Conservation & Heritage Management
Though the primary focus of the project is publication, it is the responsibility of all archaeologists to conserve the material they excavate. This includes small finds like pottery, bronzes, etc., and the site itself. The project relies on professional conservators employed in the W.D.E. Coulson Conservation Lab at the INSTAP Study Center for East Crete for the former. The site conservation program is led by Dr. Stephania Chlouveraki and her team of conservators from the University of West Attica in Athens who conduct an annual inspection of the site and target those areas most indeed of stabilization. Costis Frangiadakis, who has worked on the project since it began, serves as the foreman of the site consolidation effort and directs student volunteers and other experienced hands in carrying it out. The work has been underway for many years and includes the creation of a tourist path through the site on the island and the erection of signs with plans and descriptions of excavated areas in English and Greek. Site conservation and heritage management is an on-going undertaking, however, and the Project has drawn up a 5-year comprehensive site management plan which has been submitted to the Ephoreia and the Conservation Directory of the Ministry of Culture for approval. As well as plans for architectural consolidation, it includes plans for backfilling all remains earlier than the Neopalatial period in date (excluding the new MM II house), plans to provide adequate drainage of areas left exposed, and the consolidation of rubble walls with a new mortar mix. Site conservation has always been an important component of the annual work during study seasons as well as excavation seasons and will continue to be as long as the current Greek-American team is authorized to do so. Unlike excavation, it is an annual activity, requiring innovative cooperation between the directors and the conservators who strive to apply the most up-to-date techniques in the short time we have each summer to protect the site for years to come.