Monday, July 8, 2013

Cretan Summer Starts!

The Wedding
The Cretan wedding of the summer (in CIG terms, at least) took place last Saturday evening at the village of Mochlos on the northern coast of eastern Crete. Tristan (Stringy) Carter and Deanna Aubert were married on the island opposite the village. Here is the famous Bronze Age settlement that Prof. Jeff Soles has been excavating for over twenty years under an ASCSA permit from the Ministry of Culture. Stringy has been studying their obsidian collections for the publication. The bridal party and the guests braved the high winds and spray to get to the island (and back) for the civil ceremony.

Over 125 people were in attendance. They were treated to raki, a delicious dinner with Cretan food, a fireworks display over the sea and island, many speeches and toasts, and live Cretan music. The archaeological community was out in force, coming from long distances, reflecting Stringy’s many research connections. As Stringy teaches at McMaster University and Deanna’s family comes from the Hamilton and Toronto regions, Ontario was well represented too. A great evening!

Petras house tomb cemetery excavation continues
The end of the third week of the excavation is upon us. After what seemed like a slow, unproductive start, every trench and house tomb now is producing interesting finds. While most of the burial offerings fit into the known pattern of Prepalatial (Early Minoan III/Middle Minoan IA) and Protopalatial (Middle Minoan IIA in Petras terms) funerary assemblages here and elsewhere in Crete, some of them are totally unexpected. Some may well cause us to re-write what we know about these periods. The persistent high winds from the northwest make excavating, doing drawings, and taking elevations very challenging indeed. Our eyes sting from the wind and the dust. Most would agree this is preferable to the windless, very hot days of the second week.

I am trying to finish uncovering the burial assemblages in the room I am excavating. However, more vessels and bone clusters keeping showing up just as I think the layer is finished. I am keeping our two physical anthropologists very busy! Once I close the work for the season here I hope to have time to look at the two Late Minoan IIIC “megara” and associated walls that were constructed in the 12th century BC on top of the much earlier remains.

David Rupp

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