The Role of Sacred Structures in Sphakia and Crete1
Sacred structures incorporate several functions and meanings, and these can relate to memory on various scales and levels. This chapter looks at sacred structures in Sphakia, SW Crete, with reference also to the rest of Crete, during three periods: GACHER (ancient Greek religion, through the Early Roman period); LR (Late Roman, imperial Christianity); and the BVT (Byzantine–Venetian–Turkish period, Greek Orthodox Christianity). In Sphakia there are perhaps three GACHER sacred structures; at least twelve LR basilicas; and over one hundred BVT churches. The proportions of sacred structures for each of the three periods are more or less same for the whole island of Crete. The chapter considers the relationship between the number of sacred structures in a given period, and the scale and type of memory which might be involved. The hypothesis is that the higher the number of sacred structures, the smaller the scale of memory in that sacred landscape.
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