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The Porti-Miamou Project is focused on the surface documentation of all preserved architectural remains, i.e. a creation of the new up-to-date plans, and the small-scale surface survey of the immediate vicinity of the two prehistoric (Minoan) sites in the Mesara area, south central Crete – Porti and Miamou. Both sites – Porti Tou Bairami to Papouri and Miamou Korakies – date back to the Prepalatial and (early) Protopalatial periods, (i.e. Early Minoan I/II to Middle Minoan I/II periods: late 4th/early 3rd mill. BC – early 2nd mill. BC). There are remains of the large collective tholos tomb (of the sc. Mesara tholos type) and of the adjacent settlement (located in the vicinity of the tomb) in each site.
Prepalatial to Protopalatial Mesara tholos tombs or cemeteries have been the focus of academic studies since the beginning of the 20th century. A lot of our knowledge of the Prepalatial period is based on the analysis of the material excavated in such cemeteries. However, the studies of the adjacent settlements were highly underestimated. Unfortunately, we have only a very limited knowledge on the settlement chronology, architecture, urbanism, social organization etc. Many such settlements even lack a plan, at least a modern up-to-date one based on the actual state of preservation of the architectural remains (incl. the sites in question).
The project will contribute to the better understanding of the (mainly) Prepalatial period in the whole island of Crete. The non-funerary architecture and settlement pattern of the period in question are not yet sufficiently known. Both properly documented sites will enable to create a universal model for further studies and also provide an important comparative material for the Early and initial phases of the Middle Bronze Ages in the Greek mainland and the islands (esp. the Cyclades).
The team consist of 9-16 persons (depends on the period of stay in the field), incl. archaeologists and archaeological assistants, a land surveyor, GIS-specialist, draughtsman and architect. The co-directors of the project are Dr. Andonis Vasilakis, archaeologist and Honorary Ephor of Antiquities (project permit applicant) and Dr. Tomas Alusik, archaeologist, (project funds applicant).
The project is planned for two four-week fieldwork seasons (one season for each site) and was conducted on the basis of the valid permit issued by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. The dates of 2015 season were stated as 10th August – 6th September, of 2016 season as 1st – 26th August.
The Porti-Miamou Project is one of a few archaeological projects in the Mediterranean with the official participation/cooperation of Czech scholars and the first and only one, which is co-organized by a Czech private academic institution. The 2016 season was generously supported also by the Charles University of Prague – First Faculty of Medicine.
The finds of 2015 season, deposited in Herakleion (the capital of Crete), were thoroughly studied in March and October 2016. In spring 2017 the study season of the finds from 2016 fieldwork season will be conducted. We would be therefore very grateful to all who would support this project by any amount.