Page 25 - SMCK Magazine #4
P. 25

 Interview by Loukia Richards
SMCK: Please tell our readers a few things about the Petras excavation.
MT: The monumental complex at Petras, Siteia, in eastern Crete extends on two neighboring coastal hills, 60 and 80 m. high respectively, which were promontories in antiquity to the southwest and the southeast of a deep and narrow bay which is covered by soil brought in by a small river.
Petras is situated two kms east of the modern town of Siteia and is investigated through excavations and intensive surface surveys since 1985, under my direction, as a systematic re- search project of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Human pre- sence at Petras is attested since the Final Neolithic period (ca 3400 BC), and continued uninterrupted to the end of the Bronze Age (ca 1100 BC).
At Petras we had the very rare chance to excavate both a Mi- noan palace and part of the surrounding urban settlement, in- habited between 2650 and 1200 BC, as well as two more sett- lements, the first one of the Final Neolithic (3400-3100 BC) and Early Minoan I (3100-2650 BC), and the second one dated to the Late Minoan III period (1400-1100 BC). Further- more, on the remains of the Minoan palace, a Byzantine ceme- tery was established in the 12th and 13th centuries AD.
Hill I of Petras, where the palace, main settlement, and Byzantine cemetery are situated is an organized archaeological site open to the public since 2006. It has stone paths, shaded areas with benches, hygiene facilities, and 26 large signs where one can read the history of the site and detailed information on all areas and periods of human activity. There is a guard, and the ticket is 2 euros.
Gold pendant, ca 2600 BC.
 Central part of the Petras palace. In the background the town of Siteia.

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