Foreigners at Cretan Entry Ports

An update to issues represented in our  24 February 2011 article “The Chinese are Coming”

 01 November 2016   by James C. Stratis

Kommos Southern Area- Greek Temple Complex – west horizon by author

Kommos Southern Area- Greek Temple Complex – west horizon by author

It was five years ago that we posted the blog “The Chinese are
Coming”1, a title which mimics the British invasion warning
by Paul Revere at the outset of the American revolution.
The blog was an aggregation of several stories that could impact
the Kommos archaeological site and the potential for public park access.

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Trade at Minoan Kommos

“A World of Goods” by Peter M. Day, Jeremy B Rutter, Patrick S. Quinn, and Vassilis Kilikoglou 

20 July 2016         Introduction by R. C. Bigelow 

In their 2011 Downloadable paper, A WORLD OF GOODS; Transport Jars and Commodity Exchange at the Late Bronze Age Harbor of Kommos, Crete by Peter M. Day, et. al. analyzed 88 samples from four types of ceramic containers found at Kommos.

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Kommos and Myths

Poetry and Art with further musings on the ancient stories in the context of the Cretan Bronze Age 

09 December 2015            Introduction by R. C. Bigelow

Kate Tempest’s poem, Icarus, is a dynamic, interesting, and insightful re-telling of and comment on the myths of Daedalus and Icarus. Now other poetry and visual art related to these myths are being posted on this website, including works by Loes Huis in ‘t Veld, Renate Stollenwerk and Wendy Everett.  Clearly the poignancy of the doomed Icarus still has the power to inspire art. But how might these myths relate to Kommos? Read more ›

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Greek Myths & the Art of Words

Kate Tempest: A 21st Century London Poet – Musing and Rapping on Greek myths

04 April 2015     by James C. Stratis

We can be inspired by words, the art of words as in the inspirational art of poetry. Previously1 we connected to the ancient place of Kommos when we posted an article, a blog, on the poetry of place, through a poem by Constantine Cavafy. Read more ›

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James Wright: on Kommos, 2014 Open Discussion

Kommos Archaeological Site Master Planning Coordination

14 March 2014       by ASCSA Director James Wright

At the 2014 annual OPEN MEETING of the American School of Classical Studies of Athens, Dr. James Wright discussed the progress made in 2014 in developing a Master Plan for Kommos, Crete. The following video fragment is excerpted with the kind permission of Dr. Wright from a full video of his address at the conference.

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Publication Logistics in the Kommos site publications


 Multidisciplinary Field Projects

January 4, 2014     by Joseph W. Shaw

  1. Introduction.

    Excavations at Kommos in Crete were carried out in two phases, from 1976 through 1985 and from 1991 through 1996. The publication of the site consists of a series of nine preliminary reports in Hesperia, and five volumes (I-V) focusing on the site overall (Minoan and Greek), complemented by a volume on a Minoan pottery kiln, and two volumes on Minoan Mansion X (the first [2011] on architecture and finds, the second [forthcoming] on the pottery). [Those can be seen in the appendix]. Read more ›

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The Middle Minoan Ship Slipway at the Kommos Harbor

A revised analysis and conclusion of a site feature’s function 

03 October 2014    by Joseph W. Shaw

In the past a boat or ship’s hull after construction, repair or dry dock storage was at times coated with grease allowing it to slip into the sea. A boat ramp on the shore is known as a slipway. The co-excavator of Kommos, Professor Joseph W. Shaw, President of Kommos Conservancy, will be giving a paper on the Kommos slipway at a Conference on Minoan Architecture in general, in Toronto Canada in early January 2015. Here below is a brief abstract of the paper. – James C. Stratis 4 October 2014

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Ποίηση και Τόπος Ιθάκη / Ithaka

Εμπνευσμένο από τον τόπο, η ποίηση μπορεί να ενισχύσει την εμπειρία του επισκέπτη

