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 Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyMon 23 Sep 2019, 20:11

It is about Greece and in remembering of Islanddawn, who is now perhaps again in Australia.
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20190915-the-discovery-of-the-ancient-greek-city-of-tenea
https://www.history.com/news/lost-trojan-city-tenea-discovery-greece

From the last site: History:
"Until now, archaeologists had uncovered no evidence of the city’s existence outside of historical texts and myths. The collection of coins and the graves found at the site near Chiliomodi span the period from the early Hellenistic years, after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., into the Roman Empire. In 146 B.C., Romans occupied Greece, bringing Tenea under imperial control.
According to the statement from the Greek cultural ministry, the archaeological evidence suggests Tenea grew economically during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (A.D. 193-211). But the city seems to have suffered after the Gothic king Alaric raided the Peloponnese between A.D. 396 and 397, as relatively few artifacts were found dating to the fourth century. During the sixth century A.D., the city may have been abandoned."
Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? Lost-ancient-greece-city_artifacts2

Findings from burials during Hellenistic and Roman times including bones, jewelry and pottery.

Greek Ministry of Culture



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenea


Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? 200px-Tenea_3     Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? 270px-Greece_location_map.svg

Kind regards from Paul.


Last edited by PaulRyckier on Wed 25 Sep 2019, 20:18; edited 3 times in total
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyTue 24 Sep 2019, 08:40

I suggest this thread could also do with a more appropriate title - as it stands it looks like you're inviting comment about all archaeological activity conducted "on land" relating to all periods, places, and the associated data extrapolated from this work. Way too general to lead to anything but the most inane "discussion", I reckon. What about "Tenea" as a title?

The story of Tenea's "discovery" is actually one that is all too typical these days in modern archaeology, involving as it does misleading press releases in which the headlines are often contradicted by the very text within the articles beneath them, and just a little too many - for my liking - blatantly false assertions embedded within these articles that are made for no better reason than as overt attempts by the archaeologists to "big up" their data and thereby entice private funding so they can continue with their work. It's an indictment of the sorry state of modern academia and how research is generally conducted these days - a toxic over-dependency on private sponsorship and publicity that has to be manipulated to help generate this sponsorship, a method that practically invites subjective misrepresentation, falsification of data, less than honest motive at all levels and - ultimately - corruption of the academic process to the point that the damage it potentially causes to the factual record will take as much if not more work, time and research to correct in the future, and that's if we avoid reaching a point where there is simply no one honest enough left to conduct that work.

But back to Tenea. If one looks beyond the headlines, and even some of the remarks attributed to Eleni Korka (presently leading this project) in which Tenea is claimed to have been "lost" at some point in the past, then Korka's actual work in recent years can be properly appreciated for what it is - an archaeological assessment of a huge area using the standard archaeological procedure of "sampling" points in that area of special interest and then attempting to draw conclusions related to geography and history regarding the extent and nature of local habitation, in this case in an important trading settlement (city is also a misleading term if one is not familiar with its context in Greek history) in a particularly interesting general location, not just in Greek history but even in a broader European/Asian sense.

All the typical elements of such a dig are present in the story of this project. Tenea, far from being lost, retained name and association with this very specific location through history. Even during Ottoman times the site was yielding ancient artefacts associated with civic habitation and this was correctly interpreted, even by those without deep archaeological knowledge or experience at the time, to be good indication of the settlement's existence in precisely this spot. The fact that the locals never seemed to have forgotten the association either would certainly have helped in this assessment, and also makes one wonder just at what point and under what circumstances any place can be deemed "lost" to history at all.

In more modern Greek history this knowledge unfortunately led to quite a bit of looting of artefacts in the area, again an almost guaranteed fate of all such archaeological sites covering large expanses and with relatively accessible portable finds that can be availed of by locals and others to earn money through sale to unscrupulous customers (which, in Tenea's case appears to have included the British Museum amongst other "august" institutions in the past).

