Institute of Archaeology

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Todd Whitelaw to give BSA Annual Open London Lecture

25 January 2011

Todd Whitelaw

Todd Whitelaw has been invited to present his research at Knossos at the BSA Annual Open London Lecture, being held at the British Academy on 8 February.

The Annual Open Lecture, which initiates the 125th anniversary celebrations of the British School at Athens, will be chaired by Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy.  Professor Catherine Morgan, Director of the British School at Athens will also speak about the work of the BSA in 2010.

Surveying the Labyrinth: the Knossos Urban Landscape Project

Lecture Abstract

The Knossos Urban Landscape Project was initiated by the British School at Athens as a collaborative project with the 23rd Ephorate of the Hellenic Archaeological Service, to mark the first century of the School's involvement in archaeological research at this exceptionally significant site. The project looks backwards, providing a framework to synthesise 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 principal objective of the project to date has been to survey intensively and systematically the Knossos valley, documenting the material record of its occupation from the establishment 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, in 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 thousands 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, and also to reassess, the picture established by the past century of fieldwork.

The lecture will briefly outline the project's goals and methods, and illustrate how even the preliminary studies completed to date contribute to our understanding of the long-term dynamic development of a community which serves as a cultural barometer for the entire Aegean region.

Further information about the event, which starts at 5.15pm, may be obtained from: Jane Gillespie, London Secretary, British School at Athens, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH tel: 020 7969 5315.

Update (May 2011)

The podcast for this lecture is now available.