Maud Devolder - DAEDALOS

IntroductionMaud Devolder DAEDALOS.png

DAEDALOS. Conceptualising Process of Monumental Architectural Creation in the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age.

ERC Consolidator Grant

€1,876,640. 5 years. 8 researchers

Project description

Most human societies produce monumental edifices, the construction of which required vast amounts of human and material resources. It is generally presumed that only centralised hierarchical socio-political systems have the ability to mobilise and organise countless builders and impressive quantities of building materials. To say it otherwise, power is often deemed a necessary precondition for monumental architectural creation.

This assumption has been integral to many New Archaeological or Processual analyses world-wide for some 50 years, and it is especially pervasive in the study of societies of the 2nd mill. BCE in Mainland Greece, Western Anatolia, and the islands of Crete, Cyprus and the Cyclades. Because of the lack of explicit written sources, the socio-political organisation in most of these regions is still undefined; but their monuments – whether we call them palaces, or administrative or elite buildings – are still systematically taken as the proof for the existence of powerful rulers. However, recent research has shown the incremental construction and the marked heterogeneity in the materials and techniques of monuments in these regions and during this period, far from the material homogeneity that is expected from highly controlled building projects. These observations challenge the predominant view that conflates power and architecture, and DAEDALOS wants to explore the possibility that monuments could also be produced by building groups that cooperated within a non-hierarchical socio-political setting, a dynamic rarely considered in traditional architectural studies.


These are the objectives of DAEDALOS:

  • To generate detailed architectural evidence pertaining to the heterogeneity or cohesion of the architectural features of a selection of 40 monumental buildings of the 19th to 13th c. BCE in Mainland Greece, Western Anatolia, and the islands of Crete, Cyprus and the Cyclades.
  • To analyse this evidence qualitatively, quantitatively and spatially by examining eight innovative analytical parameters, to determine patterns of integration and segmentation in the organisation of the selected building projects.
  • To model the association of integration and segmentation patterns with specific building-management strategies in order to assess graded variations in the organisational centralisation of the societies that commissioned the edifices.

Role of Ghent University

UGent is the host institution for DAEDALOS, sponsoring the research, nurturing the researchers, furnishing facilities, and supplying full support staff.


To be launched soon!


Prof. dr. Maud Devolder
Department of Archaeology
Phone number: +32 (0)9 331 01 67

Funding info

vlag plat funded by the eu.JPG

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union of the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.