KNOSSOS Lower Gypsades - 2010
Type of Operation
British School at Athens
Knossos, Lower Gypsades. J. Bennet (BSA/Sheffield), E. Hatzaki (Cincinnati) and A. Bogaard (Oxford) report on the first phases of geophysical exploration in 2010 and 2011.
After over a century of continuous fieldwork at Knossos, the Bronze Age town is perhaps the least understood sector of the site. Lower Gypsades (including the terraces on which lie the Caravanserai and the House of High Priest) offers scope to investigate the Bronze Age urban landscape of Knossos using geophysical techniques due to the absence of deep post-Bronze Age occupation levels and the likelihood that the area represents the outer suburbs of the settlement, bounded above and to the south by cemeteries. Information from earlier archaeological interventions and from the Knossos Urban Landscape Project provide a data set with good spatial control which combines different investigation strategies.
Magnetometer survey over some 14.5ha was undertaken to gain a general understanding of the nature and density of sub-urban settlement and define its limits in this region (Fig. 1). In total 19 individual areas were surveyed, comprising 762 whole or partial 20m grid squares; 406,400 data points were collected, covering just under 11 ha. of the total area. Initial review of the geophysics plots (Fig. 2) indicates considerable modern contamination in the form of discarded parts from irrigation systems. Anomalies were re-visited to establish whether they resulted from obvious contamination or were potentially of archaeological significance. The plots suggest a ‘busy’ subsurface landscape, as expected relatively close to the palatial centre. Within the overall noise, the data indicate terracing broadly following slope contours, while possible tomb signatures appear to the south east and south west, suggesting that the cemetery lay across the southernmost section of the study area.
These results are further refined by resistivity survey of selected areas within the larger region.
Unpublished field report, British School at Athens
Date of creation