Korka, if I am reading these press releases correctly (eliminating the guff, in other words), has done what any good archaeologist would wish to do in such a situation, and appears to have done it well. She has managed to identify and isolate some sites within the general area rich in finds and with the greatest opportunity to extract data from their presence, has managed to protect these sites of special interest in as far as Greek law allows (room for improvement there in fact, but that's another story), and wishes now to expand her investigation into the broader municipal area - an expensive and time consuming exercise, which explains why she has had to resort now to what appears to be the only way left to genuine archaeologists wishing to pursue serious but expensive research, "pitching" the exercise in as sensationalist and newsworthy a manner as might excite private investment. Much like how searches for "Noah's Ark" etc are mounted, in other words, and of course one sad effect of this financing model when conducted by genuine archaeologists is that it is so indistinguishable from that of phoney archaeology that it lends the latter "credibility" (or at least if not loaned such "cred" is certainly assumed by the charlatans).

The same trade route, a major artery of commerce and human transport in Greek and Roman times in that area, had several such large settlements threaded along it, many of which are now subsumed beneath modern development (in towns often bearing the same name as their classical predecessors). Tenea is fairly unique in that it appears to have been abandoned as a suitable site of major habitation after its importance as a trading hub was removed once the Romans shifted the whole centre of commercial gravity in the region (it struggled on with reduced population right up to Alaric's post-Roman reign and then reverted to agricultural subsistence). For that reason alone it is indeed a very important archaeological site and hopefully its long history of being looted while dormant has still left enough contextual data to build a good understanding of its actual role, history, and all the wider implications of such findings. And while I'm as usual disappointed and slightly depressed in how Korka has had to advertise her work in order to continue it, she has certainly appeared to have tackled the project with consummate dedication and professionalism in every other respect. Tenea is in as safe hands as modern archaeology allows, so hopefully we'll be hearing much more from this excavation over the coming years.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyTue 24 Sep 2019, 23:15

nordmann,

just entering the forum. I had this morning already lurked to your reply and had yet prepared in mind an answer.

First of all, just some minutes ago installed a new computer mouse and all my misery of a year is solved (On the good advice of the neighbour's daughter. A computer specialist had said last year that there was nothing wrong with my "mouse" that I brought to him for checking. And all that for a device of 12.5 Euro)

"I suggest this thread could also do with a more appropriate title - as it stands it looks like you're inviting comment about all archaeological activity conducted "on land" relating to all periods, places, and the associated data extrapolated from this work. Way too general to lead to anything but the most inane "discussion", I reckon. What about "Tenea" as a title?"

nordmann, but yes it was indeed my purpose to make a very broad, perhaps not thread, but rather sub-forum in which we all kind of archaeology can discuss and yes each subject as an apart thread, from the most famous archaeologic sites to the small ones as this of Tenea.

And thank you very much for these priceless comments on Tenea and the female archaeologist, comments that I read sentence per sentence...I learned a lot from them...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyWed 25 Sep 2019, 07:03

I still think the topic title needs some refining, Paul. If you're inviting discussion about archaeological projects not deserving of separate threads in their own right you really need to illustrate what you mean - Tenea was probably not the best example, what with it being one of the more important current Greek excavations with many aspects to its conduct that merit discussion as a separate topic. To encourage further discussion on any theme it always helps to start a thread with either a question or a stated view relating to one specific aspect of a subject, I reckon.

I'm not sure what you mean by "lady archaeologist" either. Elini Korka may well be a "lady" to some, but I reckon she'd prefer to be classified professionally simply as an archaeologist without any requirement to qualify this vocation with reference to her sex. Or maybe you should show some consistency and refer to "gentleman archaeologists" where this applies in all further mention of the profession?
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyWed 25 Sep 2019, 21:42

nordmann,

"I'm not sure what you mean by "lady archaeologist" either. Elini Korka may well be a "lady" to some, but I reckon she'd prefer to be classified professionally simply as an archaeologist without any requirement to qualify this vocation with reference to her sex. Or maybe you should show some consistency and refer to "gentleman archaeologists" where this applies in all further mention of the profession?"

