Welcome to the home of the Priniatikos Pyrgos project

Between 2005 and 2010 an Irish-American team excavated the site of a long-lived settlement. Founded by 3000 BC this remarkable site was a busy hub of activity (with exceptions) until Medieval times.

Our Mission
Welcome, I am Barry Molloy, Director of the Priniatikos Pyrgos Project. Together with Barbara Hayden, Jo Day and Vera Klontza-Jaklova, I  have been leading an international team of archaeologists under the auspices of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens exploring a key site and its landscape setting in the western Gulf of Mirabello, East Crete. Our mission has been to investigate the long-term history of this highly successful settlement location on the coast of Crete through archaeological excavation.

Occupation at the site spans over five thousand years from the end of the Neolithic through to the Late Byzantine period (though it remaine a local focus of attention into the twentieth century!). Our first excavation phase was completed in 2010 and we are now completing the publication of this work. The site at the heart of our project is a limestone headland set in the southwest corner of the Gulf of Mirabello in East Crete. Our research so far has revealed evidence of prehistoric industrial activity (e.g. two pottery kilns) and settlement, part of the Classical and Hellenistic city plan of Istron and a previously undiscovered Byzantine ecclesiastical site of regional importance. Our diachronic strategy provides stratigraphic evidence for the long-term exploitation of this coastal area, providing a rare excavation insight into long-term trajectories of economic and environmental strategies of landscape exploitation.
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