Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Research in the Plakias Region, SW Crete, Greece

Handaxe discovered in the Plakias region of Crete

Handaxe discovered in the Plakias region of Crete

Contact: Curtis Runnels, runnels@bu.edu

A surface survey on the southwestern coast of Crete in the region of Plakias has discovered 28 pre-ceramic lithic sites.  The survey is directed by Thomas Strasser of Providence College (Rhode Island) and Eleni Panagopoulou of the Department of Paleoanthropology and Caves (Ministry of Culture, Athens, Greece), with the participation of Curtis Runnels and Chad DiGregorio of Boston University, and has had two field seasons in 2008 and 2009. Twenty sites were identified with artifacts of Mesolithic type, and nine have earlier assemblages of Lower Palaeolithic Acheulean type.  The island of Crete has been isolated from the mainland of Greece, Turkey, and Africa for five million years, and these finds indicate that early hominins and, later, modern humans, have repeatedly crossed the open Mediterranean to reach the island.