It is all a set of circumstances, nordmann. First I entered late on the forum and was in a hurry, so I didn't take the time to look for the name of the female archaeologist (a better term than lady archaeologist, that I used upstream), what needed perhaps not much time Embarassed.
But secondly: we are so used to add a sex to any personal description, and in Dutch, French and German, that many as me always are hesitating with the neutral English words. Lucky for once, as an exception, it is "archéologue" both male and female in French Wink , but in Dutch it is : archeoloog en archeologe and in German: Archäologe und Archäologin. As in Dutch: teacher: schoolmeester en schoolmeesteres...

And then Gil seduced me quarter to midnight on the Flowers' language thread with his "banoffee pie".  And I had of course to know what it was...and the recipe in Dutch: bananen toffee taart...and so I lost my hurry and it became half past one o'clock in the morning...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyThu 26 Sep 2019, 08:05

I'm glad you rephrased the thread title - and it's in fact a very interesting question in my book. Tenea is indeed a unique opportunity to examine what was once an important commercial node on an extended trade route stretching from furthest east Asia all the way across to the Mediterranean, and in the case of Tenea and its urban near-neighbours (including Corinth only one day away overland) what was once a vital branch of that network terminating in several important ports within the Hellenic world serving as major points of export of culture, literature, architectural styles, colonists and trade missions, and everything else that would contribute so much to the later development of Roman culture too.

Tragically very little of this network survives - Tenea being almost a "one-off" opportunity to examine a point on that route more or less as it would have appeared and functioned while still commercially viable. Other points on the route, all pretty well documented in ancient texts and archaic references (as was Tenea also), have either deteriorated archaeologically to the point of near disappearance, or have been supplanted by later development that has all but obliterated their original manifestation.

The historian Bettany Hughes (who you might also class as a "lady") made a very interesting three-episode series for BBC Radio 4 some years ago in which she traced a path through Greece along the northern branch of this same network, working her way from the Adriatic right across to Turkey and giving insightful and detailed accounts of the places along the way as they would have existed throughout the Hellenic and later Roman period. Many of them were vestigial in the extreme (I recall one of these major commercial hubs now represented by a single dilapidated pig-farm on the shores of a lake in North Macedonia), and some all but disappeared beneath modern urban conurbations.

So Korka has something of an archaeological jewel in her possession, or at least she has if she can also manage to elicit the required funding to mount a comprehensive archaeological examination of the area. What worries me most is that the "sensationalist press releases" she has been obliged to issue to this end might also have the rather unfortunate consequence of less scrupulous agents descending on the area in the hope of a quick buck and to the extreme detriment of our knowledge of ancient urban Greece outside the political city-state network, which itself depended so fundamentally on this other urban network based on trade for its wealth, power and ultimate survival. This side of Greek life in classical times is not so well understood, has traditionally been under-appreciated historically as a result of lack of opportunity to examine it archaeologically, and so the answer to your question is of course a resounding "yes".
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyFri 27 Sep 2019, 22:05

nordmann,

thank you very much for your further comments on Tenea and the worth of the discovery. I appreciate always your knowledgeable contributions. I read it all and it is indeed food for thought.

Kind regards from Paul.

PS: yes, we "continentals" are so used to distinguish the gender of the noun (in my case it is many times difficult as for the French and the German nouns (and yes even the German nouns differ sometimes of gender with the Dutch ones) (and I forgot even in the Slavic ones as Russian) that we have no neutral point of view especially in the gender of individuals. Wink
And those English forenames are so tricky: take now the forename: "Evelyn"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Waugh
Twenty years long from the reading of my first novels of Evelyn Waugh, I thought it was a female...
But there seems to be more female Evelyns than male ones as I see...
https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-people-named-evelyn-v1/reference
I told the story to a "female" nurse called Evelyn, when I was three times a week at the kidney dialysis now some three years ago. And she checked it, while she too had read Evelyn W, and had to agree to me that I was right. I met her coincidentally last week and as I recognized her immediately I had to seek for her name...and she said: remember the British writer (in Dutch: schrijver or schrijfster Wink  )...

