The Minoan habitation was gradually excavated by the 25th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, during the period 1991-2011 in the Stavromenos-Hamalevri area, east of the city of Rethymno, and constituted a long-lasting settlement. In the context of these investigations, and on the basis of the current data, it is noted that the Minoan settlement arose mainly on the two low fertile hills, “Kakavella” and “Tsikouriana”. Clear indications of inhabitation, albeit limited, are also found in the area along the coastal zone of Stavromenos.
Extensive one-storey and two-storey buildings with elaborate architecture and construction innovations, workshop facilities, ceremonial pits and rubbish dumps have gradually come to light on the two hills. Their use extended from at least the EM III / MM I period up / until to LM IIIC. The interest lies in the fact that three clear successive shifts in time and space took place at the Hamalevri settlement. As a result of this movement, certain Minoan dwellings were erected and developed at different locations.
The general principles governing the change of settlement sites suggest conscious and organized choices, the symbolic dimensions of which may reflect perceptions and strategies which social groups develop between past and present and between current aims and ancestral prestige. As such, a very interesting field of research is emerging. Clearly, and as evidenced by this preliminary study of Hamalevri, it concerns the social practices of the residential space and the natural environment.
These practices depend on the configuration of living and action conditions, always within the context of historical-cultural coordinates and circumstances during prehistoric times.