Our first season of regular excavations took place in 2011. Trenches were dug in three areas on the summit (see map below). In Trench 1, which is on the southern limits of Terrace 2, we excavated a large deposit of pottery, bone and various kinds of artifacts – in total about 6,500 fragments of mostly painted PG and G pottery, and 112 small finds. These objects indicate that this was a sacred deposit that contained both votive material and remains from sacrificial feasting. However, the stratigraphy shows that the contents of this deposit were not in their original positions, but had slid down from an area higher up the hill. Trench 2 on Terrace 1 brought to light a rectangular building measuring approximately 4.6 by 5.5 m. A series of low tables made of schist slabs were found against its north wall; next to and on top of these were a host of plain and black glazed pottery wares that had been used for preparing and consuming food and beverages. Some bear incised monograms; one bears the name of the goddess Nikè. Lamps and a number of bronze items were also present. The building can be identified as a hestiatorion that was in use during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. In Trench 3, which is in the north-west corner of Terrace 1, we excavated two rooms of a building that had been used for storage, judging from the find of a bronze scale pan and almost 5,500 amphora fragments. The latter can be provisionally dated to the second half of the 4th c. BC.
In addition to the excavations, geo-archaeological research was carried out in the coastal plains to the south-west and north-east of Plakari to gather information about landscape formation processes, land use, and sea level changes.
One of the surprises during the course of the 2011 excavations was the discovery that Plakari was still, or perhaps again occupied during the Classical period. Another was the quantity, quality and diversity of the EIA material from Trench 1. The chronological range of the pottery shows that cultic activities spanned the period from the 10th to the 7th century, with a peak in the deposition of ceramics during MG II or MG II/LG. This could indicate that the Plakari sanctuary flourished earlier than most other Greek cult places. Our preliminary studies also show that, next to a host of pottery that was probably locally made, there were imports from Attica, central Euboia, the Cyclades and the eastern Aegean, indicating that the sanctuary fulfilled a regional or even supra-regional function. The picture of Plakari housing a flourishing EIA community that maintained contacts with the important settlements in the centre of the island from an earlier stage onwards, is confirmed by some earlier discoveries at the site.
For further details and illustrations, download the preliminary reports on the excavations and the geoarchaeological investigations.