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Since 1976 the University of Toronto, in collaboration with The American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Greek Archaeological Service, has investigated the ancient site of Kommos in south central Crete. In this first large-scale Canadian excavation in Greece was revealed a prehistoric Minoan town with a group of large civic structures, also an unusually well preserved Greek sanctuary built over the Minoan remains and used for a thousand years. Study of the Minoan town has been contributing new evidence about the inhabitants’ domestic economy, architectural talents, ceramic chronology, as well as Late Bronze Age trading interconnections in the Mediterranean. Research in the Greek Sanctuary has enhanced our understanding of Cretan temple architecture, religion and ritual activity including animal sacrifice and banqueting. In addition, the remains revealed important information about Crete’s contacts with other lands during the early period of Phoenician expansion to the West.
Excavation requires massive recording both while digging goes on and later, when the remains are to be studied. Such recording and interpreting are ongoing processes, culminating in publication which can inform but can also serve as a foundation for other students of the past to build upon. Publication allows the larger community to access such knowledge. In this case, T-Space makes available a series of records: not only the publication in the form of thick, richly illustrated volumes, but preliminary levels of recording and interpreting that acted as steps leading to final publication. The preliminary stages in this case consist of excavation daybooks with the day-by-day reports by the trench supervisors of discoveries made. There also are preliminary reports of the results, some only in the excavation archives, but others published separately in periodicals by senior members of the excavation team.
Backing for this Kommos venture was provided by the publicly funded Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, also by The Institute for Aegean Prehistory founded by Malcolm Wiener, The University of Toronto, as well as by individuals, including Lorne Wickerson.
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