Protogeometric Period of Crete

Protogeometric Period (1100-900 BC)

The final collapse of the Mycenaean civilization in around 1100 BC marked the end of the Aegean Bronze Age and a period of severe economic and cultural depression followed. This period in Greek history is known as "the Dark Age". The 11th century BC saw Greece overrun with Achaeans and Dorians who, having occupied the mainland, turned their attention to Crete and established control. These new conquerors of the island became known as Eteocretans and they constructed new settlements in the more remote areas of eastern and central Crete, for example in Karfi Lasithious and Praissos.

The depths of this depression occurred from around 1100 to 1050 BC and, in Crete, it is known as the Sub-Minoan period. The new conquerors brought new customs to the island such as cremating their dead and produced cruder, simplified versions of the old Minoan and Mycenaean pottery. Metalworking was fairly rudimentary although the new technology of iron working was embraced and they brought with them tools, weapons and other objects made from iron. Following on from this collapse of Palace culture and the ensuing Dark Ages, the Protogeometric style of pottery began to emerge in the middle of the 11th century BC and perhaps indicates the beginning of a reviving civilization. A faster potters" wheel was designed and the design of vases during this period are more technically accomplished than the examples from the Dark Ages.