Dig Sites

Aegean Islands
Iranian Plateau

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Argos . Asomata . AthensAnghialos . Ayios Stephanos . Baley . Balgartchevo . Brauron . Eleusis . Epidaurus Limera . Franchthi . Khashuri . Korinthos . Kouros . Messene . Mycenae . Oropos . Sarakenos . Sindos . Thebes . Thessaly


Argos (ElEni P. Zoitopoulou, 1997)

Excavations Near the Civic Centre of Argos

Two cities of Greece represent outstanding examples of the same problem for, while very many modern towns are built directly upon the remains of their prehistoric, classical and mediaeval predecessors, in Thebes and Argos the rate of constructing new buildings (largely for commercial or rental purposes) has proceeded at a horrifying rate over the last four decades. In advance of each new building the ground plots must be investigated by the local administration ("ephorate") of antiquities to determine the nature of any archaeological remains which will be affected by the construction, and in many cases the result is a full-scale excavation. While these rescue excavations do indeed save the remains from complete destruction, they seldom preserve them from oblivion; the number of such excavations and the limited size of the personnel qualified to carry them out result quite simply in the recording of structural remains and the placing of mobile finds in the local museum's storerooms with no further possibility of proper examination and publication, beyond what may be included in a brief notice of a particular year's work in the Khroniká of the Arkhaiologikón Dheltíon - when that does appear for the journal is running several years behind schedule and certain ephorates (including that for the Argos area) have not contributed such accounts for many issues before the hiatus.

Asomata (Angeliki Koukouvou, 2005)

The Asomata Project: View Publication

The archaeological site of Asomata lies near the city of Beroia, in the Imathia prefecture, Central Macedonia, 70 km west of Thessaloniki. My application is for the funding of the study and prompt publication of this excavation that offers the opportunity to explore and present an area of Greece that has been neglected for many years. The publication will reveal to the archaeological community new aspects of Macedonian prehistory and history. My study will focus in the use of the intercommunal space and its resources, especially in the crucial years of Archaic and Late Classical-Early Hellenistic period, i.e. the time of the formation and the height of the Macedonian State.

Athens (2001)

The purpose of this research proposal is to complete, update, and prepare for publication Dr. Gladys D. Weinberg's unfinished manuscript on the ancient glass from the Athenian Agora where American excavations brought to light a large amount of glass, much of it from independently datable contexts (5th c. B.G. to Middle Age). Fragments of almost every type of glass known from antiquity were found, mirroring the city's important role as a cultural center in the Classical period and continuing into the Roman empire. It is the opinion of the responsible director of the excavations (Dr. Homer A. Thompson) that the advanced stage of the manuscript and the significance of the material warrant every effort to complete the manuscript.

Angelochori (Evangelia Stefani, 1999)

Angelochori Imahias, Greece: View Publication

The site was located during intensive survey in the years 1991-1994 and was excavated during the same perod. The surface finds already indicated clearly the importance of the establishment and its dominant position within the regional network of contemporary settlements. The wider region of Imathia contains some of the most important archaeological sites of Northern Greece, such as the Early Neolithic village of Nea Nikomedeia, one of the earliest in Europe (7th millennium), the philosophic school where Aristotle taught Alexander the Great , and the monumental tombs of Lefkadia which belonged to Macedonian generals of Alexander the Great. My application is for the funding of the study and prompt publication of this excavation which offers an unusual wealth of information on the Late Bronze Age in Macedonia. This era, as yet hardly known to international scholars for the area under study, is nevertheless of capital importance for socioeconomic developments in later Macedonian history.