Not that I am not a "suffragist" as I always write: Angela Kasner instead of Angela Merkel and Theresa Brasier instead of Theresa May. I find it a shame that they have to be named along the husband's as if they are "submitted" to that husband...And what if a couple (whatever couple Wink   ) lives in sin, as the Catholic Church called it in my childhood? Two names then? And yes since recently in Belgium you can chose the name of the mother or the double name of both the parents...

OOPS that PS isn't Tenea anymore...
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyFri 11 Oct 2019, 11:41

Paul, you may be interested in this recent report from Crete since it's not only a very important Greek archaeological discovery and one of the largest excavations presently being done in the country, but it's also being headed up by the Belgian School of Athens, an institution with a remarkably impressive record in archaeology in the region.

Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? Sisi-e1570116741221

The site is in an area I know well and which is already well established in global archaeological renown, not least for the Gournia site, the only non-palatial Minoan town completely preserved at foundation level and which was excavated by more "lady" archaeologists (as you would term them), Harriet Boyd and her colleague Blanche Wheeler Williams back in the early 20th century. It's a site that was founded and first developed at the same time as the Great Pyramids in Egypt, and is therefore not only unique in that it gives an insight into Minoan day-to-day life that the "grander" and more specialised sites cannot provide, but for its age is actually one of the very few places anywhere in the world that provides such insight into any contemporaneous community anywhere, given that ordinary people's habitations are always less well preserved than more monumental structures in every society, and those from 5,000 years ago almost non-existent in the archaeological record at all.

Gournia, being a Minoan town "frozen in that time", is in fact therefore doubly valuable to Greek archaeologists. By far the more common sequence of events was that well located points of habitation retained that quality through millennia so that Minoan merged into Mycenaean, then Dorian and Classical Greek, and so later into predominantly Roman architecture and use, the latter therefore often being the principal layer of extractable data in most excavations and that which "characterises" the site, despite its great age. The area also in fact has probably one of the best examples of this in Ierapetra which, from Minoan times right up to Ottoman times, was a harbour and town that oscillated between being a busy commercial port and in more difficult economic times refashioning itself as a pirate base (Caesar was famously kidnapped by pirates operating out of the area). The Roman remains there are particularly prevalent, and have yielded much information regarding Crete's comparatively late assimilation into the Romano-Hellenic hegemony of early empire.

This latest excavation in Sisi contributes even more unique insight into ancient life in Crete in its own right in that it isn't yet another palatial Minoan site (or necropolis, depending on how you interpret such sites as Knossos, Phaistos, Malia etc), but nor is it solely a domestic conurbation. It appears that it functioned half-way between the two for most of its long existence, its structures being re-purposed as time went on and changing between predominantly mausoleums to predominantly domestic dwellings, and in some places several times between each.

A report with more detail, including more info about the important female burial pictured above can be found here as published by the Greek Reporter.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyFri 11 Oct 2019, 22:39

nordmann,

thank you very much for your comments on this site. I will try to study it in depth as I already read the URL that you mentioned too.
But spent my evening with Lapérouse and I wanted to reply to Caro about "squad toilets" and still looking for starting again on the "democracy thread" to answer to you. And now my next thread here would be something like here, but in Israel:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49958657?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world&link_location=live-reporting-story
But I return overhere too.
Again many thanks for your interest in all these excavations.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptySun 13 Oct 2019, 23:45

@nordmann wrote:
Paul, you may be interested in this recent report from Crete since it's not only a very important Greek archaeological discovery and one of the largest excavations presently being done in the country, but it's also being headed up by the Belgian School of Athens, an institution with a remarkably impressive record in archaeology in the region.

