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The Knossos Urban Landscape Project

Knossos

Investigation of the Knossos Valley from ca. 7000BC to modern times

Ailias Quarry, Knossos Valley

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. 

Surveying the Knossos Valley

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 hundreds of archaeological features identified. 

In 2010, the initial documentation of all recovered material was completed. Specialist study and full documentation of the material has begun, and will continue for a number of years.

Surface collection survey in the Knossos Valley

Presentations and publications based on the initial assessment of the data are already allowing us to fill in the gaps, and also to reassess, the picture established by the past century of fieldwork. Preliminary versions of datasets and electronic records will be transferred to the Archaeological Service (04/11), to assist with managing development within the archaeological zone.


Related outputs

Publications
  • In preparation: The Knossos Urban Landscape Project, 2005-2010. Major preliminary report for submission to the Annual of the British School at Athens for publication in the 2013 volume.
  • Submitted (with A. Vasilakis): The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In C. Morgan (ed.) Archaeology in Greece. Archaeological Reports 57.
  • Submitted: T. Whitelaw. Recognising polities in prehistoric Crete. In M. Relaki and Y. Papadatos (eds) From the Foundation to the legacy of Minoan Society. (Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology.) Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • Submitted (with A. Kotsonas and A. Vasilikis): Early Iron Age Knossos: new evidence from the Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In, M. Andrianakis and I. Tzachili (eds) Archaiologiko Ergo Kritis 2. Rethymnon. 
  • Submitted: Collecting cities: some problems and prospects. In M. Millett and P. Johnson (eds) Archaeological Survey and the City. (Cambridge Monographs in Classical Archaeology.) Cambridge. Proceedings of the Lawrence Seminar 2010.
  • In press: The urbanisation of prehistoric Crete: settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation. In I. Schoep, P. Tomkins and J. Driessen (eds.), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing Social, Economic and Political Complexity in the Early and Middle Bronze Age on Crete. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • 2010 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis): Πρόγραμμα Επιφανειακής Έρευνας Περιοχής Κνωσού. Προκαταρκτική έκθεση για τη εργασία των ετών 2005-2007. In, M. Andrianakis and I. Tzachili (eds) Archaiologiko Ergo Kritis 1. Rethymnon:294-301.
  • 2010 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis): The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In C. Morgan (ed.) Archaeology in Greece. Archaeological Reports 56:183-4.
  • 2009 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis): The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In C. Morgan (ed.) Archaeology in Greece. Archaeological Reports 55:94-6.
  • 2008 (with J. Bennet, E. Grammatikaki and A. Vasilakis): The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. Preliminary results. In L. Goddart and A.. Sacconi (ed.) Pasiphae. Revista di Filologia e Antichita Egee. Volume I. Rome: Fabrizio Serra, 103-109
  • 2008 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis) Crete: Knossos: Urban Landscape Project. The British School at Athens, an Institute for Advanced Research. Annual Report 2007-2008:19.

    2008 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis): The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In C. Morgan (ed.) Archaeology in Greece. Archaeological Reports 54:100-102.

  • 2007 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis): The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In J. Whitley, et al. (eds) Archaeology in Greece. Archaeological Reports 53:108.
  • 2007 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis) Crete: Knossos Urban Landscape Project. Annual Report of Council, The British School at Athens, for the Session 2006-2007:34-5.
  • 2007 (with M. Bredaki and A. Vasilakis) The Knossos Urban Landscape Project: investigating the long-term dynamics of an urban landscape. Archaeology International 2006/7(10), 28-31.
  • 2006 (with J. Bennet, E. Grammatikaki and A. Vasilakis.) The Knossos Urban Landscape Project. In J. Whitley (ed.) Archaeology in Greece. Archaeological Reports 52:107-8.
  • 2006 (with J. Bennet, E. Grammatikaki and A. Vasilakis.) Crete: Knossos Urban Landscape Project. Annual Report of Council, The British School at Athens, for the Session 2005-2006:36.
Other outputs

Presentations on the project:

  • Lecture at the Annual Open Meeting of the British School at Athens (02/12); available as a podcast from British School website.
  • 2 papers and 1 poster for presentation at the 11th Cretological Congress in Rethymnon (11/2011).
  • 1 paper for the British Museum / British School at Athens 'Knossos Study Day' (11/2011).
  • Minoan Seminar, in Athens (04/11); to be available as podcast from British School web-site.
  • Lecture at the AGM of the British School at Athens, in London (02/11); available as a podcast from British School website.
  • Archaiologiko Ergo tis Kritis II conference, in Rethymnon (11/10, written version submitted for publication).
  • Archaeological survey and the city, Laurence Seminar in Cambridge (11/10, written version submitted for publication).
  • From the Foundation to the legacy of Minoan Society, Sheffield Aegean Round Table (01/10, written version submitted for publication).
  • New Perspectives on Neolithic Crete, Sheffield Aegean Round Table (01/10).
  • Back to the Beginning: reassessing social, economic and political complexity in the Early and Middle Bronze Age on Crete, workshop in Leuven (02/08, written version in press).
  • INSTAP East Crete Study Centre in Pacheia Ammos (06/09).
  • Archaiologiko Ergo Stin Kriti conference in Rethymnon (11/08, published).
  • British Academy’s Evolving Communities event in London (11/08).
  • XII Colloquio Internazionale di Micenologia in Rome (02/06, published).

Funding


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