29 Σεπτέμβριος 2014   Από τον James C. Stratis

Τι ήχοι, τι μουσική, τι πεζογραφία και ό, τι ενέπνευσε τη ποίηση συμπληρώνει την έμπνευση που προέρχεται από ένα μέρος. Ένα αρχαίο προ-ιστορικό τόπο, όπως ο Κομμός της Κρήτης.
Ο William Logan το 15 ​​Ιουνίου, 2014 στο New York Times κατέληξε στο συμπέρασμα “Η γλώσσα του επικερδώς απασχολούμενου έχει τη θέση του. Η ποίηση ποτέ δεν θα έχει το κοινό του “Game of Thrones” – που είναι ό, τι η τηλεόραση μπορεί να κάνει. Η ποίηση είναι κάτι που η γλώσσα μόνο μπορεί να κάνει. “1
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Poetry and Place — Ιθάκη / Ithaka

Inspired by place, poetry can enhance the visitor experience.

29 September 2014   by James C. Stratis

What sounds, what music, what prose and what inspired poetry can supplement
the inspiration derived from a place especially an ancient pre-historic place such as Kommos Crete? One outstanding example is the poem “Ithaka” written by Constantine P. Cavafy in 1911.

William Logan in his 15 June 2014 New York Times opinion concluded “Language gainfully employed has its place. Poetry will never have the audience of “Game of Thrones” — that is what television can do. Poetry is what language alone can do.“ 1 Read more ›

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Κομμος Ενα Μινωικο Λιμανι 3.650 Ετων

Ένα βίντεο σχετικά με τη διατήρηση και την ανάπτυξη του αρχαιολογικού χώρου του Κομμού σε βιώσιμο δημόσιο αρχαιολογικό πάρκο.

A You-Tube video in Greek about the conservation and the development of the Kommos archaeological site into a sustainable public archaeological park.

Video – Kommos pottery at the end of Minoan phase – plenty and fade to black

Posted for James Stratis

Jan Driesen of the Universite Catholique de Louvain has brought to our attention a video of Jeremy Rutter’s presentation entitled Late Minoan IIIB at Kommos : an abundance of deposits, a dearth of clear sub-phases, and probably a gradual desertion of the site  which was presented at the Workshop Colloquium “ARC A World in Crisis? The 13th c. BC in the Eastern Mediterranean”


Other pod casts from the UCL colloquium are available at:

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A Review of “Kommos V”

Kommos V the Monumental Minoan Buildings at Kommos presents the southern area of the excavations which includes the monumental buildings found at the site. In addition to chapters written by the principle excavators at Kommos, Joseph and Maria Shaw (JS and MS henceforth), nine other authors contribute, with particularly extensive contributions on pottery by Jeremy Rutter (R) and Aleydis Van de Moortel (VdM). Read more ›

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A Cretan Conundrum

This post is a somewhat modified version of a talk that I presented to the Egyptian Study Society of Denver Colorado on 21 January 2014. It was intended for a general audience; thus, it includes some information that is already well known to readers of these blogs. See also James Stratis’ post “The Egyptian Gods of Kommos” for additional information on Sekhmet and Nefertum.
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The Egyptian gods of Kommos

Posted for James Stratis.

During the fourth season of the Kommos excavation in 1979 the team from the University of Toronto, discovered, amongst other finds, two faience statues of Egyptian deities – Sekhmet (AB85) and Nefertum (AB86). The fact that both statues were found together points to a connection with Memphis, Egypt. This is where Sekhmet was the consort of Ptah and the mother of Nefertum.
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The Kommos Virtual Reconstruction Project

By Alexander Assaf

Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.
~Nikos Kazantzakis

The bright sun beat down on the plains overlooking the distant Rocky Mountains. In the midst of this landscape ouzo flowed, the crowds dined on saganaki (flaming cheese), traditional Greek dancers shouted, “OPA!” and I couldn’t tell if I was in Greece or in Denver at the annual Greek Festival on a sweltering day in June of 2011. Read more ›

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Ερμηνευτικό θέμα 1: ΥM IA κεραμικός κλίβανος στην νότια περιοχή Στοά

