Sissi Archaeological Project in Crete
Greek News Agenda, 08.10.2019
The Sissi Archaeological Project (S.Ar.P.edon) is an extensive excavation programme on a site near the modern village of Sissi, a small resort town in the region of Lasithi in east Crete. The project attempts to unveil the mysteries about the rules of power and the complex structure of Minoan society which gradually collapsed after 1450 BC. The excavations have uncovered ruins of prehistoric buildings as well as other important findings; some of the most recent include the discovery of a rare cist grave containing an almost complete woman’s skeleton with impressive grave goods.
The Sissi Archaeological Project is an initiative of the Université Catholique de Louvain and operates in Greece under the auspices of the Belgian School of Athens (EBSA). Funds for the new excavations are generously provided by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the UCL, the FNRS, the EBSA and the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, des Médias et de la Recherche scientifique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, as well as a series of private donors and the local community of Vrachasi and Sissi.
Besides its scientific goals, the project also provides qualitative training to future generations of archaeologists in a multidisciplinary and international working environment while involving local communities to ensure the sustainable preservation of the site. A first five-year programme of excavations took place between 2007 and 2011 of which the finds are still being studied; summer of 2019 saw the completion of the 10th fieldwork campaign, and with it the second five-year programme.