Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2012

5 October 2012

Petras, Siteia – 25 years of excavations and studies

Edited by Metaxia Tsipopoulou

Petras, Siteia – 25 years of excavations and studies

City: Athens

Year: 2012

Publisher: The Danish Institute at Athens

Series: Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens, vol. 16

Description: Hardback, 364 p., 4 colour and numerous b/w figures, drawings, maps, 28x21 cm

Acts of a two-day conference held at the Danish Institute at Athens, 9-10 October 2010


The conference was hosted at the Danish Institute at Athens in October 2010, on the occasion of the 25 years of excavations and studies at the Minoan palatial site of Petras, Siteia (1985-2010). A team of scholars from six countries (Greece, United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, USA and Canada) participated and presented material from the settlement, the palace and the cemetery. The settlement, and the Proto- and Neopalatial Palace, which has produced the best preserved hieroglyphic archives (Tsipopoulou & Hallager 2010) were excavated by 2000. In 2002-2004 a Final Neolithic / EM I settlement was excavated on the Kephala hill. This settlement is of a particular interest for detecting external relations within the island of Crete and beyond, as well as population movements, and early metallurgy. From 2004 onwards on the Kephala hill an unplundered cemetery of the EM I – MM IIA periods is being excavated. The cemetery consists of large and complex House Tombs, with primary and secondary burials and a rock shelter used as an ossuary. The cemetery produces large quantities of pottery and skeletal material,  and also clearly elite grave goods (stone vessels, metal tools, silver and gold jewelry, as well as unique in terms of artistic and historical value  seals made of bone and hard stones). This rare opportunity of excavating a settlement, a Palace and the related cemetery contributes to the better understanding of the conditions that led to the creation of the Minoan palaces; therefore the importance of the excavation of Petras exceeds the boundaries of eastern Crete.

Besides specialized articles, the volume contains an extensive introduction where the history of the excavations and the outreach activities are presented, as well as an article on the website of Petras. The volume also publishes the discussions at the end of each paper, the extensive final discussion and a final concluding chapter by Peter Warren.


List of contributors [11]

Metaxia Tsipopoulou, ‘Preface’ [13]

Abbreviations [15]

Bibliography [16]

Erik Hallager, ‘Greetings’ [43]

Metaxia Tsipopoulou, ‘Introduction: 25 years of excavations and studies at Petras’ [45-68]

I. The earliest occupation: FN-EM I Kephala

Yiannis Papadatos, ‘Back to the beginnings: the earliest habitation at Petras on the basis of the evidence from the FN-EM I settlement on Kephala’ [69-79]

Eleni Nodarou, ‘Pottery fabrics and recipes in the Final Neolithic and Early Minoan I period: the analytical evidence from the settlement and the Rock Shelter of Kephala Petras’ [81-88]

Tatiana Theodoropoulou, ‘Neolithic and Minoan marine exploitation at Petras: diachronic trends and cultural shifts’ [89-103]

Cesare D’Annibale, ‘Obsidian modes of production and consumption from a diachronic perspective as seen from Petras and the Siteia Bay environs’ (abstract) [105]

II. The Prepalatial-early Protopalatial cemetery

Philip P. Betancourt, ‘The architecture of the house tombs at Petras’ [107-116]

Metaxia Tsipopoulou, ‘The Prepalatial-early Protopalatial cemetery at Petras, Siteia: a diachronic symbol of social coherence’ [117-131]

Susan C. Ferrence, James D. Muhly and Philip P. Betancourt, ‘Affluence in eastern Crete: metal objects from the cemetery of Petras’ [133-143]

Olga Krzyszkowska, ‘Seals from the Petras cemetery: a preliminary overview’ [145-160]

Sevasti Triantaphyllou, ‘Kephala Petras: the human remains and the burial practices in the Rock Shelter’ [161-170]

Heidi M.C. Dierckx, ‘Size does matter: the significance of obsidian microliths and querns at the Petras cemetery’ [171-177]

III. The transition from the Prepalatial to the Protopalatial

Metaxia Tsipopoulou, ‘Defining the end of the Prepalatial at Petras’ [179-190]

Donald C. Haggis, ‘The Lakkos pottery and Middle Minoan IB Petras’ [191-204]

IV. Neopalatial Petras

Kostis S. Christakis, ‘Petras, Siteia: political, economic and ideological trajectories of a polity’ [205-219]

Nektaria Mavroudi, ‘House II.1 at Petras, Siteia: its architectural life’ [221-233]

Maria Emanuela Alberti, ‘Vessels in cooking fabrics from Petras House I.1 (LM IA): overview and capacity measures’ [235-254]

Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw, ‘Miniature vessels from Petras’ [255-264]

Erik Hallager, ‘Literacy at Petras and three hitherto unpublished Linear A inscriptions’ [265-275]

David W. Rupp, ‘Death in Petras: two men fighting on a LM IA lentoid seal’ [277-289]

Photini J.P. McGeorge, ‘The Petras intamural infant jar burial: context, symbolism, eschatology’ [291-304]

David W. Rupp and Metaxia Tsipopoulou, ‘Priestess? at work. A LM IA chlorite schist lentoid seal from the Neopalatial settlement of Petras’ [305-314]

V. The Byzantine cemetery

Natalia Poulou-Papadimitriou, ‘Pottery of the middle Byzantine period and the first centuries of the Venetian occupation from Petras, Siteia’ [315-326]

VI. The Siteia Bay area

Chrysa Sofianou and Thomas M. Brogan, ‘Papadiokampos and the Siteia Bay in the second millennium BC: exploring patterns of regional hierarchy and exchange in eastern Crete’ [327-340]


Konstantinos Togias, ‘The website’ [341-345]

VIII. Final discussion

J. Alexander MacGillivray, ‘Final discussion’ [347-353]

IX. Concluding remarks

Peter M. Warren, ‘Petras in context: localism, regionalism, internationalism’ [355-359]

X. Index


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