OBITUARY: Dilys Powell

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The Independent Online
May I add to the obituary of Dilys Powell [by Michael Haag, 5 June] about her interest in Crete? writes J.W.A. Loney.

In the Villa Ariadne, Dilys referred to a trial excavation by her then husband Humfrey Payne, at a site on the north slopes of Mount Ida - Eleutherna - saying that they found "nothing of interest". In 1987, the recently created Department of Archaeology at the University of Crete, under Nicholas Stampolidis, commenced excavations there; over the past eight years they have revealed an important "dark ages" burial site with evidence of human sacrifice.

I introduced Professor Stampolidis to Dilys in 1988 and she was fascinated to have a first-hand account of what Payne and she had failed to discover in 1927. Each subsequent year, she expected news of the latest discoveries; it was one of her greatest regrets that ill-health prevented her making a last visit to Eleutherna.