Anghialos (Stefanos Jimatzidis, 2001)

The Iron Age Settlement at the Double Table of Anghialos

This coastal site, which is identified with ancient Sindos, is one of the most important of the 26 settlements, that participated in the synoicism of Thessaloniki in the later 4`h century BC and was, finally, abandoned. The earliest human presence here dates from the Late Bronze Age, although some potsherds from the Late Neolithic Period have also been identified. However, the main interest is concentrated on the human activity during the so-called Iron Age, when monumental terraces of yellow mud were constructed in order to facilitate the erection of buildings of mud-brick walls. Large quantities of imported pottery (particularly Euboean) date these architectural remains to the Geometric period. Among other artifacts (such as hearths with brick spit-frames, large pithoi, which were found in situ in storehouses, tools made out of stone, bone and metal, spindle-whorls and loom-weights) the most notable finds were the large quantities of imported and local pottery. The greatest and most fundamental task will be the study of this pottery. Sindos seems to have been an important center, which developed an extensive pottery production. The local handmade and wheel-made wares with distribution beyond the limits of Macedonia (some categories are represented at Troad and Euboea) can help us trace the history of the territory long before the time of Macedonian occupation. Furthermore, the study of both local and imported pottery can help us define the contacts developed between the settlement of Sindos and many parts of the ancient world.

Ayios Stephanos (Richard Janko, 2006)

Ayios Stephanos in Laconia: Final Site Report: View Publication

Ayios Stephanos lies on the S coast of Laconia, some 45 km SSE of Sparta, in the SE Peloponnese, at 22° 39´ E, 36° 48´ N. It is presently just under two km from the sea, but drill-cores have proved that it was a promontory in the Bronze Age. The site is a flat-topped hill, covering an area of c. 45,000 m2. Lord William Taylour chose it for excavation in 1959 because Laconia was then an almost unexplored part of Greece with close links to Crete via the island of Kythera. It turned out to be a Bronze Age settlement dating from Early Helladic to Late Helladic III with many burials among the houses. Only in 1963 were deep stratified deposits found. As knowledge of the Middle Bronze Age pottery phases on the Greek mainland was still rudimentary, further excavations were carried out. These yielded an almost complete stratified ceramic sequence, which runs from Early Helladic I down to Late Helladic IIIC Early (c. 3000-1175 BCE), EH III excepted. This is the first site in Laconia to yield such a sequence, which, when compared with those of Lerna, Kythera, and Crete, is of great importance for tying together mainland and Cretan pottery styles without the added complication of Cycladic influence.

Baley (Stefan Alexandrov, 2009)

Publication of the archaeological site of Baley will provide an insight and understanding about the northern neighborhood of the Aegean world during the Late Bronze Age and beginning of Early Iron Age, which remain "terra incognita" for archaeologists, working in the Aegean. Baley is the only settlement from the Late Bronze Age in the Northern Balkans and is among few sources of structured, long sequence archaeological information for this period. The site has an important position close to the Iron Gates passage on the Danube River — an important road to Southern Balkans and Middle Danube. The publication of Baley will be an considerable contribution to clarifying processes, which took place on the Balkans at the end of the Late Bronze Age. This currently missing information is a significant challenge to understand for example the appearance of Handmade Burnished Ware in the Aegean around 13-12th cent. B.C., which is associated with movement of groups of people of probably northern origin. Ceramics with dark burnished surface has been discovered during the excavations of Baley, but detailed studies are needed to locate its' closest parallels and origin.

Balgartchevo (Liliana Pernicheva-Perec, 2004)

The Prehistoric Site of Balgartchevo, Bulgaria: View Publication

The prehistorical site of Balgartchevo is located in southwestern Bulgaria, 42°O1' North and East, close to Greece. It is situated on the right bank of the Struma (Strimon) river. Balgartchevo is an extensive settlement, covering the surface area of six to seven hectares. It is the only site in Central Balkans with an uninterrupted chronological sequence spanning over 1000 years, from the first half of the 6°' millennium BC till the first half of the 5'1' millennium BC_ The thickness of archaeological layers is up to 2.3 m.
The excavations were conducted on an area of 1200 sq. meters. They revealed rich and diverse archaeological material. The pottery finds are the most numerous. but more than 4000 special finds such as anthropomorphic clay figurines, stamp seals, altars. stone and bone tools are also collected.

