Friday, June 17, 2011

Digging in Crete

After a hiatus of six years I returned to active fieldwork for a short period to assist in the ongoing excavations at Petras, outside of Siteia, in eastern Crete ( Dr. Metaxa Tsipopoulou (Director, National Archive of Monuments, Ministry of Culture and Tourism) has been excavating here for over 25 years. The present focus of her investigations is the late Prepalatial house tomb cemetery on the Tskalakis plot on the Petras-Kefalla hill. At least 8 house tombs have been identified so far at this extensive cemetery. A portion of the LM IIIC settlement on the summit of the hill was built upon the southern part of the cemetery.

With the assistance of our son, Romanos, I continued the work in Trench Gamma 3 on the northern edge of the cemetery. We encountered a midden-like deposit from the LM IIIC period with hundreds of limpet shells, ample sherds and many broken stone tool and vessel fragments. As the excavation ended we had arrived at a deposit of MM IB sherds, most likely discarded from ceremonies connected with the house tombs that lie to the south. While we did not have a house tomb in our trench with the large quantity of skeletal remains and the numerous grave offerings, the challenges of defining one thin stratum from another was rewarding. As always the lovely view of the Gulf of Siteia makes up for the dirt and the heat!

Book of the Blog
This feature will take a summer recess and return in September. In the meantime, we await the donations of your books, monographs and edited volumes. They will be featured here!

David Rupp


  1. wonderful! what was the find of the season?

  2. The find of the season? More house tombs and more burials.