12.00 – 13.00 GMT, Zoom Webinar


Digging the past, saving the stone: The Sissi Archaeological Project and its Preservation Programme

Since 2007, a team of the UCLouvain under the auspices of the Belgian School at Athens has been working at Sissi, a Bronze Age or Minoan site on the island of Crete. Apart from a cemetery and an enduring settlement, occupied between 2600 and 1200 BCE, a large monumental complex with central court was also excavated. In this lecture, we concentrate on this building, noting its peculiarities. Moreover, we discuss the various conservation challenges these recently uncovered ruins are exposed to, especially those related to their natural setting, and how these issues have so far been addressed to ensure the long-term safeguarding of the site.


Jan Driessen

Jan Driessen is professor of Mediterranean archaeology at the UCLouvain and was director of the Belgian School at Athens (2012-2022). At the UCLouvain, he directs the Aegis research group (https://site.minoan-aegis.net/). Apart from Minoan architecture, his research focusses on social structure and the impact of the Bronze Age Santorini eruption on Mediterranean societies. Further information on the Sissi site can be found at www.sarpedon.be.

Thérèse Claeys

Thérèse Claeys is a PhD student at the UCLouvain. Initially trained as an archaeologist, she holds an advanced master in Conservation of Monuments and Sites from the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (KULeuven, Belgium). Her research interests look to the development of integrated planning tools to help improve the sustainable preservation and presentation of the fragile Bronze archaeological sites on Crete. Besides her academic curriculum, Thérèse was involved in international cultural heritage protection projects with UNESCO and the World Monuments Watch.


Sissi Kefali hill, Crete (GR) © Nicolas Kress