Past Projects

THE MINOAN FUNERARY LANDSCAPE. A STUDY OF SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE WORLD OF THE DEAD AND THE LIVING IN BRONZE AGE CRETE (CA. 3100-1450 BC)

In order to get round the limitations imposed by the Minoan mortuary record, Dr. Sylviane Déderix pursue her PhD dissertation focused on an overlooked aspect of the available data: the position occupied by tombs and cemeteries in the landscape of Pre-, Proto- and Neopalatial Crete (ca. 3100-1450 BC). Of all the choices made by a society regarding the treatment of its departed, those related to the location of burial sites are among the most fundamental. The establishment of the abode of the dead plays an active part in a community’s process of both forgetting and commemorating its deceased, while reflecting and influencing its attitude towards death and the dead. Accordingly, this dissertation relies on the use of Geographical Information Systems to shed new light on the criteria that influenced the placement of Minoan burial sites. The spatial and chronological distribution of the different types of tombs, the issue of topographic and visual prominence, the spatial relations between the dwelling of the living and the final resting place of the dead, as well as the location of circular tombs with respect to potential communication networks are explored. The results of the spatial analyses illustrate the existence of meaningful variations in the positioning of the different burial types, which in turn emphasizes the variability of the roles assigned to the dead and funerary practices in the different regions of the island between the rise of the Bronze Age and the fall of the second Minoan palaces.

PhD dissertation: “The Minoan Funerary Landscape. A Study of Spatial Relationships between the World of the Dead and the Living in Bronze Age Crete (ca. 3100-1450 BC)”.
PhD carried out at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), under the supervision of Pr. Jan Driessen (UCLouvain) and Dr. Apostolos Sarris (GeoSat ReSeArch, IMS-FORTH).
PhD defended on the 28th of April 2014.

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