The making of the Cretan landscape
22-28 April 2012
This short field-course offers a unique opportunity to explore the ecology of central Crete and the historical development of its landscape with Professor Oliver Rackham, a world expert on the island and its environment. Designed for those with a professional interest and the interested amateur alike, there will be a maximum of ten participants. Over five days of intensive study, participants will explore a range of urban and rural environments. Beginning in the Knossos archaeological zone (where we will examine the sites themselves, introduced plants and their problems, and the Edwardian garden of the Villa Ariadne created by the excavator of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans), we will then consider the countryside immediately beyond, with its variety of native and introduced plants. Field trips will be made to the southern plain of the Mesara, exploring its strip-cultivation and the different terrains (maquis, phrygana, steppe) visible en route, and into the mountain plateau of Lasithi with its Venetian field-system, open savannah and giant plane-trees. The course will conclude with examination of the urban ecology of Herakleion and the flora of its Venetian walls. Intending participants should consult O. Rackham and J. Moody, The Making of the Cretan Landscape (1996).
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