Dig Sites

Aegean Islands
Iranian Plateau

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Aegean islands

Archanes . Eleutherna . Hagia Pelagia . Hagia Photia . Kos . Knossos . Koukounaries . Koukounaries Hill . Mochlos . MtJuktas . Myrtos-Pyrgos . Omphalion Pedion . Palaikastro . Rhodes . Sellada . Skarkos . Zagora


Archanes (Christofilis Maggidis, 1999)

From Prepalatial to Protopalatal: Defining the Transitional Early Minoan III - Middle Minoan II Ceramic Phases at Archanes and North-central Crete

The purpose of the present research is to define the Early Minoan III - Middle Minoan II pottery phases in north-central Crete, at the crucial time of transition from Prepalatial to Protopalatial, by studying in detail all the ceramic material yielded by excavation in Burial Building 19, and comparing it to material from other earlier or contemporary tomb contexts of the Phourni cemetery, as well as to ceramic material from other Early Minoan and Middle Minoan sites in central Crete, both cemeteries and settlements. The comparative study of this pottery deposit, which is based on stratigraphical and not merely on subjective stylistic criteria or seriation, and of contemporary deposits from other tombs at Phourni, which form an extensive and representative corpus of ca. 1000 vases, will generate first a local typological and chronological ceramic scheme defining the EM III - MM II pottery sequence at Archanes and reflecting, to a large extent, that of north-central Crete; as such, it will then affect the traditional dating of several well-known but poorly stratified pottery deposits in central Crete, thus necessitating their re-evaluation and incorporation into the Archanes ceramic scheme, which at the end of the process will have been transformed and elevated to an integrated regional ceramic scheme.

Eleutherna (Kalliopi Nikita, 2005)

Eleutherna - Sector I: Archaeological and Technological Investigation of the Glass Finds

This grant will be to research glass finds from Eleutherna-Sector I and its subsequent publication entitled Eleutherna-Sector I: Archaeological and Technological Investigation of the Glass Finds. The proposed study aims to explore and understand the archaeology and technology of the glass finds from Eleutherna-Sector I and to define the glass industry in Crete during the Roman and Early Christian times. Scientific analysis will shed light for the first time on the compositional characteristics of such a wide range of Roman and Early Byzantine glasses and glazes and the raw materials used for their manufacture. This will further elucidate the modes of production. The technological features of the glasses will be used to trace possible chronological developments in glass manufacture as well as inter- and intra-site variations in glass compositions. The results will also provide information about the exploitation of Aegean natural resources and a means of establishing whether local production of glass occurred. This will be set within the broader technological and socio-economic context of Crete, the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Eleutherna (Nicolas Charles Stampolidis, 1998)

Eleutherna on Crete, The Geometric Necropolis at Orthi Petra A1/K1: The Chamber Tomb: View Publication

Owing to its location, approximately in the middle between the west and central Crete, between Cydonia and Cnosos, and in the centre from the north shores of the island to its most significant sanctuary on the top of Ida, the Idaion Andron (cave), it was an essential centre controlling the terrestrial root on the axis of communication between east-west and north-south. The importance of the location and its richness in agriculture, forests, cattle-breading, as well as trade which was controlled on the its ports (Stavromenos and Panormos) made it a rich and powerful centre on the island from the Minoan to the Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Roman and even the Early Byzantine periods. This city, with its long history throughout the centuries, was mentioned by travellers of the 19th and the 20th century, but it was not studied until 1928. It was only then that the then Director of the British School of Archaeology, H. Payne, excavated a very small part of the site and published the results of his research in the BSA 29, 1927/8, pp. 224-298. Since then we had only scattered information from finds found by chance in the fields of the Prines hill, but in 1984 the University of Crete decided to undertake the project to excavate the site systematically.

