The small site of Aphrodite's Kephali, among several other Minoan and later sites, took advantage of the valley topography in the Isthmus of Ierapetra in eastern Crete by establishing themselves along the nearby hills, resulting in easy access to the natural trade route between the Aegean and the Libyan Seas. A discussion of the architecture, artifacts, and ecofacts are presented from the excavation of this Early Minoan I watchtower. The conclusions challenge some of the commonly held views about Crete in the third millennium B.C. It is suggested that rather than being a precursor to a socially complex state that would arise later, early polities involving several communities probably already existed in the isthmus during the EM I period. Social and economic differentiation existed on a regional, not just a local level, and decisions for mutual defense could involve collaboration by groups of workers, including the building of the watchtower that is the focus of this volume.
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