Η LM Ia εντός του κλιβάνου νωρίτερα Στοά

Ένας κλίβανος κεραμικών γεμάτος με είδη κεραμικής, που χρονολογείται στην Υστερομινωική  περίοδο  IA  (1500 Π.Κ.Ε) , χτίστηκε  στα ερείπια μιας πρώην  Μεσομινωικής στοάς (1700 Π.Κ.Ε). Έτσι ερμηνεύτηκε σε μια δημοσίευση της Αμερικανικής Σχολής Κλασικών Σπουδών στην Αθήνα από τον A. Van de Moortel, P.M. Day, Β. Κιλίκογλου και τον Διευθυντή Ανασκαφών/ Πρόεδρο της Υπηρεσίας Προστασίας Φυσικού Περιβάλλοντος του Κομμού, J.W. Shaw. Read more ›

A Lakonian (Minoan?) Shipwreck

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The Sounds of Silence

Today is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that caused the deaths of many innocent people. I am reminded of the man who lead some passengers on flight 93, over Shanksville Pennsylvania to counter attack. He was overheard by a telephone operator to say “let’s roll”. Read more ›

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A Donation Box for Delos (& Kommos…?)

In recent news a new government, and somewhat recent news – a new freedom to spend on cultural resources from donations. Good site stewardship requires regular site maintenance, and there has never been sufficient government funds to meet all the needs. Read more ›

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Capitalizing on Existing Assets: Infrastructure and Planning


The disappointment of the Gaddafi government’s stewardship at Cyrene

An important Hellenic-Roman heritage site in eastern Libya, as recounted in a  recent Kathemerini article by M. Abbas, reminded us of the planning that the Kommos Conservancy continues to invest in, towards producing a sustainable leveraged amenity for the Mesara in south central Crete. Where Shahaat, the neighboring town to the archaeological site of Cyrene has unaddressed short comings – the Cretan towns and villages of Pitsidia, Kamilari and Matala, near the Kommos archaeological site, offer the visitor plenty of good accommodation and restaurants. Read more ›

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The Chinese Are Coming

Photo: Chania Museum

We learned from an article in Ekathemerini on 24 February 2011 that Greece has committed to evacuating 15,000 Chinese from Libya, which is south of Kommos across the sea. This is another sign of the intergovernmental cooperation that is so pronounced at Greece’s primary shipping hub at Piraeus, where the Chinese have already been given control of 2 of the 3 container terminals, with the intention of their investing $300 million to upgrade the facilities over their new 35 year contract. Read more ›

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The Future of the Great Minoan Triangle

In Athens there has been planning and implementation for 25 years on a project called the Unification of Archaeological Sites, which connects pedestrian pathways to different archaeological sites. This  walkway across history and infrastructural improvement  provides the heritage tourist safety, convenience and a quality experience. And …Just in time as the tourism industry, according to Kathimerini in July 2010, was severely impacted by internal unrest and the Icelandic volcano eruption combined with political-economic uncertainty, have cost Greece’s Tourism sector over €200,000,000. euros.

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Contemporary Music and Minoan Mythology

LOL – We previously posted about “closing the gap with humor” as a way to connect a larger audience to the relevancy of the Kommos site and its Minoan era artifacts. By using contemporary media we can reach out to people outside the interest groups of archaeology and conservation. Similar to the podcast in the Zits comic strip this video utilizes a popular web based medium but with added contemporary music (Radiohead), to make accessible artifact images and humor, introducing the pre-Greek culture with its associated mythology of the man-bull minotaur. Read more ›

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bull leaper podcast

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Interpretive theme 2: artifacts – pottery

The Kommos kiln, described in a previous Blog entry is but one architectural feature of the site that deserves interpretation. The site also yielded many artifacts besides the architectural legacy of the former inhabitants. Chief amongst the artifact categories is pottery. The kiln was filled with pottery and there were other intriguing earlier and later significant finds, examples of Minoan but also Greek, Egyptian, Phoenician and Roman pottery. Read more ›

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Transparency for Growth

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Summer Work Season Plan

The American and European economic downturns have caused a postponement of the previously planned continuation of the Master Plan development for construction documents ( efarmogis –εφαρμογις) and the necessary government Ministry of Culture and Tourism ( Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Τουρισμού) and Κ.Α.Σ. regulatory approvals. Read more ›

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Full Scale Minoan Ship Reconstruction as an educational tool

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Interpretive theme 1: LM IA ceramic kiln in the Southern Area Stoa

The LM Ia kiln within the earlier Stoa

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