You are on page 1of 1


Evangelos Charitopoulos
Department of Archaeology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands,
Map 1

Aims The research for my Ph.D. aims to the record and analysis of these elements using interdisciplinary methodology. I will study two poorly surveyed chronological periods, the Venetian and Ottoman ones, respectively. To the contrary of the basic academic interest in the island, that is the Minoan past, this thesis will look at unexplored issues on the island, concerning the dynamic relation between natural and manmade environment on settlement pattern, architectural forms, economic exploitation, and ways of life. Furthermore, a synopsis of conservation approaches from the past centennial will be conducted, proposing tools and strategies for the protection and sustainable use of the natural and manmade heritage of the Rethymnon region. Natural Environment Prassano gorge in the eastern part of the case study area is nominated as NATURA 2000 site for wild birdlife (Map 3). . Almost the whole mountain Vrysinas as well as Prassano Rethymnon Gorge are nominated as a protected area (site code 341459) under the Nationally Designated Areas (National CDDA) scheme. In the western foothills of Vrysinas, in a spot named Paradeisos (site code 124185) has been

At Rethymnon inland, in central - western Crete, [Map 1 & 2]

many historic buildings have survived, both religious and

secular. At the same time, several aspects of the medieval and post-medieval landscape are still visible in this region. Inside the surviving landscape, there are numerous villages dated to the Venetian period, which keep the settlement pattern and building characteristics of the previous centuries. Between settlements, productive areas and the coastlines, traces of the old road network still remain, consisting mainly

of pathways, earthworks and bridges (Charitopoulos 2009;

Methodology For archaeological data analysis, a methodological approach will be suggested in order to document each site in the region. Archaeological data will be recorded in a relational database and visualized in a geographical information system (GIS). Using the database as well as the geographic information system, statistical and spatial data analysis will take place. The purpose of analysis will be the definition of settlement pattern, the correlation of the physical environment with architectural remains and the reasons for settlement selection. Also, the typology of religious and secular architectural remains, the productive zones of the settlements and the regional road network
Vrysinas mt

Charitopoulos and Sarris 2011).

established an official shelter and kennel of wild species

(European Environment Agency 2009; EKBY 2010).
Map 3

will complete the study.

Road network reconstruction The road network was reconstructed in a GIS application as a part of a revious MA dissertation research utilizing data from remaining parts of the old constructions (Fig. 1 & 2), the evaluation of the archaeological context and the least cost path analysis tools. The archaeological data included settlements, productive areas like watermills and freestanding churches in context with the old road network. The cross-correlation with Ottoman written sources and two Venetian maps, of Fr. Basilicata and A. Oddi (Chryssochoou 2001), formed a useful tool (Map 4) for the analysis providing accurate information about the existing road network for each period (Charitopoulos 2009; Charitopoulos and Sarris 2011).

Map 2

Outcomes In Crete there is still the opportunity to research for architectural forms and their correlation with the physical environment in order to identify the settlement pattern, the productive zones and the road network in the context of the evolution and transition from the Venetian to the Ottoman, and on to the Map 4 (Charitopoulos and Sarris 2011) Fig. 1 (Charitopoulos and Sarris 2011) The data analysis led to the proposal of two main road axes directing from the northern coasts to the inland of Rethymnon and further to the southern seaside. These roads took benefit from two gorges respectively (Fig. 3). These main diachronic road connections were accompanied by three connecting ones in both north-south axis and east-west one. The secondary roads led via Vrysinas mountain to the nearby mountainous areas and plateaus. Modern Greek state. The wealth of the variety of free-standing architectural remains, as well as the survival of the majority of settlements dated from the Venetian period provide the opportunity to examine the long-term evolution of the rural landscape and society in central-west Crete. The assessment of values that the recorded data expressed and the review of domestic and international legislation and policies about heritage and conservation will help finding out ways for the protection and sustainable development of the case study region. Conclusion The research approach focuses on the interaction between the natural and man-made environment, aiming to the determination of architectural history and social aspects of the case study area. sustainable regional development. Moreover, heritage

Monuments conservation and reuse In the area has been undertaken numerous projects for the restoration of historic buildings either from the Archaeological Service or individuals (Fig. 4). These initiatives can be combined with proposed ones (Fig. 5) in an integrated living network.

Fig. 3 The private initiatives however were not always methodologically accurate. This fact underlines the need for the establishment of an non profit organization aiming to the guidance and collaboration between public Fig. 4 Bibliography
Charitopoulos, E. (2009) Inland southern of Rethymnon during the Late Medieval Period. Study and Evaluation of Archaeological Data with Geographical Information System (GIS) Application [ . (GIS)], Masters Thesis. Rethymnon: Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete. Charitopoulos, E. and A. Sarris (2011). Documenting Venetian and Ottoman landscape in Crete: Settlement patterns, road network and productive areas in Rethymnon inland. 14th International Congress Cultural Heritage and New Technologies . Vienna. Chryssochoou, St. (2001), The mechanic Francesco Basilicata in Gennadeios Library. Cartographic and topographic analysis of GT 229 q volume of Gennadeios Library [ Francesco Basilicata . GT 229 q ], Athens: Association of friends of Gennadeios Library [ ]. EKBY (2010). Protected areas [ ]. Retrieved 08/08, 2011, from European Environment Agency (2009). Nationally designated areas (National - CDDA). Retrieved 11/08, 2011, from

authorities and local society.

conservation policies are discussed as well as some proposals for

Research outcomes could also contribute to the establishment of specified tourism forms such as religious and trekking ones. This approach will form an ideal way of understanding the historic archeology of the local landscape and at the same time providing a management tool for Cretan cultural heritage.

Fig. 2

Fig. 3