Dario Palermo, Antonella Pautasso, Rossella Gigli Patané


The excavation campaign conducted in 2007 in the archaic settlement of Priniàs has focused on two areas in the central part of the town: the area of Temple A and the area to the south of Temple B, continuing the research conducted in 2003 and 2005.

In the first area the sector to the west of temple A was investigated, i.e. where Pernier’s excavations had already identified the presence of a few large rooms (WB, WC, WD) which were oriented exactly as the other structures of the town, and which were clearly obliterated when Temple A was constructed. During the removal of the stones that filled them, two fragments of stones sculptures were found.

A geometric and orientalising period level was found in the portion of room investigated, which belonged to the last period of use of the rooms, and which was superimposed over an earlier level of use that provided sub-Minoan and Protogeometric pottery. The presence of a large quantity of clay, of a large hearth and of tools suggests that this area was used for artisan activities.

The exploration of room VE was completed in the area to the south of Temple B. A foundation deposit that was probably related to the nearby monumental building had been found in a corner of this room during the previous excavation. The room communicated with corridor TU through a door, of which the places of the sockets are preserved, and revealed two levels of use. The later one was characterised by the presence of a column base in stone, in the centre of the room; the earlier level, which was contemporary to the foundation deposit (late geometric/early orientalising) provided several fully preserved pots that included two-handled bowls with an overall dark-black slip and white decoration. A large number of discs cut-off from pots (tokens) was also found.

In the western end of the large monumental building, room VD, the only one which had not yet been explored, was excavated. Two levels of use were also distinguished in this case, the earlier belonging to the late geometric period, and the later to the late orientalising period. Since the moment of construction, a trilithic structure consisting of a central stele and two small side pillars was located along the western side of the room. This structure resembles the Tripillar Shrine of Kommos, and might have had a similar religious meaning. The sacred function of the room is also demonstrated by the presence of votive depositions, comprised of vases, burnt materials and an arrow-head above the earlier floor. In the later period of use of the room, other pillars and stone slabs were added in the room, especially along the southern wall. The scarce materials suggest a religious or cultic activity in this case as well.

Parole chiave

Crete; Priniàs; Temple A and B; Rooms WB, WC, WD, VD, VE;Sub-Minoan and Protogeometric pottery; Tokens; Foundation deposit; Trilithic structure;Votive depositions

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