A webinar by Laura Ursprung Nerling, doctoral candidate in the Dept. of Ancient Mediterranean Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, highlighted the results of her study of Prepalatial and Protopalatial larnakes from Crete. She noted that the corpus has its own biography which has long been ignored, passed over, or forgotten. The larnakes represent the beginning of a ceramic mortuary tradition that spans a millennium and eventually crosses the Aegean at select locations on mainland Greece. Their appearance at such a crucial moment in Minoan history (the EM III – MM IA transition) has provided fodder for interpretations of individualism on Crete, thus replacing the communal ideology so prevalent in the Minoan mortuary landscapes and built urban environments.
In her presentation Laura provided a synopsis of Prepalatial and Protopalatial larnakes, their contexts, the associated funerary assemblages, and the regional implications made apparent throughout the course of her research. The results of her study conclude that the larnax operated within an interwoven communal tradition that embodied not a single individual but the collective as a whole.