New paper! Diet and Resource Management in Palaikastro: Insights into Bronze Age Economy

Join us on an archaeological journey to the Minoan city of Palaikastro in eastern Crete, as we explore the recently published research paper on the management of diet and natural resources (Gestió de la dieta i dels recursos naturals a la ciutat minoica de Palaikastro).

Through the ‘Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro’ (PALAP) project, a comprehensive study incorporating bioarchaeological, paleoenvironmental, and landscape analyses, new insights have been gained about this Bronze Age civilisation. Discover how the city’s history, economic activities, and resource utilisation shaped the emergence of complex Minoan societies during this era.

The study indicates that Palaikastro was already inhabited during the Neolithic period, with evidence of a long-standing history. The city’s growth was supported by the management of olive cultivation and ovicaprine farming, which formed the basis of its economy. Coastal resources also played a significant role in Palaikastro’s economy. The city skillfully utilised the bounties of the sea for subsistence and trade. Purple dye, a prized commodity in Minoan culture, was produced further enhancing the city’s economic significance.

The findings of the study provide insights into Palaikastro’s local economy, contributing to our understanding of the urbanisation process and the development of complex Minoan societies during the Bronze Age. The findings deepen our understanding of the emergence of complex Minoan societies and their economic foundations. By unraveling the secrets of Palaikastro’s resource management, we gain valuable insights into the fascinating world of the Bronze Age civilisation and its contributions to the historical tapestry of Minoan culture.

An earlier version of this paper was first presented at the Tribuna d’Arqueologia in February 2019, which is an annual conference organised by the ‘Servei de Patrimoni Arqueològic i Paleontològic’ of the ‘Direcció General del Patrimoni Cultural del Departament de Cultura’. See 

Full reference:

Livarda, A., Picornell-Gelabert, Ll., Tzevelekidi, V., Veropoulidou, R., Orengo, H.A., Cañellas-Boltà, N., Riera-Mora, S., Marlasca, R., Tsoraki, C., Krahtopoulou, A., Kriti, A. 2023. Gestió de la dieta i dels recursos naturals a la ciutat minoica de Palaikastro (est de Creta).Tribuna d’Arqueologia 2019-2020.


Dr Livarda is a Ramón y Cajal researcher funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (RyC-2017-22105) and was further supported by an I+D+i grant (PID2019-107605GB-100). The PALAP project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant on ‘Urbanization in Bronze Age Crete: between palace and landscape at Palaikastro’ (2014–16), The Institute for Aegean Prehistory.

Learn more about the PALAP project:

More publications on the topic:

  • Livarda A., Tzevelekidi V., Veropoulidou R. and Marlasca Martín, R. 2023. Archaeobotanical and Zooarchaeological (Large Mammal Bone, Shell and Fish Remains) Data from the ‘Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro’ (PALAP) Excavation Project, Crete, Greece. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 11(7): 1–5. DOI:
  • Livarda, A., Orengo, H.A., Cañellas-Boltà, N., Riera-Mora, S., Picornell-Gelabert, Ll., Tzevelekidi, V., Veropoulidou, R., Marlasca Martín, R. and Krahtopoulou, A. 2021. Mediterranean polyculture revisited: olive, grape and subsistence strategies at Palaikastro, East Crete, between the Late Neolithic and Late Bronze Age. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 61: 101271
  • Cañellas-Boltà, N., Riera-Mora, S., Orengo, H.A., Livarda, A., Knappett, C. 2018. Human management and landscape changes at Palaikastro (Eastern Crete) from the Late Neolithic to the Early Minoan period. Quaternary Science Reviews 183, 59–75.
  • Orengo, H.A. and Knappett, C. 2018. Towards a definition of Minoan agro-pastoral landscapes: results of the survey at Palaikastro (Crete). American Journal of Archaeology, 122(3): 479-507.

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