The site is in an area I know well and which is already well established in global archaeological renown, not least for the Gournia site, the only non-palatial Minoan town completely preserved at foundation level and which was excavated by more "lady" archaeologists (as you would term them), Harriet Boyd and her colleague Blanche Wheeler Williams back in the early 20th century. It's a site that was founded and first developed at the same time as the Great Pyramids in Egypt, and is therefore not only unique in that it gives an insight into Minoan day-to-day life that the "grander" and more specialised sites cannot provide, but for its age is actually one of the very few places anywhere in the world that provides such insight into any contemporaneous community anywhere, given that ordinary people's habitations are always less well preserved than more monumental structures in every society, and those from 5,000 years ago almost non-existent in the archaeological record at all.

Gournia, being a Minoan town "frozen in that time", is in fact therefore doubly valuable to Greek archaeologists. By far the more common sequence of events was that well located points of habitation retained that quality through millennia so that Minoan merged into Mycenaean, then Dorian and Classical Greek, and so later into predominantly Roman architecture and use, the latter therefore often being the principal layer of extractable data in most excavations and that which "characterises" the site, despite its great age. The area also in fact has probably one of the best examples of this in Ierapetra which, from Minoan times right up to Ottoman times, was a harbour and town that oscillated between being a busy commercial port and in more difficult economic times refashioning itself as a pirate base (Caesar was famously kidnapped by pirates operating out of the area). The Roman remains there are particularly prevalent, and have yielded much information regarding Crete's comparatively late assimilation into the Romano-Hellenic hegemony of early empire.

This latest excavation in Sisi contributes even more unique insight into ancient life in Crete in its own right in that it isn't yet another palatial Minoan site (or necropolis, depending on how you interpret such sites as Knossos, Phaistos, Malia etc), but nor is it solely a domestic conurbation. It appears that it functioned half-way between the two for most of its long existence, its structures being re-purposed as time went on and changing between predominantly mausoleums to predominantly domestic dwellings, and in some places several times between each.

A report with more detail, including more info about the important female burial pictured above can be found here as published by the Greek Reporter.
 
nordmann, I did just a bit of further research about this excavation and found this site about the Sarpedon project.
https://sarpedon.be/welcome-to-sarpedon-the-sissi-archaeological-project/
There is an introduction youtube by Pr. J.Driessen from the university of Louvain la Neuve
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louvain-la-Neuve

As I hear it, Jan Driessen is speaking English not with a French accent, but a Dutch accent. Just this evening during dinner among others with the grandson, discussing the Belgian universities as he has a project linked to several universities, on my question if there wasn't some "distancing" of the web of the "lay" university of Ghent with the web of the "Catholic" university of Leuven, he said certainly not on academic level. And also the same for the French and Dutch language universities of Brussels ULB/VUB and the same between Leuven and Louvain la Neuve. But on political level he didn't know. As you see on academic level after all the fuss of the split of the two Louvain universities there seems to be still Dutch speaking ones at Louvain la Neuve and I guess French speaking ones vice versa at Leuven. Academics seem not to be divorced in two "clans"...

I will tomorrow look for further search about your interesting subject, nordmann.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyMon 14 Oct 2019, 23:14

nordmann,

I see now that the link that I presented yesterday don't say that much...

"The site is in an area I know well and which is already well established in global archaeological renown, not least for the Gournia site"
I know that you were in Greece for a time, but did you mean with: "an area I know well" that you were there for some time?

