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Voyage to Crete: Iraklion
by Eti Bonn-Muller
July 20, 2009

At any given time, there are about 20 salvage excavations being conducted in Iraklion, the largest city on Crete. Archaeologist Liana Starida is the director of all of the digs throughout the city. She also oversees the reconstruction of its ancient walls and fortresses.

Over the past 20 years, salvage excavations have contributed greatly to scholars’ understanding of the city’s history. Archaeologists now have a clear picture of the size and affluence of the city during Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Christian times, as well as Arab, and Byzantine, and Venetian occupations.

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The team has unearthed great quantities of pottery from the site, including this piece Starida holds, protected by a plastic bag. The 10th-century sherd is made of white clay, which makes it very special—the material tells archaeologists that the piece came directly from Constantinople.

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