StorAtlas – Building up an archaeological atlas of agricultural storage in the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age: The Mesara plain on Crete as a case-study

NRRP – Mission 4 “Education and Research” – Component 2 “From Research to Business” – Investiment 1.2 “Funding project presented by young researchers”.


Agean Archaeology and Civilizations, Ancient Economy, Minoan Crete


StorAtlas aims to achieve an in-depth diachronic understanding of the diverse economic and social strategies and technologies concerning staple storage that were carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age (late fourth through late second millennium BC). It aggregates evidence from the built environment, artifact distribution patterns and cultural formation processes to make sense of the way storage areas were laid out and used through their final destruction or abandonment in a variety of contexts. It argues the need to develop multi-layered material understandings of the groups who store agricultural surplus, before attempting to extrapolate larger socio-political inferences from the archaeological record. The data collected will form an archaeological atlas that will record archaeological finds, botanical finds, as well as the built environment that they belonged to and, where such evidence exists, administrative documents, both written and non-written. As a case- study, it will focus on a well-defined area on the island of Crete, the plain of the Mesara, that has the highest informative potential because of its long-established and well-documented archaeological exploration as well as the available outstanding archaeological record, comprising the renown sites of Phaistos, Hagia Triada, Kommos, and Gortyn-Mitropolis. The Atlas will record a complex documentation and will offer a useful interpretative tool for archaeologists and scholars of ancient economy that are engaged both with the excavation and interpretation of agricultural storage facilities and with the study of agricultural surplus in the ancient Mediterranean as a whole.

Project duration:

December 2022 – December 2024

Principal Investigator:

Santo Privitera


EUR 150,000.00

Level II ERC sectors **:

  • SH6_2 Classical archaeology, history of archaeology, social archaeology
  • SH6_3 General archaeology, archaeometry, landscape archaeology
  • SH6_4 Prehistory, palaeoanthropology, palaeodemography, protohistory, bioarchaeology