Institute for Mediterranean Studies

GIS Modeling of the Minoan Peak Sanctuaries of East Crete

This paper presents the preliminary results of building a cultural landscape model of Minoan peak sanctuaries through a GIS approach. It is part of the wider framework project “The Topography of Power”1 in Minoan Crete. The reconstruction of the peak sanctuaries’ landscape was based on the accurate mapping of them and their surrounding settlements through high accuracy GPS receivers and the analysis of their spatial distribution within a SPOT generated DEM. Viewsheds were exploited in order to address questions related to Minoan peak sanctuaries with respect to their topographic settings. A relational database containing the existing archaeological information was implemented to the GIS in order to provide sufficient evidence for the formation of the ritual/cultural landscape of the Minoan period. The peak sanctuary landscape is presented in two distinctive chronological acmes, roughly Proto- and Neopalatial, with the transition from the first to the second period, and in relation to nearby settlements and burial sites.

  • Apostolos Sarris