs.192 However, the general preponderance of dark-on-light patterning at Seli, found not only on all teacups and fine bowls but also on most fine closed shapes, suggests a date later than that of the kiln.193 In particular, the use of blob-stemmed running spirals among the Volakakis pottery supports this later date, because this motif appears to postdate the Kommos kiln (see above, p. 99).

Several deposits from Knossos and Akrotiri offer specific comparanda to vase shapes and decorative motifs produced in the Kommos kiln. These have been discussed above in the morphological analysis (pp. 66-84), so only the most important ones need be recalled here. Teacups from the kiln have comparanda only in the transitional MM IIIB/LM IA stage at Knossos.194 On the other hand, bell cups, fine bridge-spouted jars with round-sectioned handles, and large ewers with neck rings are paralleled in both LM IA stages at Knossos.195 Comparanda for collar-necked jugs and amphoras with simple, dark-painted plant motifs may come only from mature LM IA deposits at Knossos, Akrotiri, and elsewhere.196 The fact that the Knossian comparanda for the kiln vases date to the transitional MM IIIB/LM IA stage as well as to mature LM IA corroborates our advanced to final LM IA dating for the kiln's life span.

Also, the lustrous dark-on-light patterned vases associated with the kiln dump have comparanda in both Knossian stages. Their decorative repertoire overall fits best the transitional MM IIIB/LM IA stage at Knossos (see above, p. 92). However, close comparanda come exclusively

  1. Cucuzza 1993, p. 78.
  2. Cucuzza 1993, pp. 66-67, pls. 6,
  1. Cucuzza 1993, pp. 65, 68.
  2. Warren 1991, fig. 10:B; Popham 1984, pl. 141:5.
  3. For bell cups, see Warren 1991, fig. 9:N, O; Popham 1984, pl. 141:15,

16; 1977, fig. 31:a-c. A mature bell cup from Acropolis Deposit F (Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, fig. 35: V.240) lacks a handle, as does 23. Macdonald has proposed downdating Deposit F to LM IB (Macdonald 1990, p. 87), but it seems to me that most of the pottery, except for stirrup jar V.225, fits a mature LM IA date. For Knossian fine bridge-

spouted jars with round-sectioned handles and their dates, see above, note 111. For large ewers or hydriae with neck rings, see Warren 1991, p. 322; PM I, fig. 404:f. The last example comes from the Temple Repositories, dated by Evans to MM III but down-dated by Warren to mature LM IA (Warren and Hankey 1989, pp. 73-74). For comparable mature LM IA ewers from Akrotiri, see note 125 above.

196. For collar-necked jugs, see PMII, figs. 253:B, 349:i; Popham 1967, pl. 76:c. These Knossian examples with their rather short collars, lateral lugs, and single strap handles are quite close to the ones from the

Kommos kiln. For mature LM IA examples from Akrotiri and Gournia, see Niemeier 1980, fig. 27:1, 2, 5. The collar-necked jugs from Building 3 at Palaikastro, recently dated by Bernini to her LM IA phase, are roughly contemporary with the volcanic destruction at Thera (Bernini 1995, pp. 63-64, figs. 5:D, 11:29; for a discussion of Bernini's LM IA phase, see above, p. 94). The dating of amphoras with dark-painted plant motifs from the South-West Basement at Knossos and from Akrotiri comparable to those from the kiln dump is discussed above, note 130.

from mature LM IA contexts. This also applies to comparanda from Akrotiri. Closed vessel 68 with its double-linked blob-centered spiral frieze compares closely to a vase from the Room of the Chancel Screen at Knossos, dated to mature LM IA.197 The probable absence of foliate bands at Knossos before the mature stage supports our proposed dating late in advanced LM IA for the foliate band of bowl 62 from the kiln mound, providing a terminus adquem for the kiln construction (see above, pp. 95-96). Furthermore, a teacup from the Room of the Lilies at Akrotiri closely resembles teacup 63, and crocus clumps as found on 66 also occur on a stirrup jar from the volcanic destruction level at Akrotiri.198 Fragment 69 may belong to a fine reed jug similar to those found in Acropolis Deposit F.199 And stirrup jar(?) 70 resembles an oval-mouthed amphora from the Temple Repositories, as well as stirrup jars from Acropolis Deposit F and from the volcanic destruction level at Akrotiri.200 All are squat in shape, and many carry registers of tortoise-shell ripple. Jar 70 may even have a shoulder decoration of dark-painted concentric arcs similar to that of the Acropolis jar.

In sum, the kiln's output and its associated dark-on-light patterned pottery have comparanda at other central Cretan sites as well as at Akrotiri that support the conclusion reached on the basis of stratigraphical and stylistic evidence from Kommos, namely that the kiln began its operation near the end of the advanced LM IA stage at Kommos and went out of use sometime before the end of final LM IA. Importantly, this means that the abandonment of the Kommos kiln is likely to have taken place within a generation or so of the volcanic eruption of Thera—either not long before or at roughly the same time—since it has now been convincingly demonstrated that the Theran eruption also predated the end of the LM IA phase.201

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