29 Jan

                                            COOKING  IN  MINOAN TIMES.

My friend and colleague Jerolyn Morrison working at the INSTAP Study Center for East Crete, had for some time been preparing an exhibition about how food could have been prepared and cooked in the Neopalatial Period in the Bronze Age on Crete(ca.1640-1425 B.C.) 

Many cooking pots and dishes of the Minoan period  have been found on excavations from Minoan settlements around Crete. Inspired by the examples of tripod cooking pots and cooking dishes at the sites of Papadiokambos(under the direction of Chrysa  Sophianou and the Kappa Delta Eforia and with the support of Tom Brogan and INSTAP Study Center for East Crete) and Mochlos(under the direction of Jeffrey Soles and Kostos Davaras.) Jerolyn was able to reproduce the vessels for cooking.

As everyone arrived at the village called Pachea Ammos,we could see that Jerolyn and her project partner Jad Alyounis had already prepared some of the ingredients ready to cook later,some dishes needed to be marinade. Bricks were laid upright in a square shape in order for the wood/charcoal to fit into and burn to temperature sufficient for cooking.  There was a variety of food to be cooked consisting of octopus,liver,fish,chicken and lentils.


Although the time taken to cook the various  types of food as the Minoans could have done,once cooked and served, the flavours were outstanding and enjoyed by all. The exhibition was a huge success, so much so that we hope to be able to hold another  one in the near future. 

There will shortly be another experimental  event taking place of minoan cooking. Watch this page for more information.



Posted by on January 29, 2011 in Uncategorized



  1. frandi

    January 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Oh how I wish I could join you at these meets, Rita. Thank you for sharing these exciting excavations and experiments with us.


    • ritaroberts

      January 30, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Thankyou for your interest Anne,I will be adding some pictures shortly of the Minoan cooking .


  2. littlemissdebbie

    February 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I found this posting absolutely fascinating. I read the “About Me” section as well and, like you, I’ve always been a fossil collector and interested in archaeology.

    As for the experimental archaeology aspect of the cooking – I think that’s a really good way of studying how people lived historically.

    I used to work as a site secretary on an archaeological project called Cosmeston Medieval Village. The site was quite near Cardiff and the aim of the project was to rebuild many of the buildings using the same methods and materials as were originally used. This involved going to beaches to gather stones for building and also cutting reeds for thatch and learning how to thatch the rooves!

    On some of the “Open Days” we organised, we would gather some veg (from our medieval garden that we’d recreated) and make broth over fires in the fireplaces of the cottages that we’d rebuilt.

    The pay at the time was fairly low, but the project was fascinating to work on. As I was secretary for the project, I got to type up all of the notes and papers. I learned so much from doing that – it really was a pleasure to go to work every day.


    • ritaroberts

      February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Hello Debbie,so pleased you enjoyed reading my blog. I have seen your work at Cosmeston Medieval Village many times, and always enjoyed seeing the children run out of the one medieval house because there was a model of someone supposedly to be sleeping. they thought it was real. The reconstruction of the village is outstanding.So did you ever go to the Re-enactment battles if so, you may have seen us at the market selling our historical sauces i.e. Roman,Saxon,Medieval and Welsh Leek sauce. the Medieval sauce sold really well there. Our title was APICIUS SAUCES. so maybe we have met at some stage. I have recently written a book shortly to be published called, Toffee Apples and Togas,its my biography but I talk a lot about the Re-enactors including Cosmeston.
      I now live on the Island of Crete but keep in touch with most of our ReEnactor friends. Allan Gibbon and Chris Bruce, from Plantagenet Events ran the site at cosmeston most of the time.


      • littlemissdebbie

        February 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm

        Hi Rita, we probably have met at some point then – small world! We may even get to meet again. My sisters all live on the Greek island of Spetses and I try to visit a couple of times a year. I’ve started doing freelance work online and this has been possible to do while I’m in Greece. I’m hoping to get enough regular online work to move over there at some point during the coming year. If I do manage it, I will try to get to Crete at some point and look you up. Will be keeping in touch!


      • ritaroberts

        February 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        That would be nice for us to meet Debbie,I guess we have a lot incommon.I have read some of your freelance work,sounds interesting.I would be interested to know whether you knew any of the Re-enactors when the shows were at Cosmeston. When you have time please check back on my blog so we can keep in touch.


  3. Anne Frandi-Coory

    February 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Dear Rita, how fascinating! Cooking up all those ancient recipes. Oh how I wish we lived on Crete. And the re-enactments – well what can I say. Can’t wait to read your book. Your friend in Melbourne.



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