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Since 2012 the Study Center has provided a wide range of zooarchaeological services to archaeological projects in order to facilitate their final publications. These services focus on the analysis of mammal bones, fish bones, and marine invertebrate assemblages from archaeological excavations in Crete, elsewhere in Greece, and in the wider Aegean area. Chronologically, emphasis is given to projects that are prehistoric in date, but later materials are also analyzed. Publishable results are provided for each project.

Domestic goats grazing on the hillside near Karphi.

Additionally, the Study Center provides preliminary assessment of zooarchaeological assemblages, consultation on soil sampling, water flotation strategies, and planning of additional procedures (e.g., chemical analysis, isotopic analysis, etc.). In cases where additional expertise is needed, the Study Center collaborates with specialists from Greece and elsewhere: the University of Southampton, Dept. of Archaeology (D. Serjeantson); the University of Thessaloniki, Dept. of Biology (E. Voultsiadou); the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Wiener Lab (D. Michailidis); and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Dept. of Archaeology (K. Papayianni).

The Study Center houses a growing reference collection of mammals, fish, and mollusks, used by both the in-house zooarchaeologist, Dimitra Mylona, and other specialists. The reference collection is available for consultation upon request. The zooarchaeological work at the center is supplemented with a wide range of related activities such as publications, conference presentations, lectures, and presentations at schools.

Applications for zooarchaeological services provided by the INSTAP Study Center for East Crete are available. Please discuss your project with the faunal specialist before completing the application form.

Selection of the animal remains in the comparative faunal collection.

Zooarchaeological Analysis

Zooarchaeological projects undertaken by the Center’s Publication Team involve the analysis of mammal, fish, and molluskan remains, and emphasis is placed upon their contexts. For this reason, a close collaboration with the excavators in all phases of analysis is required in order for the results to be as relevant as possible to the research questions of the individual projects.

Slide show from left to right (click on each photo to enlarge): mammal and fish bones and seashells from Mochlos, Papadiokampos, and Chryssi. Photos by Ch. Papanikolopoulos.

The Procedure

Study permits are issued by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. The material under study should be clean, and, if water flotation is practiced, sorting of residue should be completed before zooarchaeological analysis commences. The initial phases of the analysis, which involve identification and recording, are conducted either at the Study Center or at an excavation’s individual facilities. In the first case, the materials are returned to the excavation project after the completion of the study.

The Results

Depending on the aims and requirements of the project, the Center can provide:

  1. Full and detailed zooarchaeological descriptions of the animal remains in the form of a database (e.g. Excel, SPSS)
  2. Digital images and drawings of selected elements to be used in publications
  3. A working report with the results of the analysis
  4. A full, publishable study of the material, which includes a contextual discussion of the results.

The Publication

The first publication or presentation of the results will be co-authored by the archaeologist and the zooarchaeologist, so that the views of all parties as well as the full analytical methodology are presented. If a separate chapter is more appropriate, then this should be authored by the analyst(s). Subsequent publications may be done in collaboration or independently with appropriate acknowledgements and reference to the initial work.

For any queries please email Dimitra Mylona.


Dimitra Mylona studied Archaeology at the University of Crete and earned her M.Sc. in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy at the University of Sheffield with a specialization in Zooarchaeology. She later received her Ph.D. at the University of Southampton, writing a dissertation on fish consumption in ancient Greece. Her work focuses on the analysis of archaeological animal remains (mammals, fish, and mollusks), and her research interests touch upon a number of issues related to food consumption, economy, and cult. She is particularly interested in the archaeology of maritime communities. She has participated in a large number of projects in Greece and adjacent regions and has been invited to present the results of her work at conferences and workshops in Greece and abroad. She has taught classes on topics of her expertise at the University of Crete, was a researcher at the Swedish Institute in Athens, and is an active member of several European organizations that focus on zooarchaeology and maritime history. She is the zooarchaeologist of the Study Center and a member of the Publication Team.


