Jan Driessen

Promotor & Porte-Parole of the ARC

Professor & Head of the research group Aegis

My research on Minoan Crete initially concentrated on Neopalatial architecture, soon to be followed by studies on the archaeological aspects of the Linear B tablets of Knossos. My involvement in different archaeological projects on the island, first through the British School at Athens (Palaikastro, Knossos, Myrtos) then as a Belgian member of the French School at Athens (Malia) as well as a series of studies on the impact of the Santorini eruption on Minoan Crete with C.F. Macdonald, made me realise that, despite a 100 years of excavation, Minoan society remains as mysterious for us as it was for Arthur Evans. Hence my interest for social structure and the attempts to understand the reality presented by the palace. Influenced by Lévi-Strauss and Elinor Ostrom, I have recently tried to approach Minoan society as corporative, based on a locus-bound association of matrifocally organised groups or houses, which, through collective action, collaborated to construct and use the complexes labelled ‘palaces’. By initiating the first ever excavation by the Belgian School at Athens on Crete at Sissi, thanks to the collaboration of the KD’ ephorate of antiquities, I have been able to explore some of these ideas in the field

Publications & CV