Further about Gournia (I first thought that it was near Sissi, but from the map...) I found:
http://www.minoancrete.com/gournia.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gournia

Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? 1280px-Map_Minoan_Crete-en.svg

Further to the Sissi site I found a more in depth article
http://www.greeknewsagenda.gr/index.php/topics/culture-society/7064-sissi
"During its occupation, it suffered from an earthquake destruction accompanied by fire after which it needed rebuilding. In the late 13th century BC, the complex and the rest of the site were suddenly abandoned. Fortunately, apart from metal, all other objects were left in place, allowing a proper reconstruction of its internal functioning. The Kephali hill would, in the centuries to follow, become a place of memory and gradually disappear from history until excavation works began in 2007 by the UCLouvain team."


Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyTue 15 Oct 2019, 08:06

Paul wrote:
I know that you were in Greece for a time, but did you mean with: "an area I know well" that you were there for some time?

Further about Gournia (I first thought that it was near Sissi, but from the map...) I found:

"Yes" to the question, and "it depends on how you define near" to your comment based on what I must advise you is actually a very bad map - not because the sites are misplaced but because their classification is dubious.

According to interpretation of several sources, most famously the "wheel of Phaistos", Minoan Crete was divided agronomically into twelve separate regions based on produce and into three "prefectures" (an imperfect but popular use of a Roman term in English language histories of the region). These prefectures were in fact quite autonomous regions even up to the time of the Venetian occupation, separated from each other by formidably obstructive mountain masses. However in Minoan times there were apparently two smaller regions which at least for a considerable period lay outside whatever political administration was centered within these larger autonomous areas, and which may well have operated as a sort of necessarily neutral area on the island. These are significant therefore to archaeologists for the structures they engendered which, in their unique scale of construction and obvious prestige compared to elsewhere on the island, reflected this unique political and cultural designation.

One was a coastal strip containing a few fine natural harbours along the north coast (in which both Knossos and Malia are situated). The other is the Plain of Lassithi, a large flat area high above sea level separating two main masses of a geologically concatenated series of mountains that in one place actually divides all three of the prefectures at a single point. This plain, in terms of Minoan archaeology, yields much information regarding how the people of Eastern Crete in particular lived and administered themselves - it was the "neutral zone" to which they contributed most in every sense. The rest of Crete contributed similarly to the northern "neutral area". There may even have been a third, much smaller, isolated "neutral zone" centered on Phaistos in the South-West and to which more western communities contributed investment of tribute and labour, also on a plain but a very narrow one that was just about able to accommodate the Phaistos "palace" and a small urban community around it. Much theory abounds concerning these zones, but if the analysis is correct they appear to have come about when the islanders realised that peaceful co-operation between the three autonomous economic zones made sense, and having been established on that basis these then evolved to become a common ground for large communal ritual, the location of extensive and elaborate necropoli (likely mistaken as "palaces" by Victorian and Edwardian archaeologists), though at least as yet no unambiguous proof that they also served as centres of economic trade or political power.

Sissi, in light of this demography and geo-political layout, is therefore quite unique in that it sits at the exact point where these two principal neutral zones themselves connected geographically, so anything found in this region relating to Bronze Age archaeology and older is of special interest indeed. Demographically this is in fact the most logical spot for a truly central administrative complex for the whole island to have developed, the one thing that Minoan Crete has yet to yield up archaeologically - a truly unambiguous point of central political power and administration, maybe even an actual "palace" in the accepted sense of the term with a layout and design more practically suited to such a purpose than the enigmatic structures elsewhere have ever been shown to have. If such a thing exists at all it is most likely therefore to be found in this area, so any excavations in that particular location - big or small - always carry with them that extra edge of hopeful anticipation.

The Greek News Agenda article, while interesting, is a perfect example of why we all should be very careful before we throw the "lost city" cliche around when discussing any area archaeologically, and especially if we are the archaeologists doing the excavating - it undermines faith in an archaeologist's historical qualifications if they glibly use the term "lost" for any site that has always been well known to have existed in a very specific location when what they really mean is that the site is a virgin one in terms of modern archaeological examination and very likely to produce data that greatly enhances understanding of an ancient period, if not even contradicts much that has been assumed up to now.

