Living on the Margin

Chryssi Island and the Settlement Patterns of the Ierapetra Area (Crete)

Konstantinos Chalikias


This monograph examines the settlement history of a small island off the coast of southeast Crete and its exploitation by the settlements in the southern part of the Ierapetra Isthmus. Recent archaeological discoveries by the 24th Ephorea on Chryssi Island led to an intensive survey that uncovered numerous sites, dating from the Final Neolithic to the Ottoman period. The results from this study provided significant evidence for the exploitation of this small island (i.e. purple dye) through the centuries, and in turn the broader changes in settlement patterns that occurred along the south coast of Crete. Further, the archaeological investigation on Chryssi Island helped better our understanding of the ‘colonization’ of such marginal landscapes, the insular character of their communities, and their ties with the nearby coastal towns.