Apostolakou, S., P. Betancourt, T. Brogan, and D. Mylona. 2016. “Chryssi and Pefka: The Production and Use of Purple Dye on Crete in the Middle and Late Bronze Age,” in Purpureae Vestes V: Textiles, Basketry and Dyes in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Proceedings of the Vth International Symposium on Textiles and Dyes in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Montserrat, 1922 March, 2014), J. Ortiz, C. Alfaro, L. Turell, and M.a J. Martinez, eds., Valencia, pp. 199–208.

Apostolakou, S., P. Betancourt, T. Brogan, D. Mylona, and C. Sofianou. 2014. “Tritons Revisited,” in Physis. L’Environment Naturel et la Relation Homme-Milieu dans le Monde Égéen Protohistorique. Actes de la 14e Rencontre égéenne internationale, Paris, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), 11–14 décembre 2012 (Aegaeum 37), G. Touchais, R. Laffineur, and F. Rougemont, eds., Leuven, Liege, pp. 325–332.

Brogan, T.M, C. Sofianou, J.E. Morrison, D. Mylona, and E. Margaritis. 2013. “Living off the Fruits of the Sea. New Evidence for Dining at Papadiokampos, Crete,” in Diet, Economy and Society in the Greek World: Towards a Better Integration of Archaeology and Science. Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the Netherlands Institute on 2224 March 2010, S. Voutsaki and S.M. Valamoti, eds., Leuven, Paris, Walpole, pp. 123–132.

Morrison, J.E., C. Sofianou, T.M. Brogan, J. Alyounis, and D. Mylona. 2015. “Cooking Up New Perspectives for Late Minoan Domestic Activities: An Experimental Approach to Understanding the Possibilities and the Probabilities of Using Ancient Cooking Pots,” in Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: The Archaeology and Science of Kitchen Pottery in the Ancient Mediterranean World, M. Spataro and A. Villing, eds., Oxford, Philadelphia, pp. 115–124.

Mylona, D. 2013. “Αλιεία και Αλιευτικά Προϊόντα στο Προϊστορικό Αιγαίο,” in Υδάτινα Οικοσυστήματα. Χρήσεις, Επιπτώσεις και Διαχείριση. Πρακτικά του 15ου Πανελλήνιου Συνεδρίου Ιχθυολόγων, Θεσσαλονίκη 10–13 Οκτωβρίου 2013, Thessaloniki, pp. 1–4.

———. 2014a. “Aquatic Animal Resources in Prehistoric Aegean, Greece,” Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki 21:2 pp. 1–11. DOI:10.1186/2241-5793-21-2

———. 2014b. “Eco-history of the Eastern Mediterranean on Fish Bones, Sea Shells and Fish Hooks: Evidence from the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalaureia, Greece.” Paper read at the workshop on “Ancient and Medieval Marine Eco-History and Environmental History of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean,” 12–13 November 2014, Haifa, Israel.

———. 2015a. “Fish,” in A Companion to Food in the Ancient World, J. Wilkins and R. Nadeau, eds., Chichester, pp. 147–159. DOI: 10.1002/9781118878255.ch14.

———. 2015b. “From Fish Bones to the Ancient Fishermen: Views from the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalaureia,” in Classical Archaeology in Context. Theory and Practice in Excavation in the Greek World, D.C. Haggis and C.M. Antonaccio, eds., Berlin, Boston, pp. 385–417.

———. 2015c. Review of Mediterranean Voyages: The Archaeology of Island Colonization and Abandonment, by H. Dawson, Orbis Terrarum 13, pp. 301–305.

———. 2015d. “Sacrifices in the LM IIIB: Early Kydonia Palatial Centre. The Animal Remains,” Pasiphae 9, pp. 53–57.

———. 2016a. “Fish and Seafood Consumption in the Aegean: Variations on a Theme,” in The Inland Seas. Towards an Ecohistory of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Geographica Historica 35), T. Bekker-Nielsen and R. Gertwagen, eds., Stuttgart, pp. 57–84.

———. 2016b. “On Fish Bones, Seashells, Fishermen, and Seaside Living at Late Minoan IB Mochlos,” Kentro 19, pp. 1–5.

———. 2017. “Marine Animals,” in The Alatzomouri Rock Shelter: An Early Minoan III Deposit in Eastern Crete (Prehistory Monographs 58), V. Apostolakou, T.M. Brogan, and P.P. Betancourt, eds., Philadelphia, pp. 85–88. DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1wrpwnk.14.

