XXth International Aegean Conference
XXe Rencontre égéenne internationale
University of Amsterdam, 11-16 June 2024



Water Resources and Management in the Aegean Bronze Age


Robert Laffineur, Gert Jan van Wijngaarden, Jan Paul Crielaard, Joost Crouwel, Jan Driessen, Jill Hilditch

Water is arguably the most important substance of human life. However, in comparison to other liquids such as oil and wine, it has received relatively little attention in the study of the Aegean Bronze Age. The drainage of Lake Copaïs and the rerouting of a river at Tiryns indicate that knowledge on water engineering was present in Mycenaean society. Likewise, the water system in the Minoan Palace at Knossos indicates an awareness of the importance of hygiene and water provision.











The twentieth International Aegean Conference will be held in Amsterdam, a city situated in a riverine delta below the sea level. We will focus on different aspects of water and its effects on Aegean Bronze Age societies and are inviting scholars to share their recent research on:


– Drinking water (storage, transport, vessels etc.)
– Water provision (wells, springs, piping, drainage etc.)
– Waterscapes (use of rivers, lakes, lagoons, etc.)
– Water flora and fauna
– Water as a threat (tsunamis, and defence works such as dykes and dams)
– Water in Aegean art and material culture
– Water transport (boats, ships and harbours)












  • 17.00 Reception and registration
  • 18:00 Opening and Key-Note Lecture: Thomas F. TARTARON, Water-Worlds of the Aegean Bronze Age: Toward a Comprehensive Perspective
  •  19:15 Garden reception

Session I: Waterscapes

  • 9:00-9:20: Tristan CARTER, Shannon CREWSON, Kristine MALLINSON, Danica MIHAILOVIĆ, Vagia MASTROGIANNOPOULOU, Daniel CONTRERAS, Justin HOLCOMB, and Dimitris ATHANASOULIS, The Significance of Springs at Stelida, Naxos: From Neanderthal Camps to Later Bronze Age Ritual Landscape
  • 9:20-9:40: Giulia ALBERTAZZI, The culture / nature interplay contribution to the evolution of fresh-water management systems in Bronze Age Cyprus: a preliminary survey
  • 9:40-10:00: Emanuela ALBERTI, and Maia POMADÈRE, Malia and the water: sources, and uses of the salt and fresh water from the Protopalatial to the Neopalatial times
  • 10:00-10:20: Nicola CUCUZZA, Haghia Triada and the water in Late Minoan IIIA-B
  • 10:20-10:50: Questions and Discussion

10:50-11:20: Coffee Break

  • 11:20-11:40: Kyle JAZWA and Kimberley VAN DEN BERG, The Way of Water: The Influence of Water on ex novo Settlement Locations during the LBA Collapse
  • 11:40-12:00: Stella KATSAROU, Water in caves: Aspects of social ecology in the Greek Neolithic and the Bronze Age
  • 12:00-12:20: Myrsini GKOUMA, Panayiotis KARKANAS, Thomas BROGAN, Chrysa SOFIANOU, and Yannis PAPADATOS, Minoan occupation in wetland areas: results from the geoarchaeological study of Minoan habitation in the area of Ierapetra, East Crete
  • 12:20-12:50: Questions and Discussion

12:50-14:00: Lunch Break

  • 14:00-14:20: Daniel PULLEN, Thomas TARTARON, and Richard K. DUNN, Wringing Water Out of a Karstic Landscape: Fissures, Faults, and Terraces at Late Bronze Age Kalamianos
  • 14:20-14:40: Simona TODARO, Coastal Marshes and water Engineering Works in Crete at the Onset of the II Millennium BC: New Insights from Phaistos and Patrikies
  • 14:40-15:00: Dimitra MYLONA, Fish and marine mollusks from freshwater and brackish aquatic habitats on Bronze Age Crete
  • 15:00-15:30: Questions and Discussion

15:30-16:00: Tea Break

  • 16:00-16:20: Michael BOYD, Marie FLOQUET, Myrsini GKOUMA, Joshua WRIGHT, James HERBST, Tim KINNAIRD, Evi MARGARITIS, Ioanna MOUTAFI, Giorgos GAVALAS, and Colin RENFREW, Water as a threat: terraces and water management in the Early Bronze Age Cyclades in the light of recent data from Keros
  • 16:20-16:40: Nasser B. AYASH, The Role of the Waterscape in the location of Tholoi in the Central Messara
  • 16:40-17:00: Giorgios VAVOURANAKIS, An elemental approach to water in Minoan
  • 17:00-17:30: Questions and Discussion

Session II: Water Management & Technology

  • 9:00-9:20: Stephanie AULSEBROOK and David MASON, Need This, Don't Need That: Aspects of Water Management at Mycenae
  • 9:20-9:40: Ilaria CALOI, Looking for Minoan washing vessels? Pedestalled basins from Bronze Age Crete
  • 9:40-10:00: Massimo CULTRARO, Investigating Urban Water Management in EBA Northern Aegean: a sustainable paradigm from Poliochni, Lemnos
  • 10:00-10:20: Jan DRIESSEN, Water and Waste – The Role of Water in the Court-Centered Building at Sissi
  • 10:20-10:50: Questions and Discussion

