• 2015-2016: Archaeological, topographical, and geomorphological survey

As a first step of investigation, a two-year (2015-2016) archaeological, topographical and geomorphological survey of 150 ha of the massif located the remains indicated by Demargne and clarified the extent, nature and chronology of ancient occupation. This started at the end of Late Minoan IIIB, when small hamlets were settled in a dispersed way all over the ridge. In Protogeometric, most of these early residential sites were abandoned in favour of the ones occupying the central valley, where an urban center started then to develop over ca 10 ha. This settlement was entirely restructured in Late Geometric and abandoned in the beginning of the 7th c. BC. At the foot of the central valley, the necropolis of Lami extends over an area of ca 12 ha and offers small groups of graves of various types and stone tumuli. Three cult places were also identified during the survey, which are respectively located on the slope of Kako Plaï that overlooks the necropolis, and on the summit.

Report on the 2016 campaign

Report on the 2015 campaign

  • 2017-2021: Excavations 

2017 topographical map, (c) EFA/Anavlochos Project.

Based on the results from the 2015-2016 survey and as part of a new five-year (2017-2021) research program of the EFA, excavations were resumed at Anavlochos in 2017. 

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.

In 2017

  • The 2017 excavations revealed new groups of funerary structures in the necropolis of Lami. In one of them, a cremation pit located between two potential pit graves, which were unfortunately looted, was brought to light. The accumulation of stone piles covering the pits and the curvilinear enclosing wall to the North seem to indicate the existence of a tumulus. The material recovered includes large decorated vessels dated to the Late Geometric period.

Funerary structure brought to light in 2017, (c) EFA/Anavlochos Project/R. Machavoine.

Figure from the sanctuary at Kako Plaï, (c) EFA/Anavlochos Project/Ch. Papanikolopoulos.

  • On the slope of Kako Plaï, some meters above the votive deposit excavated by Pierre Demargne in 1929, a small bench sanctuary, as well as Late Minoan IIIC-Classical material were brought to light. A Protogeometric skyphos and the head of a female figure provisionally dated to the Late Minoan IIIC-Protogeometric period were found on the floor at the foot of the bench.
  • On the summit, the two votive deposits located during the 2016 survey were also excavated in 2017. Deposit 2 is located in the highest cavities of a small rocky peak: 150 fragments of terracotta zoomorphic figures and figurines, as well as horns of consecration, were collected there. The deposit is dated to the Late Minoan IIIC period.

View on Deposit 2 from SE, EFA/Anavlochos Project/R. Machavoine.

Figures and figurines from Deposit 2, (c) EFA/Anavlochos Project/Ch. Papanikolopoulos.

  • Deposit 1 is located 150 m west of Deposit 2: in the crevices of an outcrop of bedrock, 550 fragments of terracotta figures, figurines and plaques were recovered. These are dated from the Protogeometric to the Classical period and exclusively represent female figures.



   Plaques, figures and figurines from Deposit 1, (c) EFA/Anavlochos Project, Ch. Papanikolopoulos.

Press release on the 2017 campaign (by permission of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)

In 2018 (23 July-31 August) excavations were carried out in three areas.

  1.  in the necropolis: eight stone tumuli and other kind of funerary structures were identified. Immediate consolidation of the best preserved tumulus was initiated.
  2. on the slope of Kako Plaï: the rest of the Protogeometric-Late Geometric bench sanctuary discovered in 2017 was brought to light and its access as well as the slope below were also investigated.
  3. on the western part of the summit:  the surroundings of Deposit 1 were excavated as well as Early Iron Age terraces, most likely agricultural, which were identified during the survey ca 200 m North-East of Deposit 1.

Press release on the 2018 campaign (by permission of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)

In 2019 (22 July-30 August) excavations were carried out in three parts of the settlement. A press release on the 2019 campaign has been submitted for approval to the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports in September 2019.