A “landscape of memory” Knossos in the Early Iron Age

During the Early Iron Age, people dwelled among the ruins of the palace at Knossos in what we may refer to as a “landscape of memory”, one imbued with the collective memories of a bygone era.

“What made you want to come here?” A few years ago I took it upon myself to start a long-running, intermittent, and entirely unscientific survey by asking this question of people I met on visits to archaeological sites in Greece.

The different answers were as numerous as the people I asked. Some were short: “I didn’t,” was the response of one sulky teenager dragged along by her grandparents. Some were detailed: archaeological colleagues would outline the research outcomes they hoped to achieve by visiting a particular site, some at more length than others.

From the neophyte tourist to all but the most hard-nosed archaeologist, almost everyone uttered some version of, “There’s just something special about being here amongst the ruins”.

So what is it about ruins? Much has been written about their significance – they have attracted the attention of anthropologists and sociologists as well as archaeologists and art historians – but a common idea is that people find ruins special because they somehow bend the rules of time and space. To be amongst them is to place yourself in the past, but by their very nature ruins belong to the present. They are what is left when that past has gone.

For more information: https://www.ancientworldmagazine.com/articles/landscape-memory-knossos-early-iron-age/