Brauron (Dina Peppas Delmousou, 2003)

The Corpus of the Inscriptions of the Artemis Sanctuary in Brauron, Greece

The sanctuary was excavated by Ioannis Papadimitriou from 1948 to 1963 when they ceased because of his sudden death. Immediately all activities stopped and the storerooms with a plethora of findings closed, the newly constructed "Museum of Brauvron" remained empty till its inauguration in the summer of 1970. The Museum came to house many finds belonging to several other excavations from various areas of Attica.
The toponym of Brauron has remained the same with the exception of an old popular pronunciation "Braona". Brauron is situated close to Athens; 8-9 Km from Marcopoulo and 4 km from the new airport "El. Benizelos" at Spata. The prehistoric settlements in the surroundings and on the south slope of the Acropolis, the rock-cut stairways and the so-called "Iphigeneia's tomb" and the remains of the 6th c. B.C temple, justified the fabulous description of this site by Euripides in "Iphigeneia in Tauris" v. 1446-1467 concerning the destiny of the virgin to be the first priestess at Brauron.It is well testified that "Brauronia" was one of the five "penteteric" festivals announced previously by Theoroi. At the very beginning of the excavations, the arkteia, a "rite of transition" where the arktoi, girls devoted to Artemis, received a kind of guidance to their future marriage has provoked enormous scholarly interest. The literary tradition on the rite was combined with the imagery on the various vases found at the excavation and subsequently the so-called crateriskoi by Lili Kahil who first, studied them. Till now, this remains the only completed study concerning the vases of the excavation; however it is missing a "Corpus Vasorum".

Eleusis (Michael Cosmopoulos, 2001)

Eleusis in the Bronze Age Location Eleusis, Greece: View Publication

The content and origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries are still covered with a thick veil of secrecy, partly because of the oath of silence taken by the initiates, which prevented the ancient writers from writing about the cult, and partly because the results of decades of archaeological excavations at the site are still not clear, as thousands of finds remain unpublished. In the absence of ancient testimonia, any hope to lift this veil of secrecy lies with the proper study and publication of the finds from those excavations. The present project aims at filling this gap, by publishing in detail the more than 15,000 Bronze Age finds from the excavations conducted at Eleusis at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. This extensive material covers all periods of Greek prehistory, from the middle of the third millennium to the end of the second and constitutes a valuable record of the origins and first steps of this important site. This project will publish this extensive material fully in order to establish the chronology and stratigraphy of the site in the Early, Middle, and Late Bronze Age. The study of the finds is also used as the basis for a synthetic study of the economic, social, political, and religious organization of Eleusis in the Bronze Age and of the origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries and other Greek mystery cults. The results of the project will be published in a two-volume book by the Athens Archaeological Society.

Epidaurus Limera (Chrysanthi Gallou, 2007)

The Late Helladic Cemetary at Epidaurus Limera in Soth-Eastern Laconia, Greece

Surface exploration in 1957 by the British archaeologists, Helen Waterhouse and Richard Hope Simpson, on the Palaiokastro hill where the classical acropolis of Epidaurus Limera stands, brought to light a large number of LH IIIA-B sherds and established that a Mycenaean centre, possibly fortified, was situated on the summit. Additionally, at least four clusters of Mycenaean chamber tombs have been explored and/or reported to the south-west of the Palaiokastro hill, near the chapel of Ayia Triadha, at the site 'Sternes' near the modern village of Ayios Ioannis and the steep sides of the Vamvakia and Ayia Triadha ravines by Th. Karachalios (1936), Professor N. Drandakis (1953) and Professor Ch. Christou (1957). At the invitation of the E' EPCA at Sparta, the applicant undertook the study of the material in January 2005. A large collection of Mycenaean pottery, beads of semi-precious materials, loom weights and bronze weapons have been unearthed during the three excavation seasons. The excavated material represents a long chronological sequence ranging from Middle Helladic III/Late Helladic I (ca. 1680BC) to the Submycenaean period (ca. 1050BC), hence it provides one of the few complete corpora of Mycenaean fine pottery from the mainland and a rich source of new material for the study of the Mycenaean period in the Peloponnese.

Franchthi (Karen D. Vitelli, 1997)

Franchthi Neolithic Pottery: View Publication

Franchthi Cave is located in a limestone headland north of Kiladha Bay, in the southern Argolid of Greece. Today it is a coastal site, but at the beginning of the Neolithic period the cave mouth looked out across a plain cut by several streams to sandy beaches and coastal marshes a kilometer or two distant (Jameson et al. 1994:203; van Andel and Sutton 1987:Fig. 17). By the later Neolithic, subject of the present study, the ongoing rise in sea level had brought the shoreline to within 500 m of the cave and substantially decreased the extent of the coastal plain (Jameson et al. 1994:208, Fig. 3.32). Franchthi was the site of repeated activities by prehistoric peoples from the Upper Palaeolithic through the Neolithic periods. The substantial remains from Middle Neolithic activities in the eastern Peloponnese dwindle to but a few sites in the late Neolithic. Because most of these are cave sites many have seen an increase in pastoralism in the later Neolithic, although shepherds in the hills with their flocks seem unlikely to have spawned the increase in "international" exchange evidenced in their material remains. Nor is it clear what happened to the apparently thriving Middle Neolithic communities. These, then, are the questions that, in addition to more general goals of the entire study, informed my analyses of the later Neolithic ceramics from Franchthi.

Khashuri (Elena Rova, 2010)

Early Bronze Age settlement and cemetery of Khashuri Nastargora (Georgia)

The importance of Natsargora lies in the fact that it is one of the few sites of Transcaucasia where a certain degree of continuity is supposed between the Kura-Araxes culture of the late 4th and early 3rd millennium and the Early Kurgan (Bedeni) culture of the mid-3rd millennium B.C., and where the latter has been discovered in a settlement context. It could therefore shed new light on the still poorly understood phase of the transition between these two cultures within the Transcaucasian region, as well as on its connections with the "second urbanization" with was under way in the regions of Upper Mesopotamia, Northern Syria and Eastern Anatolia located to the South.

Korinthos (James Fossey, 1999)

Two Pre-Historic Sites at the East End of the Gulf of Korinthos

The present three-year project will publish the results of two old excavations around the East end of the Gulf of Korinthos in Central Greece. The excavations have in common that, in addition to having been directed by the same archaeologist, they both brought to light extensive material of Bronze Age date. Vouliagmeni, Perakhora was excavated in 1965 and 1972; the site produced important sequences of Early Bronze Age I and II deposits as well as evidence for re-occupation in both the Late Bronze Age and the Archaic period. Khóstia, on the South coast of Boiotia, was excavated in 1980 and 1983 and revealed plentiful deposits of Early and Late Bronze Age date as well as sparse amounts of material from the intervening Middle Bronze Age; it also illuminated the sort of developments which may have followed on the collapse of the Late Bronze Age civilisation having produced an entire "Dark Age" town on a neighbouring hill.

Kouros (Joseph Alexander MacGillivray, 2003)

The Minoan Kouros Shrine at Palaikastro, Crete, Greece

This grant is to support J. A. MacGillivray's participation in the preparation of two final reports on the excavations in the Bronze Age city beneath the Greek and Roman Diktaion at Palaikastro, Crete. The first, Palaikastro Building 1. Sacred Space in Transition, outlines the complex and turbulent history of this unique building at the northern edge of the Minoan city. The presence of a terracotta figurine of a woman with upraised arms, together with a stone `horns of consecration', and the building's alignment to the Summer solstice (New Year's Day in neighbouring Egypt) lead us to believe that Building 1 may have been sacred, perhaps a temple, which makes it the only one, outside of the palaces, in a Minoan urban context. The second final publication, Palaikastro Building 5. The Kouros Shrine, presents the building adjacent to Building 1 which, we believe, served as the temporary shrine with underground repository in the LM IB period (15`h c. BC) for the chryselephantine statuette dubbed the Palaikastro Kouros.

Messene (A.D. Rizakis, S. Zoumbaki, & CL. Lepenioto, 1997)

Roman Peloponnese II: Roman Personal Names in their Social Context: View Publication

The purpose of my project is the publication of the inscriptions that were found in the area of the Stadium and Gymnasium of Ancient Messene. The excavations conducted at the site under the direction of Prof. Themelis have revealed the majority of a number of inscriptions (approximately 70) dating from the early Hellenistic to the Late Roman times. Two thirds of those inscriptions were found in situ or near their original place and thus constitute important evidence on the life of the Stadium and the Gymnasium of the ancient city of Messene and the multiple activities that were taking place there. The rest (mainly funerary inscriptions) seem to have been transported there at later times for secondary use or by accident and will not be included in the present project.

Mycenae (Spyros E. Iakovidis, 1998)

Publication of the NW Building Complex at the citadel of Mycenae, the Argolid, Greece: View Publication

The purpose of the program applied for is the publication of the building complex situated in the NW corner of the citadel. The complex consists of 3 buildings of 2 - 4 rooms each, preserved to basement level and separated by open passages. They were cleared down to bedrock by Tsountas sometime before or at the turn of the century. Tsountas left only a baulk for the traffic of his wheelbarrows, which was found to cover a large jar in situ, showing together with other evidence that the basements were used as storerooms. They were built in the 13th cent. BC and were destroyed by an earthquake before the end of that century. Tsountas never published this excavation nor did he ever refer to it. The ruins were cleared by G.E. Mylonas and the applicant, working on behalf of the Archaeological Society at Athens, in 1984 and 1985, a detailed situation plan was drawn and all the surviving evidence from Tsountas' baulk and a drain running beneath the buildings was collected, enough to justify a detailed publication. The program aims at studying this evidence and organizing its publication in full, thus filling an unfortunate gap in the history of the citadel.

Oropos (Alexander Mazarakis-Ainian, 1999)

The aim of the Oropos Project is to publish the old rescue excavations of the Greek Archaeological Service at Skala Oropou and Nea Palatia (northern Attica, Greece) which yielded evidence for human occupation of the period between the 10"' and the 6"' centuries BC (Protogeometric, Geometric, Earlv Archaic, Archaic). These excavations were conducted in the years between 1985 and 1987 by the late Aliki Dragona and the publication rights were ceded to me in 1993 by the Ephor at that time of Attica, Dr. Basil Petrakos, currently Secretarv General of the Greek Archaeological Society. The study concerns two main excavations, that of the plot of the Telephone Company (OTE) at Nea Palatia, and that of the School (OSK property) at Skala Oropou.

Sarakenos (Adamantios Sampson, 2000)

The Neolithic and Bronze Age Occupation of Sarakenos Cave in Boeotia (Greece): Cave settlement patterns and populations movements in Central and Southern Greece: View Publication

The cave of Sarakenos is situated in Boeotia, overlooking the Kopais basin which in the past was a lake. This is the biggest and most important cave of the area, which is known for the abundance of caves and rock shelters. The cave had been improvisedly investigated in the beginning of the '70s by T. Spyropoulos, then ephor of Antiquities in the Thebes Museum, but most of the material was unstratified and has never been published. Between 1991-1994 we undertook a systematic excavation in the SE part of the cave, which revealed in four trenches undisturbed levels of occupation from the Upper Palaeolithic to Middle Helladic (1600 BC). The palaeolithic layer in trench B is thin and only covers the bedrock, belonging to the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian period). A sterile layer above it contains only a microfauna showing a long period of abandonment of the site. The earliest phase of neolithic occupation should be roughly put in the second half of the 7th millennium BC (Early Neolithic). From this phase comes a fine painted ware with red on white patterns reminding us of a similar pattern from Youra and Agios Petros in the Northern Sporades (Sampson 1995, 1998) with geometric motifs on a canvas-like background. The stratum of MN revealed a large amount of pottery, especially the red on white variety. There is a normal sequence to the next phase, called Late Neolithic I (5300- 4800 BC) characterized by a dark and gray monochrome pottery of very high quality.

