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 Institute of Mediterranean Studies

Minoan Peak Sanctuaries

      The project, funded by Instap, is part of a larger research framework titled “A Topography of Power. Towns, Sanctuaries and Territories on Bronze Age Crete”. The aim of the project is to identify a historical topography of power by assessing archaeological data that reflect hierarchical relationships on the island of Crete during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages (2000-1200 B.C.). The Minoan Peak sanctuaries project is based on a collaboration of the Institute of Mediterranean Studies-FORTH (Dr. A. Sarris) and the Université Catholique de Louvain (Prof. J. Driessen).

     The main goal of the project is to investigate the place, role and evolution of Minoan peak sanctuaries in their broader cultural and natural landscape. The particular project employs a suite of advanced mapping techniques (sub-cm GPS), satellite remote sensing, statistical analysis and Geographical Information Systems for studying the spatial and temporal relations of the Minoan peak sanctuaries of Crete with respect to their environmental context, the landscape topography and the existing cultural domain. These techniques offer us a unique possibility to present concepts such as, space, time, people, and the cultural and natural variables, in an integrated unity. Among other techniques, viewshed analysis, statistical analysis of the topographic characteristics, image classification techniques, cost surface analysis, and locational modelling are employed to address questions related to the relation of the Minoan peak sanctuaries with respect to their environmental, social and economic settings.