The way to look at a map in which you might glean a better appreciation of how and why a particular swathe of Eastern Crete should be regarded as a cohesive, independent unit politically and culturally in the Bronze Age is to pull back and look at the Eastern Mediterranean with a nautical eye - especially regarding the known trade routes that criss-crossed this vast expanse of water in an era in which the continental land masses bordering its perimeter on three sides contained at times up to fifteen known autonomous and concurrent cultures, three of which at any given time could be considered the Bronze Age equivalent of "world powers" of their day. Then have a look at where this "prefecture" sits in that web of trade, even compared to its western Cretan neighbours. If one also entertains the not unreasonable view that descriptions of Knossos, Malia etc simply as "palaces" are hardly credible based on the very material, structures, finds and other data uncovered during their excavations, then one can probably appreciate to an even greater extent the sense of excited anticipation when excavating any "new" site in a very specific location which itself probably lay at the political and administrative "hub" of a region which itself was a "hub" of what was then the equivalent of global trade in that area of general civilization.

Your map above, and any interpretation of its own badly presented archaeological data, might sell you short on that score.
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PaulRyckier
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Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyTue 15 Oct 2019, 19:53

nordmann,

thanks to you I start to have some insight into the matter. I read it all with great interest and thoroughly. You seem to know a lot about the stuff, as if you once was involved in this archaeological discussions, on-site Wink...

Kind regards, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyWed 16 Oct 2019, 10:23

A misspent pre-internet youth, Paul. Reading, travelling, talking to people, and stuff ...  Smile

However if you spend any time on Crete, and make it further inland than the resort's restaurant and bar, it is almost impossible not to find oneself immersed in the Bronze Age. A lot of it is "in your face" anyway and very hard to miss, but also people who live there - if you bother to talk to them, that is - have an inordinately well informed knowledge of and pride in both their history and the archaeology underway to reveal it. Opinions vary on many things, but the debate is alive, important, and informed. I suppose that's unavoidable in a country where it's almost impossible to dig foundations for a new house in so many places without automatically becoming an archaeologist in the process, whether one wanted to be or not.

I treasure a snapshot I once took there - I think it was in a suburb of Iraklion - of a modern two-storey house perched on the summit of a walled embankment with a modern road running at its base. It was the wall I liked - described by locals as "Turkish" (the road had been built during Ottoman times) - and once your eye travelled below the modern concrete and industrial brick garden wall on top then the next 10 metres or so were indeed stone and crude brick construction from Ottoman days. However this in turn, for another metre or so, was perched on a layer of late Roman millstones now acting as structural support for the amalgam above, and these in turn were sitting on a two or three metre deep layer of debris which included Roman and Dorian pillar segments, and even some cut stone with Greek inscription. Then, amazingly, this layer too was finally sitting - at what was now the excavated ground level from which this embankment rose - upon a deep exposed foundation of some very ancient stonework indeed, which may well have been actual foundation material from some ancient impressive classical Greek building that had once rested directly upon it, but could just as easily have been in situ in that exact location from the Bronze Age era or before - the mixture of well polished granite and imported cut sandstone blended with volcanic aggregate not looking at all out of place in any grand palatial structures that had dominated several local landscapes for centuries right up to the final Aechean destruction of the great Minoan sites.

And all this - a mini-graphic of truly epic European history for over 4,000 years sandwiched between a family perched on top looking at their TV and a depressingly mundane modern road at its base - all captured in one small snapshot photo. You can't not love something like that ...
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Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years?   Is ancient Tenea in Greece one of the more important findings of the last years? EmptyWed 16 Oct 2019, 18:52

nordmann,

when I read your ministory, I too was impressed. And thank you for sharing this long ago personal feeling with us. With "us" I mean me and hopefully the rest of the "team".

Kind regards, Paul.
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