CE27 - Culture, création, patrimoine

Timber in Minoan and Mycenaean Architecture – TiMMA

Submission summary

The uses of timber in Mycenaean architecture and in the palatial architecture of the Neopalatial period in Crete were identified very early on and have been summarised in works devoted to the architecture of these periods: however, it has never been the subject of an overall study or of a comparative approach. The TiMMA project proposes to fill this gap. The objective is to gather in an interactive database all the current data on the presence of wood in the architecture of the Aegean Bronze Age (Greece and Crete) by concentrating the study on a series of selected sites (Pylos, Mycenae and Tirynthe, but also Malia, Phaestos, Zakros and Knossos, as well as Akrotiri on the island of Thera). Directors of each excavation are member of the team. In order to reconstruct as much as possible the wood supply, we will also compile the archaeo-environmental data of these sites, as well as the results of the palynological research in order to approximate the forest cover of the surroundings and the available trees. This work will make it possible to evaluate the structural role of timber (load-bearing system, reinforcement, seismic function or not of the device), thanks to structural calculations and 3D restitutions, reinforced by the use of experimental archaeology on a few buildings chosen among the sites selected for their exemplary nature and the data collected. It will be possible to evaluate the use of wood, to distinguish the borrowings and the specificities of each architecture and to make progress in the comprehension of the relations between Minoans and Mycenaeans. The TiMMA project therefore concerns the history of buildings, the history of techniques and architecture as well as cultural history. The techniques and uses of wood, particularly in Neopalatial Minoan architecture, also provide food for thought regarding the new uses of this material in current eco-construction and particularly the reuse of traditional techniques.

Project coordination

Sylvie Rougier-Blanc (Centre de recherche en histoire européenne comparée)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Efa Direction des études - Antiquité et Byzance
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki / department of History and Archaeology
University of Heidelberg / institut für Ür-und Frühgeschichte
University of Catania / Antiquity sciences
University of Cincinnati / college of art and science (Archaeology)
National Technical University of Athens / School of architecture
CRHEC Centre de recherche en histoire européenne comparée
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens / department of geology and geoenvironment
ArScAn Archéologies et Sciences de l'Antiquité
University of Thessaly / Department of Archaeology

Help of the ANR 569,492 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2021 - 48 Months

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