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Preliminary considerations on the problem of the relationship between Phaistos and Hagia Triadha

Benben Publications
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  • Excavations (Archaeology) - Greece - Kommos (Crete)
  • Phaistos
  • Hagia Triadha


The problem of the relationship between Phaistos and Hagia Triadha was foreseen, as everyone knows, by the first excavators in southern Crete who were concerned with the possible subordinate role of Hagia Triadha to Phaistos. The hypothesis proposed at the beginning by Halbherr (1903:7) that the villa of Hagia Triadha was to be considered a 'rural residence' of the princes of Phaistos, codified this condition of dependence even though, later, the idea was to be abandoned. Already Halbherr himself, in a letter to L. Pernier dated 5 October, 1912 (Creta Antica:42) could not avoid noting a different situation in LM III: "It seems almost", he wrote, "as if in LM III the inner city of Phaistos lost its importance and that at least the centre of commercial activities was brought closer to the sea, in the suburb of Hagia Triadha, from the terraces of which one could see the arrival of the ships from the Libyan Sea to the landing of Dibaki" [= Tymbaki: Ed.]. Essentially ignored by the earlier and later excavators of Phaistos (Pernier, Levi), the problem was again addressed by L. Banti (Halbherr et al. 1977:233) in the publication of the excavations of Hagia Triadha; Banti obstinately rejected the hypothesis proposed by S. Marinatos that in Neopalatial times the ruler of Phaistos had moved to Hagia Triadha. This refutation, which defended the 'Palatial' role of Phaistos, re-proposed, indirectly, the subordinate role of Hagia Triadha.

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