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Priniatikos Pyrgos Excavation

Location: Istron, Mirabello, Crete, Greece

June 15, 2009 to July 25, 2009

Session dates: 
June 15 - July 25 2009

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, January 31, 2009

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Program Type

Field school
Staff position

RPA certified



Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens

Project Director:

Barbara J. Hayden, University of Pennsylvania Museum and Barry Molloy, University College Dublin

Project Description

Priniatikos Pyrgos is the primary harbor settlement in the west-central Gulf of Mirabello region, eastern Crete, with well-preserved phases from Neolithic to the Greek and Roman periods. Part of this large settlement is located on a small coastal promontory and includes an industrial quarter where ceramics and metal were manufactured; this activity belongs to both the Bronze Age and the Greek and Roman periods. Excavation began in August 2005, continuing into 2008, and has so far revealed two Minoan pottery kilns; part of a Minoan workshop area; Roman domestic architecture built over Greek and Bronze Age structures; possible small iron-smelting furnaces; and a broad paved road of late Roman date, perhaps associated with a nearby foundation of a Late Roman/Byzantine chapel. From 2007 the project has been operating under the auspices of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens. This harbor settlement is the largest site within the Vrokastro survey area, Mirabello, eastern Crete (see the Vrokastro Reports vols. 1-3, 2002-5), and is the key to understanding the cultural and economic development of the region from the Neolithic to the medieval periods. In 2009 we will be running a comprehensive fieldschool combining specialist lectures and practical seminars with on-site and post-excavation work. Fieldschool students and professional volunteers are needed for every aspect of excavation, mapping, and post-ex work during the 2009 fieldwork season.

Period(s) of Occupation: Neolithic, Bronze Age, Greek-Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman

Minoan, Greek and Roman industrial activity (ceramics, metal); Bronze Age, Greek and Roman harbor settlement; Hellenistic and Post-Roman religious activity.

Project size: 
25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 6 weeks volunteers & staff; 4 weeks fieldschool

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
Experience unnecessary for fieldschool students. Experienced volunteers also welcome.

Room and Board Arrangements

Accommodation will be double or triple occupancy rooms in a tourist hotel within walking distance of the excavation. All rooms include small kitchenettes. Restaurants and supermarkets are also within easy walking distance of the hotel. Fieldschool fees include accommodation and tuition, but do not include travel to Crete or subsistence. Volunteer costs available on enquiry.

Fieldschool €1600

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none
Credits arranged through home institutions. Contact Jo Day for further details.


Contact Information
Jo Day
National University of Ireland, Galway
Co. Galway
+ 353 91 495448
Recommended Bibliography: 

Hayden, B. J., Reports on the Vrokastro Area, Eastern Crete, Monograph 119, vol. 2, 2004, Philadelphia
Hayden, B. J., The Final Neolithic through EM I/II Periods in the Vrokastro Survey Area, American Journal of Archaeology 107, 363-412, 2003,
Hayden, B. J., The Coastal Settlement of Priniatikos Pyrgos, Aegaeum 20 (Meletemata II), 352-55, 1999,
Betancourt, P.P., LM IA Pottery from Priniatikos Pyrgos, Thera and the Aegean World I, 381-7, 1978,
Betancourt, P. P., Minoan Objects Excavated from Vasilike, Pseira, Sphoungaras, Priniatikos Pyrgos and Other Sites, , Monograph 51. Vol. 1, 15-21, 1983, Philadelphia