Friday 8 April



Todd Whitelaw & Andonis Vasilakis
University College London & Ministry of Culture, 23rd Ephorate of Prehistoric & Classical



Knossos: the long-term dynamics of a prehistoric urban centre

The Knossos Urban Landscape Project is a collaboration between the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephorate of the Hellenic Archaeological Service, initiated to mark the first century of intensive archaeological research at this exceptional site. The project looks backwards, providing a framework to pull together 100 years of intensive archaeological research by both institutions, and forwards, to establish a comprehensive baseline for future research, and aid in the preservation and management of the threatened archaeological heritage of the site.
The project has five major components:  the intensive surface survey of the acheter sildenafil mylan citrate site and surrounding cemeteries, the mapping and documentation of all visible archaeological features, extensive geophysical investigations on the city site and surrounding cemeteries, the geomorphological study of landscape changes and their impact on the surviving archaeological record, and the bringing together and summary documentation of all rescue investigations by both the BSA and the Archaeological Service. Fieldwork for the first component was completed in 2008, and initial inventorying of all recovered data was completed in 2010; detailed specialist studies will continue for some years.
The focus of the project to date has been to survey intensively and systematically the Knossos valley, documenting the material record of its occupation from the first occupation of the site ca. 7000 BC, down to the early 20th century.  In three seasons of fieldwork (2005, 2007 and 2008), some 21,000 collections were made on a 20m grid, aiming at continuous coverage of all accessible land within an overall area of 11 square kilometres, encompassing the 1.5 square kilometres of the urban centre, and its extensive surrounding cemeteries.  Some 440,000 artefacts have been collected, and hundreds of archaeological features identified.  In 2010, the initial documentation of all recovered material was completed, allowing a first overview of the project, and exploration of the ways this new data allows us to fill in the gaps, strengthen, and also reassess the understanding of the site and its development established by the previous century of fieldwork.
The seminar presentation will briefly outline the project's goals and methods, and then illustrate how the preliminary studies completed to date contribute to our understanding of the long-term dynamic development of one of the most important communities within the prehistoric Aegean. A period-by-period review will summarise new evidence for the prehistoric phases of occupation, and how this allows us to re-assess previously collected evidence, to develop a richer understanding of the nature of community.  Uncertainties surrounding major points in the prehistory of the site will be identified, and the prospects for addressing them through continuing research will be considered.



Next Seminar

Friday 12 May 18.30

M. Marthari
Raos on Thera...