10:50-11:20: Coffee Break

  • 11:20-11:40: Robert KOEHL, Alexander ASTON, Jason EARLE, Stelianos MANOLAKAKIS, and Michael Deniz YILMAZ, Water Management in the Early Cycladic II and Late Cycladic IIIC Middle Developed Periods on the Koukounaries Hill, Paros, Greece
  • 11:40-12:00: Michael LANE, Antecedents to the drainage at Gla
  • 12:00-12:20: Stelios PERRAKIS, The Transformation of a Waterscape: The case study of the Kato Zakros Valley
  • 12:20-12:40: Yannick DE RAAF, Drains and drainage channels in Middle Helladic and early Mycenaean settlements
  • 12:40-13:10: Questions and Discussion

13:10-14:10: Lunch Break

  • 14:10-14:30: Kim SHELTON, Well, well, well (?) Water management and use at Petsas House, Mycenae
  • 14:30-14:50: David SMITH, Hydor, hygiene and water management at Bronze Age Phylakopi, Melos
  • 14:50-15:10: Jeffrey SOLES, Costis DAVARAS, Chrysa SOFIANOU, and Georgios DOUDALIS, 1000 Years of Water Management at Minoan Mochlos, ca. 3100-1430 BC

15:10-15:40: Tea Break

  • 15:40-16:00: Daniel FALLU, Stella CHRYSSOULAKI, Georgia TSARTSIDOU, Leonidas VOKOTOPOULOS, Sara CUCCHIARO, Eugenio STRAFFELINI, Andreas LANG, Chiara BAHL, Robert SCAIFE, and Tony BROWN, Land and water management at Choiromandres, Zakros in the second millennium C.:A geoarchaeological study on climatic conditions, erosion, soils and cultivation
  • 16:00-16:20: Aleydis VAN DE MOORTEL, Water Management in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Coastal Community of Mitrou, Central Greece
  • 16:20-16:40 Elisabetta BORGNA and Simona TODARO, Phaistos and the sea. Searching for landing places along the western Mesara coast: a diachronic perspective
  • 16:40-17:10: Questions and Discussion

17:45: Visit and Reception at Allard Pierson

Session III: Water in cultural practices

  • 9:00-9:20: Thomas PALAIMA, Cultural Attitudes towards Water and Its Importance in Mycenaean Palatial Culture
  • 9:20-9:40: Mary DABNEY, Water in Mycenaean Mortuary Practices
  • 09:40-10:00: Panagiotis KOUSOULIS and Christina PAPADAKI, Water as a medium and idiosyncratic expression of the Mediterranean magical koine
  • 10:00-10:20: Lucia NIXON, Minoan Water Sanctuaries
  • 10:20-10:50: Questions and Discussion

10:50-11:40: Coffee Break

  • 11:40-12:00: Nikolas PAPADIMITRIOU, Rivers, floods and wetlands in prehistoric Attica
  • 12:00-12:20: Jan Paul CRIELAARD, Lou GODEFROY and Taariq SHEIK, The importance of wetlands in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age Aegean
  • 12:20-12:50: Questions and Discussion

12:50-14:00: Lunch Break

  • 14:00-14:20: Kiki BIRTACHA, Georgios VOUGIOUKALAKIS, Christina GIAMALI,  Irene NIKOLAKOUPOULOU, Froagula GEORMA and Ioannis BITIS, Tsunamigenic deposits in LB I Akrotiri, Thera
  • 14:20-14:40: Leonidas VOKOTOPOULOS and Christos AGOURIDIS, Ἱερὸν ὕδωρ: The use of water at the sacred caves of Adiavatos and its significance for the rites
  • 14:40-15:00: James WRIGHT, Palaeoclimate and the Emergence of the Mycenaean Palace
  • 15:00-15:30: Questions and Discussion

15:30-16:00: Tea Break

Session IV: Fishing and Agriculture

  • 16:00-16:20: Lynne KVAPIL, Eating from Field and Fen: Water in Food Production and Procurement in LBA Greece
  • 16:20-16:40: Gypsie PRICE, (Working) Isotopic Currents: Tracking transhumance practices in domesticated livestock at Bronze Age Mycenae
  • 16:40-17:00: Jacqueline S. MEIER, What’s the catch of the day? Seafood remains at Petsas House, Mycenae
  • 17:00-17:30: Questions and Discussion

18:45: Canal Boat Tour (registered participants only)

Session V: Coastal infrastructure and connectivity (Hall 0.09 - note that this is a different hall)

  • 9:00-9:20: Pietro MILITELLO, Dario PUGLISI, and Amer ASOULIMAN, How much water does a Minoan site need? Water Management in the southern Mesara in the Palatial Period
  • 9:20-9:40: Thomas BROGAN, Chrysa SOFIANOU, Vili APOSTOLAKOU, Melissa EABY, and Dimitra MYLONA, Maritime Coastscapes and Small Worlds in East Crete during the Middle and late Bronze Age
  • 9:40-10:00: Susan FERRENCE, Chrysa SOFIANOU, Philip BETANCOURT, Alessandra GIUMLIA-MAIR, Konstantinos CHALIKIAS, Melissa EABY, J. Mark KENOYER, and Geoffrey LUDVIK, Maritime Coastscapes and Big Worlds: Crete and the East in the Late Bronze Age
  • 10:00-10.20: Georgia DI LORENZO, Territory occupation and exchange ways with the central Mediterranean in the post-palatial era, through the waterscapes: some case studies from Western and N.- western Greece
  • 10:20-10:50: Questions and Discussion

