2012 season

Welcome at the Archaeological site of Plakari, Karystos, Greece

2012 season

The 2012 excavations were concentrated in two trenches on the west slope of the Plakari hill (Trench 1a, b; Trench 2a,c). Trench 1a was dug down to bedrock and then considerably expanded (= Trench 1b). In total, we found some 22,000 pottery fragments – almost all datable to the Early Iron Age – no less than 270 small finds and again much animal bone. One of the Geometric fragments carried a graffito in the shape of the letter alpha. The 8th century is particularly well represented in this sample, although a number of oil flasks in the shape of a bird or sirene show that some of the material is as late as the mid-6th century BC. The area of Trench 1a–b is now interpreted as an open-air bothros, delineated to the south by Terrace Wall 1, which can be regarded as a (freestanding) temenos wall. Cult rituals were most likely performed in the area of the later Terrace 2, perhaps in the open air.

In Trench 2c we continued our excavations inside the hestiatorion. These again yielded a rich collection of plain and black-glazed pottery, mostly dating to the 4th century BC, and bronze jewellery and other metal items. More surprising were the finds of two objects dating to much earlier periods, namely a terracotta korē figurine of the second half of the 6th century and a Protocorinthian conical oinochoe of the later 8th century BC.

In Trench 2a we exposed the forecourt of the hestiatorion. This contained several low division or retaining walls, a stone platform, and two schist-made cists or bins. The last-mentioned find parallels in similar structures in 8th- and 7th-century cultic contexts in the Cyclades, although the structures in the forecourt are contemporary with the hestiatorion. Among the small finds, there was a part of the face of an Archaic terracotta statuette and a remarkably well preserved bronze horse figurine. The latter was found near the southwest corner of Trench 2a; in this same area we found that earlier levels had been preserved, sealed by the surface of the forecourt. Near the end of the campaign, we touched upon a rectangular stone structure (a bench or altar?) and, next to it, two aryballoi (7th century), an iron sword and a terracotta rattle.

During the 2012 season, a number of specialists studied specific find categories, including the faunal remains (Maaike Groot), the EIA pottery (Xenia Charalambidou), the EIA small finds (Filiz Songu), and the ceramics and small finds from the hestiatorion (Maria Chidiroglou). A selection of bronze and iron items were conserved and restored by Maria Kontaki and Pantelis Feleris.

 

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