———. 2018a. “Neolithic Fishing at Ftelia, Mykonos. Insight from the Fish Bones,” in Ftelia on Mykonos, Greece: Neolithic Networks in the Southern Aegean Basin, vol. II (University of the Aegean Laboratory of Environmental Archaeology 7) A. Sampson and T. Tsourouni, eds., Athens, pp. 229–235.

———. 2018b. “Processing of Marine Resources East and West: Varying Traditions, Technologies and Scales across the Mediterranean,” in The Bountiful Sea: Fish Processing and Consumption in Mediterranean Αntiquity (Journal of Maritime Archaeology special issue 13.3), D. Mylona and R. Nicholson, eds., pp. 419–436.

———. 2019a. “The Fish Remains,” in Palaikastro, Building 1 (BSA Suppl. 48), J.A. MacGillivray and L.H. Sackett, eds., London, pp. 373–386.

———. 2019b. “Animals in the Sanctuary. Mammal and Fish Bones from Areas D and C at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalaureia. With an appendix by Adam Boethius,” Opuscula 12, pp. 173–222.

———, 2020. “Marine Resources and Coastal Communities in the Late Bronze Age Southern Aegean: A Seascape Approach,” AJA 124, pp.179–213.

———. Forthcoming a. “Νησιωτικές Επιλογές Μέσα από τα Μάτια των Ψαράδων στις Αιγαιακές Ακτές την 2η χιλιετία π.Χ. Στοιχεία από το Ακρωτήρι, τον Μόχλο και τη Χρυσή,” in Νησιά και Νησιώτες στο Αιγαίο και τη Μεσόγειο. Νησιωτικοί Κόσμοι στη Μακρά Γεωπολιτισμική Διάρκεια, K. Kopaka, S. Kaklamani, and A. Kasdagli, eds.

———. Forthcoming b. “Preserved Fish Products at Bronze Age Akrotiri. A Long-Lived Mediterranean Tradition,” in Ακρωτήρι Θήρας. Σαράντα Χρόνια Έρευνας 1967–2007, C. Doumas, ed., Athens.

———. Forthcoming c. “The Animal Remains: Exploring Human-Animal Relations,” in Mochlos IVA: Period III. The House of the Metal Merchant and Other Buildings in the Neopalatial Town (Prehistory Monographs), J. Soles and C. Davaras, eds., Philadelphia.

Mylona, D., and S. Grainger. 2018. “Fish Products in the Ancient Mediterranean: Smell, Taste, and Texture of Flesh in a Conference Hall,” in The Bountiful Sea: Fish Processing and Consumption in Mediterranean Αntiquity (Journal of Maritime Archaeology special issue 13.3), D. Mylona and R. Nicholson, eds., pp. 219–224.

Penttinen, A., and D. Mylona. 2019. “Physical Environment and Daily Life in the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalaureia, Poros. The Bioarchaeological Remains. Introduction,” Opuscula 12, pp. 159–172.

Trentacoste, A., R. Nickolson, and D. Mylona. 2018. “The Bountiful Sea: Fish Processing and Consumption in Mediterranean Antiquity,” in The Bountiful Sea: Fish Processing and Consumption in Mediterranean Αntiquity (Journal of Maritime Archaeology special issue 13.3), D. Mylona and R. Nicholson, eds., pp. 207–218.

Wallace, S., with a contribution by D. Mylona. 2012. “Surviving Crisis: Insights from New Excavation at Karphi, 2008,” BSA 107, pp. 1–85


D. Mylona and INSTAP SCEC co-organized the international conference, “The Bountiful Sea: Fish Processing and Consumption in Mediterranean Antiquity,” 6–8 September 2017, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, University of Oxford.




In collaboration with Maria Iakovou and Vasiliki Kassianidou of the University of Cyprus, Dimitra Mylona and Thomas Brogan co-organized the workshop “Porphyra: The Materiality of Purple Dye Production and Use in Cyprus and the Aegean from Prehistory to the Late Roman Period.” The event was hosted by the Archaeological Research Unit at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, November 1–2, 2019.

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