Belgian archaeologists discover a remarkable site in Crete


In Crete, a team of researchers led by Professor Jan Driessen, has discovered the 3,500-year-old intact tomb of a woman wearing a very rare necklace. This discovery will give us a better understanding of society at the time.

A large international and multidisciplinary team, under the auspices of the Belgian School at Athens, has discovered the latest palace known to date in Crete.

These excavations are extremely useful for understanding the importance of sites such as that in Sissi. They involve collecting as much information as possible about lifestyles and the foundations of Crete society in the Minoan then the Mycenaean eras, two civilisations discovered less than 150 years ago.

A gold pearl necklace was found in the tomb, together with pins made of bone and metal and a bronze mirror. This all indicates that the dead woman, who was richly dressed, had a high status in society. The discovery reinforces the importance of the role of women in Minoan society:  "According to data already collected, we believe that succession from one generation to another was from mother to daughter. Another detail is that the women wore very elaborate clothing, while the men dressed in wrap skirts", said the professor.

Analysing the DNA of the dead woman and comparing this discovery to similar excavations will provide more information on Minoan society and an understanding of how it changed from a community-based society to one focused more on the individual.

And this will be thanks to the largest Belgian excavation campaign abroad!