This July six archaeology students from The University of Nottingham will be travelling to the site of Palaikastro on the island of Crete. The project is being led by Dr Carl Knappett (University of Toronto, Canada), Dr Nicoletta Momigliano (University of Bristol, UK) and Dr Alexandra Livarda (The University of Nottingham, UK). The trip includes an international and multidisciplinary team of more than 30 scholars and students from various institutions around the UK, Greece, Canada, Belgium and Spain. The project is run by the British School at Athens (funded by INSTAP and the BSA).
Palaikastro is located at the east end of Crete, a few hundred metres away from the sea. It is a large Bronze Age (Minoan) settlement with substantial town blocks and cemeteries in use from the Early Bronze Age through to the latter stages of the Late Bronze Age, a period of some 1500 years.
This unique, unspoilt site on the one hand, provides the only extensively excavated large Minoan town with no central palatial building. On the other, its location comprises an environment of coastal landscape, peak sanctuary, refuge sites and cemeteries giving the students a rare opportunity to explore a Minoan town in its landscape. This combination of features renders Palaikastro an ideal setting for continued investigation into Minoan urban organisation, and the development of Mediterranean cultural landscapes.
A geophysical survey carried out in 2012 indicated a possible area SE of the town with a large building, thought to be the missing ‘palace’. During the 2013 field season, the excavation will focus on this area. An integral part of the excavation is the systematic bio-archaeological sampling and recovery of ecofacts (animal bones, shells, fish, seeds and charcoal). The ultimate aim of the project is to explore issues concerning early urbanism in Bronze Age Crete and the development of the cultural and natural landscape in the area (c.3000-1200 BC).
Posted on Tuesday 4th June 2013