Recent Excavations 

Annual Reports:             2010       2011  

    

                                  2012       2013       2014


                                      Preliminary Report

In 2010, systematic excavation began again at Gournia, with the primary goal of investigating the earlier unknown phases (Early Minoan II–Middle Minoan II) of the town. Excavations are planned to continue through 2014. In 2010, trenches were opened in four areas. Trench 1 in Boyd’s dump produced EM II–LM IIIB sherds, including large LM IIIB pithoi, a LM I Palace Style jar, and a Knossian LM IB vase. Trench 2, northeast of House Ea, recovered substantial amounts of Edith Hall’s Early Minoan III–Middle Minoan IA North Trench dump deposit. Trench 3, north of House Ea, discovered a Middle Minoan IIB house with a cobble courtyard. The area around Trench 4 produced two rooms used for storage and work built in Late Minoan IB. These rooms contained a foundation deposit (triton shell, ash, and animal bones) and a large number of storage jars, one of which bore a Linear A inscription. 
The 2011 excavations revealed much more of early Gournia, including an early Protopalatial plaster floor under House Aa; a Late Minoan IIIA:1/2 painted floor, along with imported Late Minoan IIIB stirrup jars and amphoras in House He; a large Middle Minoan IIIA and Late Minoan IA/B cult deposit near the stone baetyl, dating at least part of the construction of the palace to Middle Minoan IIIA; a large Middle Minoan building under the palace; a Protopalatial street north of House Ab with a Neopalatial shrine with an inscribed votive jug and rooms on either side, one with a potter’s bat or wheel; and north of House Ea a Middle Minoan II workshop, perhaps concerned with pottery production.

In 2012, excavations along the north edge of the town exposed a second cobbled street from the Protopalatial period, and stone vase and pottery workshops. In the area of the Minoan palace, investigations produced a tin ingot (probably from Afghanistan), a deposit of decorated drinking cups and incense burners that illustrate one of the activities of the palace, and an inscribed Linear A tablet demonstrating that LM IB Gournia was a fully literate administrative center with written records, an archives organized by sealings, and a system of receipts using stamped roundels.

The 2013 season focused on the palace and the north edge of the settlement. In the palace, we revealed more of a Protopalatial paved court and part of an EM structure underneath. In the north edge of the settlement, we completed the excavations of the Pit House, the Northwest and Northeast areas, and discovered a metalworking area in the northwest.

The final excavation season was from June 16July 26, 2014. The 2014 season focused on cleaning up and connecting areas of excavation from 20102014. In the palace, we possibly discovered more of the earlier street system and that feasting may have taken place in the courtyard. In the north edge of the settlement, we revealed more of the Northwest area, Pit House, and Metal Workshop, and discovered Neopalatial kilns to the west.

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