10:50-11:20: Coffee Break

  • 11:20-11:40: Louise HITCHCOCK and Caroline TULLY, The connecting Sea: the Aegean as Central to a Mediterranean Agorocracy
  • 11:40-12:00: Bartek LIŞ and Anthi BATZIOU, The Mycenaean Harbour at Pefkakia
  • 12:00-12:20: Max MACDONALD, Mycenaean Maritimity: Reconstructing a Maritime Cultural Landscape in Western Messenia
  • 12:40-13:00: Diamantis PANAGIOTOPOULOS, The agency of the maritime The sea as formative element of transcultural interaction in the Late Bronze Age
  • 13:00-13:30: Questions and Discussion

13:30-14:30: Lunch Break

  • 14:30-14:50: Joseph SHAW and James WRIGHT, Evidence for seafaring at Kommos harbor, Ceramic, architectural, and other international interconnections
  • 14:50-15:10: Salvatore VITALE and Angelo QUERCI, Waters, Sea Routes, and Connectivity: Seafaring Technology and the Making of the Early Late Bronze Age Aegean
  • 15:10-15:40: Questions and Discussion

15:40-16:30 Tea break

Session VI: Iconography of Water (Hall D 1.09)

  • 9:00-9:20: Marisa MARTHARI, New insights into boats, longboats, and society in the Cyclades in the period just before the appearance of the Aegean sailing boat in the light of new excavations at Chalandriani and Kastri, Syros
  • 9:20-9:40: Fritz BLAKOLMER, Water and earth in Aegean iconography: The pictorial formulae of terrestrial rockwork and coralline forms … and some misconceptions by Aegean artists
  • 9:40-10:00: Eleni DRAKAKI, A Historical and Contextual Approach of the ownership of hard- stone seals with motifs of waterbirds from the Late Bronze Age Greek Mainland
  • 10:00-10:20: Emily EGAN, New Thoughts on the Knossos Argonaut Frieze
  • 10:20-10:50: Questions and Discussion

10:50-11:20: Coffee Break

  • 11:20-11:40: Karen Polinger FOSTER, From Water Lilies to Flying Fish: Wondrous Waterscapes in Minoan and Cycladic Iconography
  • 11:40-12:00: Marianna NIKOLAIDOU and Nikos MEROUSIS, Waterscapes and Aquatic Symbolism in the Funerary Iconography of Postpalatial Crete
  • 12:00-12:20: Laetitia PHIALON, Vassilis ARAVANTINOS, and Evi TSOTA, A re-examination of water- related motifs from Tanagra: contribution to the study of Aegean Late Bronze Age funerary symbolism and beliefs
  • 12:40-13:00: Vasiliki PLIATSIKA, The elusive waterscapes of Mycenaean pictorial pottery
  • 13:00-13:30: Questions and Discussion

13:30-14:30: Lunch Break

  • 14:30-14:50: Elisabeth SHANK, Water in Miniature-Style Wall Paintings
  • 14:50-15:10: Anna PHILIPPA-TOUCHAIS and Gilles TOUCHAIS, The waterscape in the Argolid and the first figurative motives in Middle to Late Bronze Age Transition Pottery
  • 15:10-15:30: Andreas VLACHOPOULOS, “Nilotic” versus “aquatic” in Aegean art
  • 15:30-16:00: Questions and Discussion

16:00-16:30: Tea break

Closing Session (Hall D 1.09) 

  • 16:30-17:00: Final Discussion
  • 17:00-17:30: Judith WEINGARTEN, Closing address

19:00:   Conference dinner (Registered participants only)

10:00: Excursion by touringcar(s) to the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden and Museum Castellum Hoge Woerd in Utrecht-Leidsche Rijn.


The conference will take place in the Oudemanhuispoort the heart of Amsterdam. The opening lecture by Professor Tom Tartaron on 11 will take place in the Zuiderkerk, also in the heart of Amsterdam (clicking these links will take you to google maps locations).





HYDOR Conference Live Streaming Links (no recording)




Conference Dinner: 19:00

  • Restaurant IJ-Kantine
  • NDSM kade 5
  • 1033 PG Amsterdam

We assemble at 18:25 at Amsterdam Central Station IJ-zijde (near the Starbucks). The ferry is at 18:41


Excursion to Leiden & Utrecht

  • Bus leaves at 10.00 am at De Ruiterkade- Oost (Busstop)
  • We assemble at 9:30 am at Amsterdam Central Station IJ-zijde (near the Starbucks). From there it is a 15 minute walk. We will return in Amsterdam ca 18:30 hrs


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The conference is generously supported by

The Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP)


The Amsterdam University Fund


The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM)