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The Hagia Photia Cemetery I: The Tomb Groups and Architecture


By Costis Davaras and Philip P. Betancourt

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The Hagia Photia Cemetery takes its name from the nearby village on the northeast coast of Crete, 5 km east of modern Siteia. This large Early Minoan burial ground with over fifteen hundred Cycladic imports was discovered in 1971. A total of 263 tombs were excavated as a rescue excavation in 1971 and 1984. Among the 1800 artefacts are some of the earliest known Cretan discoveries of several types: the grave goods come mostly from the Kampos Group, an assemblage of artefacts known mainly from the Cyclades. Similarly, the tombs represent an architectural style and a series of burial customs that are foreign to Crete but familiar from elsewhere within the Aegean. In fact, the cemetery has such close parallels from the Cyclades that it has often been regarded as a Cycladic colony. The burial contents are an extremely interesting body of evidence for the study of the formative phases of Minoan Crete.

Contents: 1. Introduction (Philip P. Betancourt); 2. The Tomb Groups (Costis Davaras and Philip P. Betancourt); 3. Discussion of the Architecture (Philip P. Betancourt and Costis Davaras).

Review by P.M. Warren in JHS 127 (2007), pp. 211–212: “The present volume is a fundamental record, well produced and very fully illustrated. . . . The corpus of over 1,800 artefacts in discrete, well-recorded groups (individual tombs) is one of exceptional richness for developing understanding of Early Bronze Age Crete.”

Hardback: 296 pp., 580 b/w illus.
(Prehistory Monographs 14, INSTAP Academic Press, 2004)

ISBN 1-931534-13-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-931534-13-0

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