Excavation of the J. Richardson plot

The J. Richardson property (7) is situated to the West of the expropriated area,  on the lower slope of Hill I. A very limited trial excavation was conducted in 1996, and more substantial one in 2002, which brought to light extremely significant architecture, namely two Mycenaean-type rougly parallel walls, 2.5 m. thick, at a distance of 3.5-4 m., preserved at a height of ca 2 m.;  they were excavated to a length of 19 m., and they seems to continue on both directions. The walls are built with a variety of stones, while for the faces roughly cut ashlar blocks are used (probably coming from Proto and Neopalatial buildings). The interior filling consists of unworked medium and small size stones, mudbricks and earth. On the north side of the north wall there is an indentation.

These  walls are unique for Crete, as for their dimensions and mode of construction. They are probably dated to the Late Minoan IIIB period, as suggested by a fragment of a stirrup jar found under the foundations. The defensive function is quite probable, although it should be noted that such massive fortification walls are extremely rare; also double walls are unknown in the Minoan era.

For a better understanding of the walls one should take into account their topographical position, i.e. very close to the coastline, although it is not easy to explain why they run perpendicularly to it. Furthermore, previous to this excavation the Postpalatial remains at Petras were not considered very important. The excavation in the Richardson plot changes this view,  and it is certain that its continuation and completion will bring more important evidence for the understanding of the Postpalatial period in the area.


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