Hagia Pelagia (Athanasia Kanta, 2001)

Study of Historical Conditions in Crete Towards the End of the Bronze Age from Four Sites: Hagia Pelagia, Kastrokephala, Tylissos and Krya

This project involves the publication of material from four Cretan sites, which are vitally important for understanding the historical developments in Crete during the closing centuries of the Bronze Age. The reason that four sites have been selected, instead of one, is that this way, a broad historical perspective can be achieved quickly because of the special character of the sites involved. Indeed, what international research lacks at this time is historical reconstruction of events based on a solid archaeological, factual base, limiting, thus, the filling of the existing gaps in our knowledge by non verifiable theories. The present scholar has experience in this type of work, which resulted in a number of publications.

Hagia Photia (Metaxia Tsipopoulou, 2005)

Publication of the excavation of the Middle Minoan I fortified rectangular building at Hagia Photia, Siteia

Archaeological research in the Hagia Photia plain, a narrow stretch of flat land at the base of the highlands which separates the northern coast of Crete at Siteia from the southern, was until the early 1980s largely restricted to the excavation conducted by Prof. Costis Davaras in the Early Minoan I-II necropolis (2800-2300 BC). There he uncovered some 300 small chamber tombs of Cycladic type, containing chiefly ceramics either imported from the Cyclades or modeled on that tradition, as well as quantities of large obsidian blades brought from the Cycladic island of Melos, the chief source for this volcanic stone. The presence of this colony appears to have been related to the trade in this raw material. Otherwise the area was virtually unknown. The cemetery at Hagia Photia was recently published. (Davaras and Betancourt 2004)

Kos (Salvatore Vitale, 2010)

"Serraglio" on Kos Overview

The Late Bronze Age settlement of the "Serraglio" on Kos, situated 36° 51" North, 27° 14" East in Greece, had a prominent role in the cultural interface which included the Dodecanese and the south-west coast of Anatolia. The cemeteries of Eleona and Langada, located only a short distance from the settlement, were in use from Late Helladic IIB until advanced Late Helladic IIIC. During the Early Iron Age, Kos continued to play a major role in the area. The aim of the present project is to provide fresh information on the "Serraglio", Eleona, and Langada during the Minoanizing and Mycenaean period and throughout the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age transition. Particular attention will be devoted to four main crucial questions: (a) The ceramic and occupational sequence of Kos; (b) Minoanization and Mycenaeanization on Kos; (c) The political trajectories of the "Serraglio" throughout the second half of the LBA and the Ahhijawa question; (d) The cemeteries of Eleona and Langada and the funerary archaeology of the Dodecanese.

Knossos (Colin MacDonald, 2009)

Southwest Houses, Knossos

The Southwest Houses are a group of structures on terraces of the southwest slope of the palace hill. Some EBA remains have been recovered, but the architecture is chiefly of the New Palace period with important, yet modest, Protopalatial remains below including some complete rooms, plastered floors and walls, and assemblages that include clay sealings. Having once been considered physically part of the palace in the earliest phases, it is now clear that they were always distinct from the palace even if dependant upon it in other ways. In the Protopalatial period, evidence of involvement in workshop activities (horn-working and seal-making) is abundant in one house.

Knossos (Peter D. Tomkins, 2004)

Neolithic Ceramics and Stratigraphy from the Excavations of Sir Arthur Evans (1900-31) and John Evans (1957-60; 1969-70) at Knossos, Crete, Greece

The singular importance of Neolithic Knossos derives to a large extent from its well preserved and uninterrupted stratigraphy (Aceramic Neolithic-Early Minoan 1; 7000-3000 BC). No other open-air Neolithic settlement in the Aegean has so far produced either such a complete Neolithic sequence or a sequence that spans the Neolithic-EBI transition. Elsewhere on Crete no other multi-period Neolithic sites are known and as a result Knossos is central to our understanding of Cretan Neolithic phasing, chronology and socio-economic development. The subsequent development of greater social complexity at Knossos during the Early Minoan II-III period makes an enhanced understanding of the later Neolithic-EBI period at the site especially important.

