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Land 2018, 7(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7030107

From Town to Countryside: Middle-Byzantine Bath-Houses in Eastern Crete and Their Changing Functions

Department of Archaeology, School of History and Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
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Received: 26 August 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract

The article examines the context of a recently discovered double bath-house complex in Loutres, a site near Mochlos on the north shore of eastern Crete. The excavators explore the broader questions posed by the finding, in connection to both its immediate surroundings and its wider periphery. Its relation to the site’s geography, a ravine on the shore, forms the starting point to address issues regarding its original use as well as its later transformations. The enquiry leads into considering similar structures with different fates in the area and the connotations regarding their relationship to both the landscape and the settlements to which they belonged. The article goes on to discuss the general issues of the historic context of medieval Crete concerning both the archaeology and the information from the sources. It seems that long-held concepts about the abandonment of seaside settlements due to the so-called “Arab threat” are no longer valid. On the contrary, archaeology proves the continuity of the settlements of eastern Crete, both in Loutres and elsewhere. Moreover, the later use of the bath-houses in the area provides evidence for social changes after the 13th century impacting on both the landscape and its settlements. View Full-Text
Keywords: Byzantine bath-houses; medieval Crete; Byzantine settlements of eastern Crete; urban culture of Byzantium; church architecture; Secular Byzantine architecture; Byzantine Mochlos Byzantine bath-houses; medieval Crete; Byzantine settlements of eastern Crete; urban culture of Byzantium; church architecture; Secular Byzantine architecture; Byzantine Mochlos
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Poulou, N.; Tantsis, A. From Town to Countryside: Middle-Byzantine Bath-Houses in Eastern Crete and Their Changing Functions. Land 2018, 7, 107.

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