Sindos (Aikaterini Despini, 2000)

Publication of the Archaeological Material Excavated at Sindos

The cemetery at modern Sindos, 20 km west of Thessaloniki (Western Macedonia), which dates to the archaic and classical periods, belonged to the settlement already known to research as the Toumba of Nea Aghialos. The excavation of the entire archaic and classical cemetery was concluded in 1982. The wealth of the grave offerings, including four life-size gold masks, 360 pieces of gold sheet, and numerous pieces of gold and silver jewelry, suggests the significance of the find, and the importance of the settlement to which the cemetery belonged.

Thebes (Anastasia Dakouri-Hild , 2000)

The House of Kadmos in Mycenaean Thebes: Publication of the Keramopoullos Excavations (1906-1929)

A massive Late Bronze Age building was revealed between 1906 and 1929 on the citadel of Boeotian Thebes (Kadmeia), in central Greece. The architecture, featuring ashlar masonry, wall frames, pictorial frescoes and an impressive plan, stands out today at the centre of the Kadmeia. Notable among the finds are gold, amethyst, agate and quartz pieces of jewellery, many of which represent various manufacture stages. The building also yielded the largest corpus of transport stirrup-jars found on Mainland Greece. Many are inscribed with the administrative script of the Mycenaeans. Such discoveries testified to the elite character of the building already in the early 20th century. They put Thebes on a level with other palatial centres of the Aegean Bronze Age, such as Mycenae, Tiryns and Knossos. They also led the excavator to identify the site as the palace of Kadmos, the legendary founder of Thebes himself. This project concerns the publication of a conclusive volume presenting the results of the old excavations at the site. The architecture, chronology and status of the House of Kadmos are re-examined. The stratigraphy of the building is reconstructed using the recovered original diaries and preliminary reports. The role of the building in the context of Theban topography is assessed in view of other Mycenaean complexes excavated on the Kadmeia after 1930. Restored vessels and sherds, frescoes and small finds (including the so-called workshop material, lithic and organic finds) from the Late Helladic building and the surrounding area (court, kiln, various trenches) are comprehensively catalogued, studied, photographed and drawn. In addition, earlier and later habitation levels with some architectural remains and associated finds are briefly presented.

Thessaly (Maria Stamatopoulou, 2001)

The Publication of the Archaeological Society Of Athens' excavations in the Ancient Cemeteries of Demetrias and Pharsalos in Thessaly, Greece

This publication will offer a systematic discussion of the evidence, which includes the important in artistic terms - corpus of Hellenistic painted stelai and elaborate groups of gold jewelry and silverware. It will also provide an analysis of the funerary practices of Demetrias against its historical and cultural background, seeking to clarify the interaction of the local populations with the large number of foreigners resident in the city. The comparative analysis of the material in relation to that of Macedonia and Alexandria, will help reassess Demetrias' role in the development of Hellenistic culture in Greece. My publication, by the Archaeological Society of Athens, will be the first comprehensive study of this material, as most of it remains unpublished. It will require about a year to prepare and will offer a detailed analysis of the grave typology and organisation of the cemeteries, grave offerings, tomb markers, funerary customs and beliefs, which will be examined in comparison with those of other contemporary Thessalian necropolis.

The Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
Harvard University, The Semitic Museum. 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-9317 | Fax: (617) 496-8904 | Email: whitelev@fas.harvard.edu