Knossos (Eleni M. Hatzaki, 1997)

Knossos: The Little Palace: View Publication

The Little Palace is a Neo-palatial building (c. 1500-1300 BC) of the Minoan town at Knossos Crete., which was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans in the 1900's. It is located some 250 metres north-west of the Bronze Age Palace at Knossos. This study is the first comprehensive exatnination of the building and its finds ainung to define its chronological phases and outline its history. The book presents a detailed account on the excavation through the notebooks of Arthur Evans and his assistant Dunkan Mackenzie. The archaeological evidence is organized in several chapters according to classic categories of material.

Koukounaries (Stella Katsarou, 1999)

The Neolithic and Early Cycladic Settlement at Koukounaries, Paros, Cyclades

Koukounaries is a rocky, granite hill, rising 75 m. above sea level. It is situated just next to the water, in the great sheltered bay of Naousa, at the northern part of the island of Paros, Cyclades, Greece (Figs. 1, 2, 3). The siting is dominating a valley and river ending up to the bay, and is in close proximity to a freshwater spring. The site was excavated between 1976 and 1992 by Prof. D. U. Schilardi, who brought to light a renowned Mycenean citadel and parts of settlement and sanctuaries of Geometric and Archaic date. At several parts of the hill however the Mycenean and later remains are underlied by earlier occupation layers, dating back from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age, thus between the 5th and the 3rd mil. B.C. The site of Koukounaries provides us with a typical example of the island settlement pattern developed in the Cyclades in the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age (Figs. 9, 10), probably with deep roots as backwards as in the Cycladic Mesolithic. High rocky hills or low promontories projecting into or dominating well sheltered bays, usually with a northern orientation, good access in arable lands and herding areas, and immediate proximity to freshwater springs are the basic features of setting the Cycladians were attracted of.

Koukounaries Hill (Robert Koehl, 2003)

Koukounaries Hill, Paros, Cyclades, Greece

This grant will support research and manuscript preparation for the publication of the Mycenaean pottery excavated on the acropolis of the Koukounaries Hill, Paros, Cyclades, Greece. While its terraces and summit have yielded evidence for occupation from the Late Neolithic to the Classical period, the largest and best-preserved structure is a Mycenaean building that covers the plateau on the summit. To date, over 35,000 fine and medium coarse decorated and undecorated Mycenaean sherds have been counted, representing a minimum of 3,100 vessels. Of these, approximately 1,500 specimens have been catalogued and digitally photographed, and all but 150 have been drawn. More than 200 have been mended and restored for display in the Paros Archaeological Museum.

Mochlos (Jeffrey Soles, 2000)

Publication of the Late Minoan IB (15th c. BC) Industrial Quarter, and the Mycenaean Reoccupation (14th c. and 13th c.), Mochlos in Eastern Crete, Greece: View Publication

The island of Mochlos and the adjacent plain that lies on the coast of Crete opposite it are located in a graben (tectonic valley) flanked by horsts (mountain blocks) on the east and west. As a result of normal faulting, the island and plain have experienced considerable subsidence with respect to the areas on either side. In the Bronze Age, the two were still connected by a narrow isthmus of land, now submerged below sea level, that provided excellent shelter for passing ships as well as a bridge for land traffic from the island to the adjacent coast. The investigation of this coastal plain was always one of the major objectives of the Mochlos project. The goal was to discover the relationship of sites on the plain to the settlement on the island and construct a comprehensive picture of life at Mochlos in its overall geographical setting. Because the island of Mochlos, where the main settlement was always located, is itself solid rock with little or no arable land and no water source, the inhabitants must have relied heavily on the natural resources of the plain.The second site published here, the farmhouse at Chalinomouri, was also discovered in an earlier investigation of the area. In the 1950s, Nicholas Platon, then Director of Antiquities in Crete and Director of the Herakleion Museum, carried out rescue operations and small trial excavations along the Mochlos plain. In the course of this work, he identified two Minoan structures at the eastern end of the plain at Palia Vardia and Chalinomouri.

