The Knossos Urban Landscape Project

Project participant

Department of Greece and Rome 

In association with

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Today Knossos is primarily known for its Bronze Age remains but the site of the palace and surrounding area has been extensively settled from at least 6500 BC to the present day. The Knossos Urban Landscape Project (KULP) aims to examine this long history of occupation.

KULP is a synergasia (collaboration) between the British School at Athens and the 23rd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. The directors are Todd Whitelaw (UCL), Maria Bredaki and Antonis Vasilakis (23rd Ephoreia). An intensive field survey was carried out in three seasons in 2005, 2007 and 2008, when surface finds were systematically collected and other archaeological features recorded. The collected material has been sorted into different categories of artefact and the pottery has been preliminarily dated. The project is now in its study phase, involving specialists to look more closely at particular classes of object.

Andrew Shapland, Greek Bronze Age curator at the British Museum, is examining the Middle Minoan pottery (dating to 2000 BC-1600 BC) and also participated in the project’s fieldwork.

The British Museum holds a significant collection of objects from Knossos, including many from the excavations of Sir Arthur Evans. A number of curators from the Department of Greece and Rome have worked at the site: most notably in 1927 Sir John Forsdyke excavated the tombs at Mavrospelio on the eastern slopes of the Knossos valley. KULP will integrate information from excavations such as these with the broader overview gained from the survey in order to document the occupation history of the Knossos valley.

Find out more

UCL project page 

Lecture by Todd Whitelaw for the British School at Athens, "Surveying the Labyrinth" 

Blog post about the project for the Day of Archaeology, 2011 

Paper given by Andrew Shapland at the 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies (September 2016)

Middle Minoan juglet from Knossos
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    Middle Minoan juglet from Knossos

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    Sealstone from Knossos, acquired in 1880

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    Pithos from the excavations of Minos Kalokairinos

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    Kamares Ware pottery cup from Knossos

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    Cycladic jug from the Temple Repositories

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    Spratt’s Venus: Hellenistic Statue from Knossos

Middle Minoan juglet from Knossos