DIY archaeology in Crete

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Crete is clearly an island with a lot of history – millennia, in fact. Indeed, it has so much history that it doesn’t know what to do with some of it. The likes of Knossos are obviously going to be popular with millions of tourists:

Knossos

But smaller, less famous, out of the way sites are a slightly trickier proposition. Sometimes, there may not even be room for a car park, let alone the staff to look after the site.

Take the Minoan settlement near the village of Στύλος (Stylos) in NW Crete. It’s a bit up a hill from the village itself and a bit of trek.

You’ll be able to find it easily if you’re walking though, because there’s a sign. Next to a ‘stock fence’.


Sign for the Minoan settlement near Stylos

All you have to do is undo the string securing the fence, peel it back, go through, re-secure the fence, then up the hill you go to the left, through the flock of sheep, turn right and keep going up until you come to a single building with a green roof.

The green roofed building near Stylos

Now you know you’re in the right place. Because there are no signs, no guidebooks, no nothing to tell you where you are. Which is a shame, because there is actually quite a lot further on up the hill, behind the green-roofed building.

More of the Minoan settlement

MinoanRuinsjpg

Of course, you’re better off reading this web page to find out exactly what.

Things get a little weirder up the hill from the settlement, because there’s actually a Minoan tholos tomb nearby. How do we get there? Well, a little further up the road from Stylos, there’s a grove of trees, behind a proper fence. Look here’s the gate. It’s been padlocked shut. Fortunately, there’s a key attached to it.

The gate to the Tholos tomb

Behind the gate is all the information you’re going to get about the tomb and its excavations. Maps? Not really…

The map of the excavation

So after a bit of wandering around the trees, avoiding (if possible) the cicadas that hurl themselves at you, you might find this:

The dromos to the tomb

Could this be what you’re looking for? Why yes, it’s the δρόμος (dromos or path/route) to the tomb. You knew that, didn’t you?

If you’re plucky enough to pick your way down through the grass and the weeds, this is what you’ll find – a Minoan arched entrance to a tholos tomb:

The entrance to the Tholos tomb

You can just go in. No one will stop you. What's inside? A coned roof with a hole at the top.

The top of the Tholos tomb

You are now standing in something that people made 3,500 years ago. And you will be literally the only people there and may be the only people who will have been there in days or even weeks.

There’s stuff like this all over Crete. Just look and you should find something like this pretty much anywhere. It’s well worth it.

I’m looking for pitches for potential articles about technology and education for EducationInvestor. EducationInvestor provides the business intelligence and political insight that will help investors understand the sometimes baffling world of education.

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Holiday

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I'm going to be on holiday from the 26th July to the 18th August, but if you leave a message on my voicemail or send me an email, I'll get back to you when I return. I'm off to Crete again – αντιο!

November 2014's issue of GeoConnexion International is going to have the following focuses:

  • Technology: Remote Sensing
  • Application: Utilities, Social Sciences, Archaeology
  • Editor’s Choice: Emergency Services

If you'd like to submit interviews, opinion pieces, industry analyses or case studies on these or any other topics, mail me at robertbuckley@geoconnexion.com to discuss length and topics. The deadline for first drafts is September 1st, but please contact me first to discuss the article and for a copy of the editorial guidelines.

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  • Big Data
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  • Cloud-based Solutions
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Can you help with the following article? It will be appearing in EducationInvestor. EducationInvestor provides the business intelligence and political insight that will help investors understand the sometimes baffling world of education.

Deadline for leads is 1st April. Email me or leave a comment below if you'd like to contribute.

SPOCs (small private online courses)
Who's going to be introducing them, who's going to be profiting from them, and is it going to be the same technology winners as with MOOCs or is it going to be newbies (or a mix of the two)? SPOCs are obviously similar to online distance learning, but since they're more of a packaged concept across just one course (or two), are universities going to have to bother with the same kind of infrastructure, bespoke development, etc, or will they be able to buy off the shelf, and potentially even then use it to scale up to MOOCs, full-on distance learning in future? Since video and mobile apps are there in terms of content generation – you'll need to create new content that can compete, rather than just film some lectures as with distance learning – what value add can be achieved, how much of a cost is it all going to be, and so on?

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  • Spatial BI: GIS with Business Intelligence

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