Tuesday, 31 July 2012


I revisited the Minoan site of Phaistos, as I was last here in 2001, and came away with a better understanding of the site. The old palace complex is established and this is the flight of steps ending at a later wall ('we're on the [stairs] to nowhere' - Talking Heads) with a raised walkway leading to it.

Just to the south are large circular structures that were possibly silos for the storage of grain.

The later west 'propylaea' is very impressive and consists of a landing, a porch with a central column, a portico and a light well. 

The north wing includes the complex of the 'royal apartments'. 

The official character of these rooms is emphasised by the monumental facade of the wing facing the main gate and with painted niches to either side for the guards posted at the gate, which is flanked by half columns.

The main court preserves its paving, dating from the Protopalatial period (1900-1700 BC).

Two rooms are off especially luxurious construction, with walls revetted with alabaster, paving slabs, wall-paintings and flanked by light-wells, balconies and a large peristyle courtyard. 

Next blog post is on Ayia Triada, where I bump into some fellow archaeologists.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Crete Archaeology

I'm off to Crete next week, so look out for some reports and pictures of the archaeology of this beautiful island.