The volume presents the definitive edition of the Bronze Age necropolis of Kamilari, located a few kilometers away from the more famous palatial center of Festòs, in southern Crete. The excavation was carried out in the late 50s by the Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene under the direction of the then director Doro Levi and produced a detailed preliminary publication which, however, left many questions open. The resumption of the study and the subsequent publication were possible thanks to the support of Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene. The necropolis consists of three tombs a tholos, the first of which (the Tholos A), the largest, was occupied without interruption from the beginning of the second millennium BC (Middle Minoan IB) to the end of the fourteenth century BC (Late Minoan IIIA2), only to receive partial reoccupation between the eighth and seventh centuries BC For the richness of its contexts and the extraordinary continuity of use, the necropolis throws an important light on the funerary practices and rituals of Crete in the Bronze Age and represents the litmus test for the interpretation of the social and political transformations that took place in the 'area. The necropolis is distinguished by the use of collective burial still in the Middle Minoan, i.e. in correspondence with the foundation and development of the First Palace of Festòs, when in the southern area of Crete and in general in the entire island, this type of burial is already declining. Equally important are the testimonies of the necropolis during the Late Minoan when, especially in the first phase, the funerary documentation appears intermittent on the island; even in the phases of progressive 'Mycenaeization', a moment in which Crete undergoes profound transformations in funerary practices, the Tholos A testifies to the persistence of ancient practices. The volume stands out for the participation of international scholars who have contributed significantly in various parts of the work. The ten chapters of the volume deal in an exhaustive manner with the study of the three tombs, with particular regard to the Tholos A, the largest tomb, which returned the richest and most important grave goods. The detailed discussion of architecture and stratigraphy is followed by the analysis of ceramic material, clay models, stone vases, seals, bronze objects and jewels (Chapters I-II.1-14). Chapter III is dedicated to Tholos B; the IV and V respectively to the study of the human and animal bone remains of the Tholoi A and B; the VI and VII examine the shells and the botanical material, with particular reference to the charred wooden remains. Chapter VIII analyzes the Tholos C, whose reoccupation in the Hellenistic-Roman period is interpreted as a possible chapel connected with cults of agrarian fertility. The last chapters, IX and X, analyze respectively the funerary practices and rituals and the general development of the necropolis in the context of the Messarà plain. The volume is enriched by three appendices and by an exhaustive illustrative apparatus of ninety plates.
Luca Girella, Associate Professor in Aegean Civilization, Uninettuno International Telematic University, Rome
Ilaria Caloi, Researcher in Aegean Civilization, Ca 'Foscari University, Venice