The Knossos Urban Landscape Project is an intensive surface survey, organised as a collaboration between the British School at Athens and the Herakleion Ephoreia. It is documenting the archaeology of the site of Knossos and its environs, including the ancient city and all of its surrounding mortuary landscape accessible for investigation. It was initiated in recognition of a century of intensive investigation of the Knossos valley by both institutions. Its specific objectives are to record the archaeological resources of the valley to aid their protection and manage future development in the valley; to document systematically the archaeological record to contextualise a century of research and rescue investigations; to integrate new systematically collected surface data with existing excavation data to reconstruct long-term urban dynamics at Knossos; and to establish a comprehensive base-line for future research in the valley.
This paper serves as an introduction to the six papers which follow, together presented as a session at the 12th Cretological Congress. This introduction briefly presents the background to the project, its aims and methodology, and summarises its progress to date, in the field and in follow-up studies of the collected material. Interim results are presented in the following five papers, authored by the period specialists studying the ceramics for major cultural periods. These summarise the work to date on the project collections, within the context of previous investigations in the valley, to provide an overview of the long-term development of Knossos, from the establishment of the initial Neolithic community c. 7000 BCE, until the final decline of the site as a major centre in the early 8th century CE.
A final concluding paper highlights the insights, but also the challenges presented by the project to date, which will continue to be addressed as the project moves toward publication.