Crete. Excavations and research projects

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


We are sorry to report that, in accordance with Ministry of Health's decision to cancel all public conferences for the next four weeks, today’s “British Archaeology in Crete - 1894 to the present” lecture will not take place. Moreover, and until further notice, all lectures scheduled on March will be postponed. 


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".

MARCH 2020

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.

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.
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.

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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