Katie Barnes ’18 researches Bronze Age East Cretan burials
Shedding Light on the Dark Ages:  Early Iron Age Burials of East Crete

The Bronze Age period, spanning from 3000-1200 BCE, was a time of great technological, literary and societal advance. Much of this advance was influenced by the complex trade network spanning the Aegean which connected the Near East, mainland Greece and Minoan Crete. The end of the Bronze Age however came suddenly and by 1200 BCE we see the collapse of most major civilizations around the Mediterranean. The majority of these civilizations did not see a recovery from this collapse until the start of the Iron Age with the reintroduction of literacy and monumental architecture. The intermediary period, commonly referred to as the Dark Ages or the Early Iron Age, is still relatively understudied. Using theoretical approaches to wealth modeling, my thesis will look at East Cretan burials of this period in comparison to East Cretan burials of the Late Bronze Age. I will be looking at several data sets as a part of my analysis including cemetery size, body treatment and grave goods. By using these data sets to compare Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age burials on Eastern Crete, I will further explore cultural continuity, foreign trade and social structure during the so-called Dark Age.