Friday 20 January 2012

Nikolaos Zarifis
Hellenic Ministry

of Culture


The architecture of the Minoan Sanctuary at Kato Symi, Viannos, in the Proto- and Neo-palatial periods

In 1972, construction of a road from the village of Kato Symi to the Viannitikos Omalos led to the discovery of a very important sanctuary. Many years of excavation showed that the Sanctuary was established at the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. and continued to be used, without interruption, until the Early Byzantine period. While in use, natural or anthropogenic factors caused successive architectural interventions, reconstructions and changes. Of particular importance are the constructions of the Proto- and Neo-palatial periods, which constitute the focus of this presentation.
The location of Sanctuary is related to one of the few mountain passes from the Pediadha region to Ierapetra, while the existence of a spring and the protection of the site from the north-westerly winds were important factors for the selection of the area for ritual activity.
In the MM IB period an important construction, building V was erected at the Sanctuary. The quality of the architectural remains presupposes construction experience comparable to that observed in the construction of the contemporary first palaces. Building V was destroyed in MMIB and, later, in MMIIB, an important complex, Building U was erected on top. The open-air cult related to the Protopalatial building complexes V and U was located towards the north of the excavated area but has not yet been identified.
The need to continue using the Sanctuary after the MM IIB earthquake led to immediate measures such as the radical reorganisation of space which was important for open-air cult. The implementation of this planning included the systematic contraction of Building U in the MM IIIA period combined with progress on the construction of the “Sacred Enclosure”, which, as an independent structure, is unique in religious architecture. It began to be used in the MM IIIB period. The whole structure implies the existence of a central authority for the planning and implementation of these works. However, the relationship of these open-air arrangements of a cult place with a specific building is not clear.
After the partial destruction of the “Sacred Enclosure” during the LM IA period, Building S was erected in its SW corner, thus blocking ways of access from the north, but open-air rituals continued without changes in the ceremony or in the types of votive offerings. Building S continued to be used until the Post-palatial period, during which further modifications took place.
In the following centuries, up to the Early Byzantine period, the Sanctuary continued in viagra sans ordonnance uninterrupted use, reflecting the social changes and the contemporary economic, political and cultural conditions, but these periods are beyond the scope of this presentation.

Next Seminar

Friday 12 May 18.30

M. Marthari
Raos on Thera...