History of research
From Malia to Itanos (fig. 1), Eastern Crete constitutes an important research field for the EFA since the beginning of the 20th c. French excavations notably concentrated in the Mirabello region, at Lato, Sta Lénika, Olous, Dreros, and Anavlochos, which received the attention of the early travellers on Crete from the end of the 19th c. When he visited the site in 1893, Luigi Mariani noted the cyclopean character of the terrace walls structuring the slopes of the central valley in a semi-circle open to the North-East (fig. 3). He recognized there the remains of a prehellenic city similar to those at Lato.


 
Fig. 3 : The ancient settlement in the central valley (© F. Gaignerot-Driessen)
 


Excavations carried out by Pierre Demargne from 19th to 23rd August 1929 for the EFA refuted this first impression: beside a deposit of figurines and vases dated from Late Minoan IIIC to the Classical period (Tableau 1), which was brought to light on the steep slope of “Kako Plaï” (fig. 4.C), and a series of Late Minoan IIIC-Late Geometric graves built below in the cemetery of Lami (fig. 4.B), Demargne mentions six Geometric terraces in the settlement of the central valley (figs 3-4.A). The excavator was disappointed by these results, however: not a single complete vase was recovered from the settlement, the lack of soil considerably limited the possibility of excavation and except for one partition wall on one of the terraces, internal architecture was not preserved. Consequently his “Recherches sur le site de l’Anavlochos” stop there.
Excavations carried out by Pierre Demargne from 19th to 23rd August 1929 for the EFA refuted this first impression: beside a deposit of figurines and vases dated from Late Minoan IIIC to the Classical period (Tableau 1), which was brought to light on the steep slope of “Kako Plaï” (fig. 4.C), and a series of Late Minoan IIIC-Late Geometric graves built below in the cemetery of Lami (fig. 4.B), Demargne mentions six Geometric terraces in the settlement of the central valley (figs 3-4.A). The excavator was disappointed by these results, however: not a single complete vase was recovered from the settlement, the lack of soil considerably limited the possibility of excavation and except for one partition wall on one of the terraces, internal architecture was not preserved. Consequently his “Recherches sur le site de l’Anavlochos” stop there.
 


Fig. 4: Topographical plan of Anavlochos in 1929 (after Demargne 1931: 369 fig. 4)
 


In February 1990, Alexandre Farnoux and Jan Driessen undertook in turn a one-week surface survey on the massif. They noticed the presence of Late Minoan IIIC material in the settlement and a massive North-South wall seemingly marking its limit.

From the middle of the 2000’s, rescue excavations have been carried out by the Greek Archaeological Service (Ephorate of Lasithi) in the central valley and the cemetery. In 2012, two new terraces including the remains of a Late Geometric metallurgical workshop were notably brought to light in the settlement (fig. 3). The 2012 excavations also allowed for dating the construction of the terrace walls structuring the slopes of the central valley to the Late Geometric period and the progressive abandonment of the settlement to the beginning of the 7th c. BC. In 2014, evidence for a Middle Minoan II (1800-1650 BC) peak sanctuary was recovered from the Vigla peak (figs 2-4), in the most eastern part of the ridge, as well as the remains of a Late Minoan IIIC building below the peak.
 




© EFA / F. Gaignerot-Driessen

 

Newsletter

Archaeology in Greece ONLINE

Taktikoupoli

Taktikoupoli, Irrigation network of S Lazaros (land belonging to B. Stavros). Maria Giannopoulou (ΚΣΤ ΕΠΚΑ) reports on the discovery of a tiled-roof grave, measuring 1.32m x 0.55m, with a maximum depth of 1.10m. The grave was oriented NS, and covered with three Laconian types of which the northern most and middle tile were inscribed with the letter A (Fig. 1). A skeleton was present whose head was at the south...

....
A collaborative project with the BSA.