Anavlochos Project

The Anavlochos Project in Le Monde! A paper by Martine Jacot (Nov. 3 2020)

Early Iron Age tumulus excavated in 2018 (c) EFA/Anavlochos Project/L. Kocher-A. Chalais

The Anavlochos Project Blog is devoted to the archaeological mission initiated by the French School at Athens (EFA) at Anavlochos (Vrachasi, Lasithi). It highlights the results and publications of the Project, accounts for the daily life of the team during fieldwork, and brings news on the activities connected to the Project throughout the year.


Anavlochos is a mountainous ridge located in the Lasithi region, in Eastern Crete and overlooking the village of Vrachasi and the Mirabello valley. Because of the length (ca 1200-650 BCE) of its residential occupation, its setting between the Late Bronze Age coastal settlements of Sissi and Malia and the Archaic poleis of Dreros and Milatos, as well as for the extent and nature of its remains, it represents an exceptional case-study for a crucial period of Greek history, that leading from palaces to poleis. After a 2-year (2015-2016) preliminary survey, the French School at Athens started a five-year (2017-2021) program of systematic excavations at Anavlochos. By exploring simultaneously the residential, funerary, and religious places of ancient occupation, the Anavlochos Project aims at reconstructing the economic, social, and political organization of a Cretan pre-civic community. More specifically, the project seeks to examine the formation and transformation of the social groups established at Anavlochos in the Late Bronze Age-Early Iron Age period.

Some remarkable discoveries were made during the first three campaigns of excavations: the tumuli and other funerary structures in the necropolis; a complete and separate district in the settlement; and a bench sanctuary located mid-way between the settlement and the necropolis, as well as two very rich votive deposits established on the summit.