Following John and Hilda Pendlebury’s footsteps in Crete

My 2nd trip to Crete was with the British School at Athens’ Archivist (Amalia Kakissis) and the School’s current Early Career Fellow (Roderick Bailey). We stayed at the British School in Knossos, and together with staff from Knossos followed Pendlebury’s footsteps in Crete. Well…we selected which footsteps to follow as we only had a few days. Over the 14 years that John Pendlebury spent time in Crete he (often accompanied by his wife Hilda) travelled the length and breadth of the island, probably more than once.

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Landscape near Karphi, April 2016. Copyright: British School at Athens

Whilst visiting Crete, we took the opportunity to recreate some of the photographs in the John Pendlebury Family Papers Archive. You can see some of our efforts in this blog post.

Taverna, British School in Knossos:

 

First we explored the archaeological site at Knossos where John was curator from 1929 to 1934.

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South Propylaeum, Knossos Palace, 1933 (PEN 7/2/5/320). Copyright: BSA
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Throne Room, Knossos Palace (May 1928) in a photograph album in the John Pendlebury Family Papers Archive (PEN 7/2/4/127). Copyright: British School at Athens
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Pithos, Knossos Palace, Feb 1928 (PEN 7/2/4/37). Copyright: The British School at Athens
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Inscribed stone, Knossos Palace, May 1928 (PEN 7/2/4/128). Copyright: The British School at Athens
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John Pendlebury and Rosaleen Angus on the Royal Road, Knossos Palace, Mar-Jun 1933 (PEN 7/2/5/245). Copyright: British School at Athens

Around the Lasithi Plain we visited the sites of Karphi and the Trapeza Cave which John excavated under the BSA in 1936 and 1938, and Tzermiado village (where the excavation team was based).

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Approaching Karphi, April 2016. Copyright: British School at Athens
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Karphi (peak) – the settlement is just over the ridge on the right, between the Karphi and Koprana peaks. From a photograph album in the Pendlebury Archive (PEN 7/2/6/549), 24 May 1936. Copyright: British School at Athens

Views from Karphi:

 

Trapeza Cave:

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View from entrance to Trapeza Cave, April 2016. Copyright: British School at Athens
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Trapeza Cave, before excavation. May-Jun 1936 (PEN 7/2/6/517). Copyright: British School at Athens
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Trapeza Cave after excavation, May-Jun 1936 (PEN 7/2/6). Copyright: British School at Athens

Dig-house, Tzermiado:

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Excavation house in Tzermiado, April 2016. Copyright: British School at Athens

We visited Archanes and the Ideon Cave (birthplace of Zeus) on Mount Ida. These were both places that John and Hilda Pendlebury had been to.

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Church in the centre of Archanes, April 2016. Copyright: British School at Athens

The Ideon Cave and views from the cave:

 

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Entrance to Ideon Cave, May 1932 (PEN 7/2/4/405). Copyright: British School at Athens

We also spent some time in Heraklion and I visited the archaeological museum. This is an excellent museum and I really enjoyed seeing finds from Pendlebury’s excavations at the Trapeza Cave and Karphi. For example, I had seen many photographs of a monkey seal in the John Pendlebury Family Papers Archive. Travelling to Crete not only gave me the opportunity to see the cave where it was found (Trapeza), but to see the object on display and have it explained within a wider context. Now that I have seen the excavation sites and finds first hand, cataloguing the excavation records will be all the more enjoyable.

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Workers by the Vitzelovrysis Spring near Karphi, 1939. John Pendlebury commissioned the stone surround for the spring. with the lettering designed by Eric Gill. Photograph in the John Pendlebury Family Papers Archive (PEN 7/2/6). Copyright: British School at Athens
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Vitzelovrysi Spring, April 2016. Recreating the original photograph. Copyright: British School at Athens
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2 thoughts on “Following John and Hilda Pendlebury’s footsteps in Crete

  1. Dear Madeline. I am John Pendlebury’s oldest grandson (son of David Pendlebury). I was fascinated by your blog, which was found and sent to me by my nephew. It is 15 years since I was in Crete and enjoyed the end of dig party at Knossos. I would be very interested in meeting / talking to you about your research. Best wishes, Yours, Jeremy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to get in touch with Mr Jeremy Pendlebury. Is it possible to get yours/his email address?
      Krzysztof Nowicki (erganos@homail.com)

      Like

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