In 2023, the experimental work on timber begins in the ANR TiMMA project, in collaboration with the French School of Athens and the UMR 7041 ArScAn. The project focuses on reconstructing a small building inspired by Minoan architecture, particularly the Protopalatial architecture of the Quartier Mu, at the Malia site in Crete. The project is led by Paul Bacoup (ANR TiMMA; UMR 7041 ArScAn), Valentin Loescher (Univ. Paris 1, UMR 7041 ArScAn), and Elena Maragoudaki (independent researcher), in collaboration with Nikos Daroukakis (shipwright and stringed-instrument maker), Maia Pomadere (Univ. Paris 1, UMR 7041 ArScAn), and Eleftheria Tsakanika (Polytechnic University of Athens).

The team. From left to right: N. Daroukakis, E. Tsakanika, P. Bacoup, V. Loescher and E. Maragoudaki (© photograph M. Pomadere)


The first experimental phase (24th May-4th June) aimed to reconstruct the wooden elements of the mud brick walls of a 15 m² building.


Hypothetical 3D rendering of the future experimental building (© 3D rendering P. Bacoup)


For three of the walls, these elements consisted of longitudinal and transverse pieces of wood. These pieces could be round and simply debarked or squared. The fourth wall allowed us to reconstruct a door and window unit, inspired by remains discovered in the 'Crypte hypostyle' of Malia and in buildings at Akrotiri (Santorini). In fact, this last structure was the main focus of the experiment. Bronze tools (saws, adzes, axes, wedges, hammers, and chisels) were used, replicated from Mycenaean archaeological objects, along with wooden tools (hammers, mallets, and wedges) inspired by Egyptian and continental elements from the same period.