Dr. Miriam G. Clinton of the Department of Art and Art History, along with Dr. Andrew Koh from Brandeis University, has received approval from the Greek Ministry of Culture for a 2016 archaeological study permit. They will study the artifacts from the Mouliana Sellades “warrior graves” on Crete. These tombs straddle the end of the Bronze Age (1200-1100 BCE) and may reflect the burials of heroes like those in the Homeric epics –even including both bronze and iron swords.
This is the first time an archaeologist has been granted permission to study the Sellades artifacts in over a century. The application went through a rigorous process of vetting by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, including both the Wiener Laboratory committee on scientific analysis and the Excavation & Survey committee, in recognition of the importance of the artifacts and the planned study.
In the summer of 2016, Clinton will take several Rhodes students to Crete to study the artifacts using X-ray florescence, LiDAR, photogrammetry, and traditional drawing, measurement, and photography. The team will work with specialists at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the Siteia Archaeological Museum. This study is part of a long-term project to understand the Mouliana region that also includes a recent article highlighting settlement locations. Clinton and her colleagues plan to follow up the 2016 season with additional studies, both in the U.S. and Greece, culminating in the first full publication of these important artifacts with modern scientific analyses.