Friday, 18 March 2016

The other Cities : ONE _ GORTYN IN CRETE

#gortyn #gortys #crete #greekpolises

One could get the impression from #AncientHistory text books and courses that the only two cities of importance in Classical Era Greece were Athens and Sparta and maybe Thebes or Corinth.

HOWEVER if a city or polis is judged by its endurance and sustainability ...

Let us consider #GORTYN in Crete an urban settlement that has endured since the Neolithic and possibly still does if Ayia Deka was once the Eastern edge of the city?

But first here's the three best images / maps I could find that looked like they would work on a variety of screen sizes.


With runoff from the hills and mountains a permanent river and situated on a fertile plain the Messara Gortyn's location would have a modern real estate agent screaming "BUT WAIT THERE"S MORE"


No signs of major occupation in the Minoan period however there could be remains under the foundations of the Classical and Roman period buildings but that "acropolis" was probably a guard or watch post originally and that road has been the main route west east across the messara plain for centuries!
 It is very close to where the road turns north up across the mountains to Knossos and there are other roads leading to the south coast to towns that were ports with trade to African and Egypt. So a Cross roads So  LOCATION?

The Romans also added aqueducts and  given this was the provincial capital perhaps the suburbs and housing quickly reverted back to farmland cos the city included open areas for stock yards and more than one agora or forum or even market gardens?

I suspect more discoveries will be made in this area if they have not already and been quietly sold off on the black market. Most of the statuary was removed to museums but I also suspect there's quite a bit of hidden Roman plumbing and pipes still carrying water to those modern olive groves and other growth.

When you think of Knossos remember that Gortyn stood for a far greater length of time 4000 years from the Neolithic to the 7th century AD Arab Raids in comparision to a mere 2000 or less for Knossos.

Those are approximate numbers as I rounded them off to include Neolithic settlements and I may actually under estimated the dates.

Greece and the Hellenic sphere of influence is far more than Athens and Sparta or Ionia.

Tomorrow back to bible study or easter cards but stay tuned for discussion of Pylos the ARGOLID and Melos as polises over the next few weeks as well as our scheduled weekend bible study.