books of the month
Search our site
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

Kommos Kommos V by Joseph W. Shaw


Kommos Kommos V by Joseph W. Shaw

Kommos, an ancient site on the island of Crete, is known both for its important Greek sanctuary and for its earlier role as a major Minoan harbor town. This final book in the Princeton series focuses on the results of several decades of excavation at three of the site's monumental public buildings during the Minoan period. Of these, one has the characteristics of a Minoan palace, a large central court surrounded by wings. Two stoas on either side of the court may have accommodated spectators watching formal events unfold within the court. Other rooms were used for storage. Vessels from the palace, but also, and mainly, from two buildings that succeeded it in the fourteenth century BC, originate elsewhere in the Aegean and as far as Anatolia, Cyprus, Egypt, Syro-Palestine, and Sardinia, attesting to the site's major role in international trade. One of the later buildings is characterized by six huge rectangular spaces that were likely used to shelter ships during the nonsailing months. This kind of structure, from that period, has never before been found in Crete. Equally unique is the range of imported pottery. The results of the excavation are recorded in detail in chapters commenting on the architecture, on the palace's painted mural decoration, and on other finds representing a wide range of activities, including the likely production of purple dye, valued for trade amongst the elite. Well-stratified deposits provide a unique opportunity to establish local ceramic developments and to use them to date events that are being considered in terms of sociopolitical and economic perspectives encompassing the Mediterranean and the Near East. This book, which completes a survey of more than six hundred years of history, will prove especially useful to specialists in the Minoan era and to all students of the ancient world.

About the Author

Joseph W. and Maria C. Shaw, both professors emeriti at the University of Toronto, have worked at numerous ancient sites on Mainland Greece and elsewhere in the Aegean, especially at Kommos in Crete where excavation began in 1976. Joseph Shaw has specialized in aspects of Greek and prehistoric Aegean architecture, while Maria Shaw has focussed on iconography, especially that of prehistoric Minoan and Mycenaean frescoes.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

16th January 2006


Joseph W. Shaw

More books by Joseph W. Shaw
Author 'Like for Like'


Princeton University Press


704 pages


Classical Greek & Roman archaeology
European history
Ancient history: to c 500 CE



Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths