Colloquium Overview Statement: What’s New at Gournia? The Gournia Excavation Project 2010–Present.
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Harriet Boyd Hawes conducted the first systematic excavations at Gournia in 1901 and 1903-1904, revealing a palace, a public plateia, some 64 houses, two extramural cemeteries, and a street-network. Hawes was primarily concerned with documenting this small city at its height in the Late Minoan IA (ca. 1600-1480 B.C.E.) period. More recent work at the site and its environs, including a detailed examination of the settlement’s Prepalatial remains, House Tombs and palace (Soles), a reappraisal of the site’s architecture using Hawes’s notebooks (Fotou), a regional survey (Watrous), and an architectural mapping project of the harbor area (Watrous), however, revealed tantalizing clues that the settlement was a thriving Protopalatial (MM IB-II) center and that its Neopalatial (MM IIIA-LM IB) history was far more complex than previously understood. As a result of these studies, Watrous (University at Buffalo, SUNY) initiated a five-year excavation project (2010-2014) with the goal of documenting how and when the settlement was established and how it changed over time. This colloquium includes seven papers, each focusing on key aspects of the built and social environments of Gournia as revealed by five summers of excavation and three study seasons. Taken collectively, these papers shed important new light on how the settlement developed and changed over time. Buell (Concordia University) and McEnroe (Hamilton College) will discuss aspects of their work on the settlement’s architecture, especially as it pertains to the Protopalatial period, its community, and socio-political and economic organization. Gallimore (Wilfred Laurier University) and Glowacki (Texas A&M University) provide an overview of the palace area from its Pre- and Protopalatial remains, to the establishment of the Neopalatial palace in the Middle Minoan IIIA period through to its final destruction at the end of the LM IB period. Smith (Brock University) presents two foundation deposits recovered from palace that mark two crucial events in the life history of the complex, including its early Neopalatial foundation (MM IIIA) and later ashlar refurbishment (LM IB). Barnes (Old Dominion University) and Kunkel (Hunter College) focus on the industrial character of the site in the Late Minoan IA period, presenting, respectively, on a metal foundry and kiln installation in the settlement’s northern sector. Chapin (Brevard College) provides a diachronic overview of the Gournia plasters from both the palace and city. Watrous (University at Buffalo, SUNY) offers an overview of the settlement during its final Neopalatial phase (LM IB), framing his discussion against the broader socio-political developments of the Mirabello region and the northern Isthmus of Ierapetra.