Charlotte Langohr

F.R.S-FNRS Research Associate, Lecturer in Archaeology (UCLouvain)

Aegean Prehistory – Ceramic studies, material culture studies

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My research project focuses on sociocultural and sociopolitical transformations which affected Cretan communities during the two and a half centuries covered by the LM IB-LM IIIB ceramic phases (1480-1200 BC). It aims at a better understanding of the sequence and contextualization of these changes within the framework of contemporary Aegean and East-Mediterranean societies by concentrating on the main aspect of material culture: pottery.

This is a key-period of Cretan history with, firstly, a critical transitional phase which sees the end of the Neopalatial organization, potential internal conflicts and a new external impetus with major alterations in administration and funerary practices and, secondly, a thorough reorganisation of Cretan society with the disappearance of the last palace at Knossos, the emergence or re-development of wealthy regional centres and an intensification of both short and long distance interaction. The causes and conditions of these important changes remain highly debated, although commonly attributed to Mainland Mycenaean incomers. I focus on a contextual analysis of modes of consumption and distribution of Cretan ceramics associated with social groupings in a series of coastal settlements. Through the examination and contextualization of first-hand material data from the Late Bronze Age settlements at Sissi and Malia in North-Central Crete and Palaikastro in Eastern Crete, and a comparison with published data from other sites, a more fine-tuned chronological and geographical definition of current sociopolitical transformations and sociocultural identities is looked for, as the results of the ceramic analyses will help to clarify not only the sequence but also partially the nature and variations of these changes. In other words, the definition of the developments of pottery traditions and the contextualization of key changes made by their sponsors, producers or consumers may allow us to identify the forces at work in social transformations. Throughout successive inquiries, an explanatory framework of potential coexisting phenomena is incorporated: indigenous continuous developments, pan-Aegean gradual syncretism and local episodic responses to external intrusions. In doing so, I also try to open a window on the dynamics related to the issues of transmission and transformation of material culture within Protohistoric civilizations.


Field projects

  • British School at Athens (2003‐present) Excavations at Palaikastro, Crete. Study & publication of the Neopalatial, Final Palatial and Postpalatial occupation of Building 7.

  • Ecole Belge d’Athènes (2007‐present) Excavations at Sissi, Crete. Co‐direction and coordination of the specialists’ teams and management of the archaeological material. Study & publication of the Neopalatial, Final Palatial and Postpalatial ceramic assemblages from the settlement.

  • Ecole Française d’Athènes (2005‐present) Excavations at Malia, Quartier Pi, Crete. Co‐direction and coordination of the specialists’ teams and management of the archaeological material. Study & publication of the Neopalatial ceramic assemblages.

Choice of publications/conferences (5 max.)

  • LANGOHR C. 2020. Growth and turmoil in the thirteenth century in Crete, in G.D. MIDDELTON, Collapse and Transformation: The Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age in the Aegean, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 87-96.

  • LANGOHR C. 2019. Living apart together. A ceramic analysis of Eastern Crete during the advanced Late Bronze Age, Journal of Greek Archaeology 4, 31-66.

  • LANGOHR C. (ed.) 2017. How Long is a Century? Late Minoan IIIB Pottery. Relative Chronology and Regional Differences, Acts of an International Workshop held at UCLouvain on the 24-25th October 2013 (Aegis 12), Louvain-la-Neuve.

  • CALOI I. & LANGOHR C. (eds) 2018. Technology in Crisis. Technological changes in ceramic production during periods of trouble, Acts of an International Workshop Held at UCLouvain, 18-19th February 2016 (Aegis 16), Louvain-la-Neuve.

  • DRIESSEN J.& LANGOHR C. 2007. Rallying around a Minoan Past. The Legitimation of Power at Knossos during the Late Bronze Age, in M.L. GALATY et W.A. PARKINSON (eds), Rethinking Mycenaean palaces: New Interpretations of an Old Idea, 2e edition, Los Angeles, 178-189.

See all publications here.