MtJuktas (Alexandra Karetsou, 2002)

The Sanctuary of Mt Juktas. The Middle Minoan III A-B complex at Alonaki. Architecture, pottery, objects and Character

Peak sanctuaries constitute an important subject for the understanding of Cretan Protopalatial and Neopalatial religion and social trends. It should be pointed out that although dozens of peak sanctuaries in Crete have been excavated and looted, none has been fully published so far. This publication will be the first full publication of a significant part of the Juktas peak sanctuary which, belonging to Knossos, played an exceptional role in the history of Minoan culture. For this reason the site was connected in Classical mythology with the tomb of the Cretan Zeus. It should be stressed that the publication will be based on detailed stratigraphic evidence which is lacking from existing preliminary reports on other peak sanctuaries excavated in the past.

Myrtos-Pyrgos (Jan Driessen, 2006)

The Minoan Settlement at Myrtos-Pyrgos

The history of the Minoan settlement at Myrtos-Pyrgos extends from at least Early Minoan II until the end of Late Minoan IB (ca. 2900-1425 BCE) over four main periods (Pyrgos I-IV), with major monuments of three of these four principal periods: a fine communal tomb constructed in Pyrgos II and used through Pyrgos III and IV; two cisterns, a tower and terrace walls of Pyrgos III; and the "country house" surrounded by a village of Pyrgos IV. Each of these monuments is in some sense unique: no other Minoan site preserves similar Middle Bronze Age fortifications, and the architectural sophistication of the Pyrgos IV main building exceeds even that of most "conventional" palaces apart from Knossos. Apart from needing a more detailed assessment of materials and techniques used, it is one of the aims of this project to present the full study of this architecture and to place it in a proper chronological and socio-political context, taking into account the evidence provided, amongst others by administrative records and foreign imports found on the site. Our aim is to present a final report three years after the beginning of the grant.

Omphalion Pedion (Marina Panagiotaki, 2005)

Omphalion Pedion: A Golden Region in Central Crete

The Omphalion Pedion region is situated in central Crete, between the Lassithi mountains and Juktas. Its name comes from the myth about the birth and nursing of the greatest god of the Greek Pantheon, Zeus; when he was being transferred as a baby from the cave of Psychro to the Idaean cave to hide from his father Cronos, he lost his umbilical cord - omphalion loro in Greek. The Publication will be centred on the archaeological topography of the region, from the Neolithic Period to the Present. It places the settlement patterns identified for each chronological period in their natural environment (geomorphology, geology, climate, vegetation, land use), as well as publishing the material finds on which all is based. The dynamics of the Omphalion Pedion are thus explored. The results prove the diachronic importance of the region and illustrate the way people interacted with their environment in the various periods of the history of the region.

Palaikastro (Joseph Alexander MacGillivray, 2003)

Minoan religion remains as mysterious to us as it was to Sir Arthur Evans, who proposed the first interpretations of the representational scenes in Aegean art over a century ago. These two buildings at Palaikastro, both directly associated with the unique and undeniably sacred Palaikastro Kouros, have shed a very great deal of light on what the town shrines in Neopalatial Minoan Crete contained and how their assemblages differed from other urban complexes. They have also prompted us to explore this urban shrine's possible relationship to the nearby `peak sanctuary' on Mt. Petsophas. Outside of the palaces, there are no other urban shrines or temple identified as such in Neopalatial Crete. The undisturbed destruction deposits in Building 5 enable us to study the two phases of the LM IB period, first identified at Palaikastro, for even greater chronological accuracy into this important time period, contemporary with the Egyptian eighteenth dynasty.

