Fragmentary clay bust of a human figure with long hair (or perhaps a headdress?)

Clay bust from Lyktos ca. 600 BCE. © Lyktos Archaeological Project

New Discoveries at Lyktos:

“The Most Ancient City in Crete, and the Source of the Bravest Men” (Polybius 4.54)

Antonis Kotsonas


This lecture will take place in person at ISAW.

Registration is required at THIS LINK.

Since 2021, a team from ISAW/NYU has been involved in archaeological fieldwork at the Greek and Roman city Lyktos in central Crete, Greece. Celebrated by Homer, considered as the birthplace of god Zeus by Hesiod, and identified as the cradle of the Spartan constitution by Aristotle, Lyktos boasts an unusually rich literary and epigraphic record. Notwithstanding the reputation of the ancient city, and the interest of many renowned archaeologists in excavating it, Lyktos attracted only small-scale fieldwork until recently. The lecture reports on recent discoveries at the acropolis of Lyktos and at an associated burial ground. The integrated research of settlement and burial areas with rich finds generates exceptional insights into the archaeology and history of Lyktos in its Cretan and broader Greek context, especially during the period which extends from the probable foundation of the site ca. 1200 BCE to its dramatic destruction by its arch rival Knossos in 220 BCE.

Antonis Kotsonas is Associate Professor of Mediterranean History and Archaeology at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. from the University of Crete.

His research focuses on the material culture and socio-economic history of Greece and the Mediterranean in the Early Iron Age and the Archaic period, though his research interests extend from the Late Bronze Age to the Roman period. He has conducted fieldwork and finds research on Crete, and in the Cyclades, Euboea, Macedonia and Latium; and comparative studies across the Aegean, and from Italy to Cyprus. His publications engage problems in state formation, trade and interaction, identity and commensality, memory, and the history of Greek and Mediterranean archaeology. He is the author of The Archaeology of Tomb A1K1 of Orthi Petra in Eleutherna (Athens 2008); co-author of Methone Pierias IInscriptionsGraffiti and Trademarks on Geometric and Archaic Pottery from the ‘Ypogeio’ of Methone Pierias in Macedonia (Thessaloniki 2012); the editor of Understanding Standardization and Variation in Mediterranean Ceramics: Mid 2nd to Late 1st Millennium BC (Leuven 2014); and co-editor of a Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Archaeology of Early Greece and the Mediterranean (Forthcoming). Also, he is Area Editor for the Wiley Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

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