Sissi Archaeological Project (Greece)
The island of Crete is especially known as home of the brilliant Minoan civilization (3000-1200 BC). At about 4 km east from the palace town at Malia, the remains of a 3500-year-old settlement were identified on a hill called Kephali, east of the village of Sissi. Located on the coast and on a crossroad of land routes, the site obviously was of strategic importance. Since 2007, it is being explored by the Belgian School at Athens and especially by the Université catholique de Louvain and the Aegis research group.
The Late Bronze Age settlement of Pyla-Kokkinokremos has, since its discovery in the early 1950s, occupied a prominent position in the debates surrounding the “collapse” of Bronze Age Mediterranean societies c. 1200 BC. The short-lived character of the site (founded towards the end the 13th c. BC and abandoned during the first quarter of the 12th c. BC), its exceptional “casemate” architecture reminiscent of Aegean defensible settlements (Kastrokephala, Malthi-Dorion), as well as its extraordinary material culture – including Minoan, Mycenaean, Sardinian, Levantine and Anatolian ceramic products – all contributed to give the site its particular status in the Late Cypriot IIC-IIIA settlement landscape.
J. Driessen, together with A. Farnoux of Paris-Sorbonne IV, excavated for the French School at Athens a large domestic complex dating mainly to the advanced Late Bronze Age at Malia, called Quartier Nu. Publication is forthcoming. Apart from P. Hacigüzeller whose PhD concentrates on Malia in general and the GIS-work on Quartier Nu by H. Fiasse, C. Langohr is in charge of ceramic studies of the French School excavations of Quartier Pi at Malia under the direction of Maia Pomadere (Université d’Amiens).
Palaikastro is an important urban centre in the very east of the island of Crete, excavated by the British School at Athens. J. Driessen has worked at this site since the inception of the new excavations in 1983 and has been closely associated ever since, especially where architectural studies are concerned. Tim Cunningham is very much occupied with the publication of Building 1 and of Area 6 – the latter in close collaboration with Prof. Carl Knappett of the University of Toronto who was on sabbatical at the UCL during much of the winter of 2007-2008. Charlotte Langohr and Quentin Letesson are also involved in the publication of Building 7 and Maud Devolder is involved in the publication of Building 5, two of the forthcoming publications.