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Crete in the Period of Arab Expansion (7th–9th Century)

Vera Klontza-Jaklova, Masaryk University, Fellow 2018–2019

My objective was to revise the sources (archaeological, historical, and environmental) of a poorly researched and understood period of Arab attacks and final conquering of Crete. In the first phase, I focused on the heuristics of archaeological records in Crete. I created a complete gazetteer and interactive map of the settlement topography. At the same time, I studied the synthesis and historical works dealing with the period in the wider eastern Mediterranean region, and the relations between Byzantium and Arabs. I devoted a significant part of my stay to Greek and Arabic primary sources. I gradually developed a method for reviewing the current state of research, defined the actual questions, and eventually decided on a method for further targeted research. During the academic year, I submitted two studies for publication. I also completed a large part of my monograph The Archaeology of the Cretan Emirate, and collected the necessary data for its successful completion. The parallel (unplanned) result of my fellowship was writing a monograph on the importance of archaeology to modern society, and two other related articles.