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 was under excavation again (2010–2014) by the University at Buffalo in New York, with participants from the Pacific, the United States, Canada, and Europe. The final excavation season was in JuneJuly 2014; study seasons in the summers of 20152022. For project pictures, click here.

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

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 or

Privacy PolicyInformation collected by the Gournia Excavation Project through its website ( is used only to contact those interested in volunteering or those with any questions.

Thank you.

2012-2023 GEP


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