View of Gournia from the East 

The archaeological site of Gournia sits on the north coast of the Isthmus of Ierapetra in East Crete. Possessing some 50 well-preserved houses, a system of cobbled streets, a central court, a Minoan palace, and cemetery, Gournia gives the visitor the best picture of what a Late Bronze Age (1500 B.C.) town looked like. Gournia was a regional production center of bronze tools and weapons, domestic objects, and pottery and stone vases, an active trade emporium with overseas connections to other parts of the Aegean and the Near East, and the palatial administrative center for the Mirabello region. Its harbor complex consists of a monumental shipshed, fortification walls with towers, a riverside dam, and a cobbled street running from the coast to Town. 

Dug first during 1901–1904, the site is now under excavation again (2010–2014) by the University at Buffalo in New York, with participants from the Pacific, the United States and Canada, and Europe. For project pictures, click here.

Please check out the May/June 2015 issue of Archaeology Magazine for an article written about Gournia by Jarrett A. Lobell, "The Minoans of Crete."

The final excavation season was in June-July 2014. The Project will have study seasons in the summers of 2015 and 2016, and we may be interested in a few volunteers for the 2015 season. Information about possible positions as well as the volunteer form can be found on the volunteer page. Please check it out if you are interested! If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Disclaimer: Text and images from are those of the Gournia Excavation Project, unless otherwise stated. If you would like to use any of the information or images from the website, or have any questions, please email Thank you.

2012-2015 GEP


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