Welcome to SARPEDON – the Sissi Archaeological Project

According to Greek legend, Crete was ruled by three mythical brothers, Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthus. Sarpedon is said to have had dominion over the eastern part of the island until he was exiled by his brother Minos. We have adopted him as a symbol for our interdisciplinary archaeological project focused on the Kefali hill and its environs,  located near the modern village of Sissi in east Crete (Fig.1). The new Sissi Archaeological Project (S.Ar.P.edon) is an initiative of the Université Catholique de Louvain and operates in Greece under the auspices of the Belgian School of Athens (EBSA).

Fig.1: Map of main Minoan Sites

Funds for the new excavations are generously provided by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the UCL, the FNRS, the EBSA and the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, des Médias et de la Recherche scientifique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, as well as a series of private donors (see sponsors) and the local community of Vrachasi and Sissi. A first five-year programme of excavations took place between 2007 and 2011 of which we are still studying the finds for publication and a new five-year programme for the period 2015-2019 started in the summer of 2015 and is running.

We sincerely thank Mrs. Chryssa Sofianou, director of the Archaeological Service of East Crete (Lassithi), the epimeletria Mrs. Vasso Zografaki, the previous head of the KD Ephoreia Mrs. Villy Apostolakou, and Mrs. Klio Zervaki, conservator of the Archaeological service, for graciously allowing us to do this work and a fine collaboration. Ms. S. Michou represented the KD Ephoreia during the 2007 campaign, Ms. L. Manoussogiannaki during the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 campaigns, Mr. Nikos Thannos during the 2015-2016 campaigns. The team thanks the Ecole française d’Athènes and its director Prof. Alexandre Farnoux, for previously putting the apothikes of the dig house at Malia at our disposal and, during 2015-2016, the services of Mrs. Eleni Kivernitaki. INSTAPEC and its director, Dr. Thomas Brogan, are thanked for putting their photographer, Chronis Papanikolopoulos, at our disposal, and general assistance. Dr. Panos Iossif, secretary of the Belgian School at Athens, is thanked for continuous help and support, as is our bookkeeper Mr. Andreas Papadakis and our lawyer Mr. Nikos Natzoulis.

We are especially grateful to the inhabitants of Sissi and Vrachasi for their help and Cretan hospitality. Christos Mameloukos, Giorgios Markakis (‘Markogiorgo’ cf. www.margkogiorgi.gr), Michalis Petsalakis, Aris Rovitis, Kostas Barboudakis and Phaistos Supermarket, Eleni Kivernitaki, Giorgios Sfirakis, Ismini Ierapetraki, the Zouraris family, Vasilis Prineas. Check out http://vrachassi.blogspot.com for Vrachasi news. We also thank our local workers from Vrachasi, Sissi and elsewhere in Crete. Their names are given elsewhere in this site.