Palaikastro, Crete


Building 4 and Building 5 (with modern roof) of the new excavations at Palaikastro, Petsophas, in the background. Photograph by Bruce Schwarz

During the Bronze Age (ca. 3000–1050 B.C.), Palaikastro, in eastern Crete, was the site of a major Minoan town, which at its height in the middle of the fifteenth century B.C. was one of the largest settlements on the island. Later, in ancient Greek and Roman times, it became the site of one of the most important sanctuaries to Zeus, known as the Diktaian sanctuary, on Crete.

The Palaikastro excavations operate under the auspices of the British School at Athens, with the permission of the Greek Ministry of Culture. The British School began excavations at Palaikastro in the early twentieth century with a five-year campaign between 1902 and 1906 and returned in the 1960s. A subsequent campaign of survey and excavation between 1983 and 2003 yielded a wealth of information about the site that is the subject of current ongoing study for publication.

The directors of the excavation are Carl Knappett, J. Alexander MacGillivray, and L. Hugh Sackett. Seán Hemingway, curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Art, is a senior member of the international research team and has been involved in the excavation and study of the site since 1988.

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