Rhodes (Pavlos Triantafyllidis, 2004)

Rhodian Glassware II: The Hellenistic Glass Workshop of Rhodes

Rhodes has long been acknowledged in the bibliography as a major manufacturing center during the Hellenistic period for consumer goods, such as those transported in the widely spread all over the East Mediterranean Rhodian amphorae, for bronze and marble sculpture works by famous artists, as well as for luxury goods such as glass and gold and silver jewelry. Among these of great significance is the glass-workshop, which has been discovered during rescue excavations in 1965 and 1966 conducted by the 22nd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the American specialist Dr Gladys Davidson-Weinberg of Missouri University. The importance of this unique discovery of the rhodian workshop is highly appraised by the scholars due to its early date, the earlier known such workshop in the Mediterranean, and the fact that preserved evidence about the glass process. and proves that Rhodes was both a glassmaking and glassworking centre. Therefore the study and the full publication of this workshop will contribute immensely to our knowledge about the technology of glass-working and glass-making during the Hellenistic times within the area of the Greek world and the rest of the Mediterranean basin.

Sellada (Photini Zapheiropoulou, 2001)

The Publication of the Cemetery of Sellada, Thera, Greece

The object of this project is the excavation of the cemetery of Sellada at the island Thera (the cemetery of Ancient Thera). The publication of the Sellada excavation will first provide the academic community with a full account of the archaeological data and the conclusions reached, and second will make known a plethora of finds characterized by rich variety. The publication of this hitherto unknown material will fill important gaps in the literature and offer the possibilities for radically new assessments. The finds will be available to the academic community for further research. Those few finds which have already become known have been presented unsystematically and without the necessary connection to the environment of the whole excavation context.

Skarkos (Marisa E. Marthari, 2001)

The Site of Skarkos on the Island of Ios: Throwing Light on the Dark Aspects of Bronze Age Cycladic Archaeology

The Early Bronze Age settlement is a privileged one, situated on a hill in the middle of the west side of the island of Ios, beside one of the safest and most spacious sheltered harbors in the Cyclades and the most extensive arable lands on Ios. It has a concentrically organised town plan, wide streets and squares and stone-built rectangular, two-storied, buildings. The buildings bear witness to an agglomerative manner of construction. The settlement was enlarged by the construction of new buildings which were added to preexisting ones. In this manner were created large architectural complexes or insulae whose individual houses were independent from each other, separated by double walls between them. The buildings are quite sophisticated for the 3rd millennium Aegean. Most of them have upper storeys the access to which was provided by means of stone-built exterior stairs. The abundant movable finds are very interesting and in combination with the architectural remains give a picture of the function of the rooms of the buildings. Each house includes spaces for special activities such as cooking areas on the ground floor and/or the adjacent court, and rooms for agricultural and pottery storage on the upper floor. Many of the artefacts were not attested in the Cyclades until the excavation on Skarkos.

Zagora (Stavros Paspalas, 2009)

Zagora 3: A Geometric Town on the Island of Andros Excavation Seasons of 1971, 1973 and 1974

No other single excavated site in the Greek world can rival the insights offered into the social organization of a central Aegean settlement of the eighth century BCE, preserving as it does a sacred area, domestic architecture, storage provisions for agricultural produce and fortification works, undisturbed by later occupation. Zagora has long been recognized both by archaeologists and historians as a key site in the study the Early Iron Age Aegean. Frequent use has been made of the excavation material published to date in reconstructions of life in eighth-century Greece and the social and political history of the era. It is not often noted, however, in these secondary studies that only a part, less than half, of the excavated material has been made known to the wider research community. The current project will complete the publication of the excavations of the 1970's, and so make available the full archaeological record of the site. That this is an important desideratum is all the more evident given the increasing numbers of less-well preserved sites of the period that are being excavated in the wider region.


The Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
Harvard University, The Semitic Museum. 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-9317 | Fax: (617) 496-8904 | Email: whitelev@fas.harvard.edu