#Iarchaeologybecause: The Importance of Archaeology at Palaikastro, Crete

Now in its fourth year of study and third of excavation, the Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro (PALAP) Project works each summer to shed new light on the ancient world of the Minoans, as well as the Bronze Age Aegean at large. The modern town of Palaikastro is a small but vibrant community on the north-eastern coast of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Just down the beach from lively surf bars and delicious fish tavernas, more than forty archaeologists, students, conservators, and technicians have been working hard in the heat for six weeks this summer, uncovering the remains of ancient Palaikastro, an extensive four-thousand year old Minoan settlement.

The Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro Project team hard at work. Photographer: Kostis Voutirakis
The Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro Project team hard at work. Photographer: Kostis Voutirakis

The Minoans were the predominant cultural group on Crete for much of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. Characterized by monumental administrative centres (commonly referred to as “palaces”), vibrant artworks, and rituals involving bulls and bull-leaping, the material remains of these people have been found across the island. Despite more than one hundred years of archaeological study, much of Minoan life remains enigmatic. The PALAP Project hopes that by uncovering more of Minoan Palaikastro and revealing the lives of the people who lived there for centuries, we can better understand Bronze Age Crete. This endless curiosity pushes us through all of those 5:00 am wake-ups, scorching days under the sun, and wheelbarrow dumps. It’s hard work, but the excitement of discovery and joy of sharing in this beautiful community’s heritage makes it all worthwhile.

So to celebrate the Day of Archaeology and show the world why we do what we do, we initiated the “#Iarchaeologybecause” campaign.* To show their passion for this field, members of our team wrote why they love their job, why they study this subject, and why archaeology is so important! Photos were shared all weekend long, so check out our Facebook and Twitter for full photos.

This is why we archaeology…

#Iarchaeologybecause Part 1 #Iarchaeologybecause Part 2

So join #PK15 in celebrating the Day of Archaeology, and tell us why you archaeology!

*We realize that “archaeology” is not really a verb, but perhaps it should be! So here’s to having fun with words and making up new ones…

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