Crete. Excavations and research projects

On the occasion of the recent successful archaeological exhibition “Crete. Emerging Cities: Aptera - Eleutherna-Knossos”


Free admission | Starting time: 19:00
Priority will be respected (Time of arrival:18:30)
Museum of Cycladic Art, 4, Neophytou Douka str.
Auditorium, 5th floor


On the occasion of the recent successful archaeological exhibition “Crete. Emerging Cities: Aptera - Eleutherna-Knossos”, organised at the Museum of Cycladic Art in 2018, the new circle of lectures deals with the extensive excavations and research projects on the island conducted by the Ephorates of Antiquities/Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, as well as by the Foreign Archeological Schools and the University of Crete, which are active on the island.

To the Lectures participate:
| Ephorate of Antiquities of Lasithi
| Ephorate of Antiquities of Rethymnon
| Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania
| American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA)
| Belgian School at Athens (EBSA)
| British School at Athens (BSA)
| French School at Athens (EfA)
| Italian School of Archaeology at Athens (SAIA)
| Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP)
| University of Crete

The new series of lectures are part of the wider Circle of Archaeological Lectures on the archaeological research carried out in Greece by the Ephorates of Antiquities/Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the other Greek and Foreign Institutions, which is organised by the Museum in recent years, with free admission for the scholars’ community and the wide public. Since 2013, archaeologists from the Ephorates of Antiquities of Attica, Boeotia, Euboea and Phokis have presented a series of papers on their recent excavations, as well as on the multifaceted conservation, restoration and protection-promotion work for the archaeological treasures of their region. 

All papers presented in the lectures are then published in the series Αρχαιολογικές Συμβολές (“Archaeological Contributions”) of the Museum of Cycladic Art. The papers of the 2019-2020 Circle of Lectures will be published in this series under the general title "CRETE".


MONDAY 03.02
Dr. Metaxia Tsipopoulou
«PETRAS, SITEIA: An unplundered elite cemetery of a palatial Minoan settlement. A diachronic memory landscape (2900 – 1750 BC)»

Petras has been investigated by means of excavations and surface surveys under the direction of Metaxia Tsipopoulou since 1985. The residential occupation of the area lasted from ca. 3,400 BC uninterrupted until ca 1100 BC. The two low hills of the monumental context were peninsular in antiquity, on either side of a narrow bay.  For almost two millennia Petras was a “gateway community” for raw materials and ideas from the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as from the Aegean, according to the evidence of the valuable grave offerings, but also from the evident social rivalries played out in the cemetery.

MONDAY 10.02
Professor Alexandre Farnoux
“…. Dreros, Cretan polis”. Recent Research in Dreros (2009-2019)

The second phase of research, carried out recently by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Lassithi in collaboration with the French School at Athens, has led to the discovery of new public and private areas of the ancient city, confirming earlier suggestions, possibly contradicting some and enriching our knowledge of human presence and activity in Dreros.
MONDAY 17.02
Dr. Maud Devolder
«Unfolding the History of the Palace at Malia»

Following its discovery by Iossif Hatzidakis in 1915, the Minoan Palace at Malia was excavated by the French School at Athens until 1935. After two decades of extensive excavations, the site continued to be the focus of archaeological research and soundings were made between 1936 and 1992 to explore the earliest levels under the edifice. Several generations of archaeologists successively led by Fernand Chapouthier, Pierre Demargne and Olivier Pelon explored a monumental palatial edifice, the scale of which matched that of the Palaces at Knossos and Phaistos. The thorough excavations within and under the building and its surroundings in the Malia town outlined a long and complex history of occupation. However, many questions were left unsolved and the Palace at Malia is now the focus of a new research project. This conference discusses a series of new hypotheses concerning the evolution of the building during the Proto- and Neopalatial periods (ca. 1900-1700 and 1700-1450 BCE).

MARCH 2020

MONDAY 09.03
Professor John Bennet
«British Archaeology in Crete - 1894 to the present»

This lecture will review and summarize the British School at Athens’ (BSA) involvement in the archaeology of Crete from Arthur Evans’ first visit to the island in 1894 until the present.

MONDAY 16.03
Professor Emanuele Papi
«Italians and the discovery of ancient Crete (1417-1939)»

In 1417 Cristoforo Buondelmonti, a Florentine friar, compiled the first description of Crete with a map of the island (Descriptio Insulae Cretae: Description of the island of Crete). In the Duchy of Candia (Venetian colony 1212-1669) many antiquarians documented the ancient ruins of the island, such as Onorius Belli. The interest in Crete continued until the nineteenth century with the publication of volumes and maps. In 1884 Federico Halbherr, the founder of the Italian Archaeological School of Athens, landed in Crete in search of inscriptions and in 1899 founded the Italian Archaeological Mission in Crete. From then until today, the School's research has continued in various sites on the island, inhabited between the Minoan age and the Byzantine period.
MONDAY 23.03
Dr. Kostis S. Christakis
«THE KINGDOM OF MINOS. Knossos and its territory through the investigations of the British School at Athens»

This lecture discusses the development of the Knossian city from 7000 to 1000 BC, through past and recent investigations of the BSA. Issues of political, social and economic organisation are presented diachronically together with the role Knossos played on Crete and beyond, defining the archaeological basis for both the ancient myth and the long-term investigations of the British School at Athens.

MONDAY 30.03

Dr. Valasia Isaakidou
«The taming of Crete – bioarchaeological and ethnoarchaeological approaches to the early agro-pastoral economies of the Southern Aegean (7th-2nd millennium B.C.)»

Using the example of prehistoric Crete, we will discuss how insights from bioarchaeological analysis help reconstruct the history of farming, herding and diet in the Aegean. Taking as our starting point Knossos, one of the earliest agro-pastoral communities in the Aegean (settled around 6,800 B.C.) and centre of the first ‘palatial’ civilisation in Europe during the Minoan period, we will explore bioarchaeological evidence for the appearance of the first domesticated crops and animals and for the development in space and time of farming and animal breeding practices, in the context of wider socio-economic developments.




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