The peak sanctuary of Atsipadhes Korakias in the Rethymnon region of western Crete was excavated by Dr Alan Peatfield (University College Dublin) and Dr Christine Morris (Trinity College Dublin) in 1989. The excavation focused on the detailed recovery of the votive objects and their spatial distribution within the site. This distribution can be interpreted as ritually meaningful, allowing us to reconstruct elements of the Minoan peak sanctuary cult. More broadly the study has been instrumental in helping us to develop new models of Minoan religion, based around spiritual experience and ecstatic modalities.
As well as being presented in the large numbers of articles we have published, the study of the material is ongoing. During the study we have also been able to draw in innovative methodologies, including the development of an intra-site GIS and 3D scanning of figurines.
The overall project also includes the Ayios Vasilios Survey, a collaboration with Dr Jennifer Moody (University of Texas at Austin) and Dr Stavroula Markoulaki (Archaeological Ephoreia of West Crete). The purpose of the survey has been to establish the relationship between the peak sanctuary and its landscape setting, identifying contemporary settlements, material connections, and topographic routes.
The final publication will be offered as a volume through the British School at Athens.
We acknowledge the practical assistance of the British School at Athens, the West Cretan Archaeological Ephoreia, and especially colleagues in Rethymnon Archaeological Museum. For funding we are grateful to Dr Carol Dalbiac; the British School at Athens; INSTAP; University College Dublin; Trinity College Dublin; Irish Research Council.