Bredaki M., Longo F. (in preparazione), ‘Phaistos Survey Project: from the Minoan Palace to the Classical and Hellenistic Town’, in 11th International Cretological Congress (Rethymno, 21-27 ottobre 2011)
The need to extend our knowledge of the settlement area of Phaistós, one of the most important centers of the island of Crete, through a diachronic investigation of settlement patterns and urban development, prompted the Italian Archaeological School in Athens to start an Italian-Greek collaboration in the summer of 2007, in the awareness that a systematic study of the ancient city and the surrounding area could only be achieved through an exchange of information and a close and effective scientific collaboration with the local ephoria. Hence the idea of drawing up a land exploration plan based on surface surveys, archive research, and analyses of materials, to be carried out by a team directed by the universities of Pisa (Prof. M. Benzi) and Salerno (Prof. F. Longo), and the Eforia of Iraklion (M. Bredaki).
The surface survey program embraces an overall area of ca 60 hectares around the hills of Kastrí, of the Median Acropolis, and of Christós Effendi. Along with the surface investigations, it includes measured surveys and georeferencing of structures, a study of satellite and aerial photographs, and non-destructive geophysical investigations.
After an essentially bibliographical study and a first systematic survey of a more extensive area than that of the city proper, in the 2008 campaign a topographic reference grid was created (Prof. V. Achilli) and a systematic intensive survey was begun of a 12.34 hectare area extending northwest of the village of Haghios Ioannis, immediately west of the road to Matala.
A preliminary study of the materials revealed the presence of significant evidence from the Minoan period, a testimony of the existence here of a settlement not too different from the one brought to light at Chalara. For the following period, notable finds include a Late Geometric Cretan aryballos – almost certainly from a burial pyre -, some architectural elements, a black-figure fragment – also Cretan -, and ceramic materials from the Hellenistic period. Among the structures recognized, an especially interesting one was a stretch of a wall found in the north part of the surveyed area. It is composed of two curtains of squared calcareous stones and an inner core of rubble. This masonry has a direct parallel in the remains of the fortification walls visible on the hill of Christós Effendi.
Also noteworthy, although it lies outside the area delimited by the Palace hills and the village of Haghios Ioannis, is a new site found in 2007 east of Petrokephali during a search for the geodetic point of Marathovígla. From the site, which lies at a height of 122 meters a.s.l., one could control the plain of Messará and the nearby hills. On the top are very scarce remains of structures. Many pottery fragments were found along the northern slope of the hill. They are datable to the Geometric period, and hence seem to indicate that here was a so far unrecognized settlement of the Messará, which, adding itself to the already known ones (Festós and Profitis Ilias at Gortina), could help to shed light on the settlement pattern of the Messará in this specific chronological phase.
– Longo F. , Bredaki M., Benzi M. (in corso di stampa), ‘Phaistos Project. Preliminary results of the 2009-2010 survey campaigns’, in Ανδριανάκης Μ. – Τζαχίλη I. (a cura di), ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΟ ΕΡΓΟΚΡΗΤΗΣ 2:Πρακτικά της 2 Συνάντησης (Ρέθυμνο, 28-30 Νοεμβρίου 2010), Rethymno
The research team led by Fausto Longo, a professor at the University of Salerno, Mary Bredaki, Ephorus of Hiraklion and Mario Benzi, professor at the University of Pisa, will present the results of surveys conducted at Phaistòs Italian-Greek synergasia during the biennium 2009-2010. The presentation of the project and the first research results were previously illustrated in the first conference held in Rethymno in 2008. They are currently being published.
The collection of archive data, reconnaissance and surface measurement campaigns of visible structures carried out during these years has launched the formation of a GIS functional marketing and processing data as well as the implementation of an updated mapping configuration. In particular the results of this archaeological survey, the study of aerial and geophysical photographs, albeit preliminary, calls not only for the framing of the building within a topographical village that extends downstream up to the modern village of Haghios Ioannis, but defines the limits within the organized town. The set of geomorphological data, georeferencing of structures known to those identified by reconnaissance or only hypothesized on the basis of recognizable traces from aerial photographs also allows the proposal of some hypotheses on the organization of living in historic times. The report hopes to take into account the results of the excavations planned by the team next October, in order to clarify issues of specific topographical character.
– Rossi A. (in preparazione), ‘For a geophysical and paleo-enviromnental reconstruction of Phaistos’, in 11th International Cretological Congress (Rethymno, 21-27 ottobre 2011)
Archaeological research conducted as part of the Phaistos Project directed by the Universities of Salerno (Prof. F. Longo) and Pisa (Prof. M. Benzi) in collaboration with the Eforia of Hiraklion (M. Bredaki) included a series of multidisciplinary investigations and permit to recover new data that have helped the archaeologists in reconstructing the environmental and geomorphologic context in which ancient Phaistos was developed.
In particular, this paper will focus its attention particularly on the reconstruction of paleo-topographical areas of the ancient settlement. This type of investigation allowed researchers to trace the physical and environmental limits in which the ancient city was developed, especially as regards to the archaic and classical period. Part of this work has been devoted to thoroughly reconstruct the connections between modern and ancient landscape features not only through reading and interpreting 1:5,000 scale maps and aerial photographs from 1945, but also through the documentation available from the excavations. This approach allowed us to draw up a detailed geomorphologic map of the ancient settlement on a scale of 1:5,000 – part of the GIS – and to the develop a three-dimensional model of the soil (DEM).
In conclusion, the paper will demonstrated how the relationship between the geo-environmental and archaeological records offers new prospects of knowledge for the history and topography of the Phaistos area.
– Longo F., Bredaki, Benzi M. 2010, ‘Πρόγραμμα «Φαιστός». Μια ιταλο-ελληνική συνεργασία για τη μελέτη του οικισμού από τη νεολιθική εποχή μέχρι την ύστερη αρχαιότητα’, in Ανδριανάκης Μ. – Τζαχίλη I. (a cura di), ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΟ ΕΡΓΟ ΚΡΗΤΗΣ 1: Πρακτικά της 1ης Συνάντησης (Ρέθυμνο 28-30 Νοεμβρίου 2008), Rethymno, 348-361