Greece Archaeology Part 1

By | February 8, 2022

From the Iron Age to Hellenism. – Research in recent years has been intense and marked by discoveries that in some fields have made fundamental contributions to the progress of studies on Greek civilization. The building expansion of the cities that insist on ancient centers and the agricultural transformation works in the territory have engaged the Greek Archaeological Service in an assiduous recovery and protection activity; so that the planned researches are due, as in the past, above all to the activity of the foreign schools operating in Greece, to the Archaeological Society of Athens and to the numerous Greek and foreign research institutes.

Alongside the investigations in the great sanctuaries, of Zeus in Olympia, of Apollo in Delphi, of Zeus in Dodona, of Hera in Samo, and in the monumental complexes, such as the agora of Athens and that of Corinth, and, again, in the inhabited areas and in the necropolis, research has turned towards new fields. Numerous teamsthey organized prospecting in different regions of Greece, with the aim of making a global census of the presences in the territory, to evaluate them diachronically and in relation to environmental resources. New research has also been dedicated to activities related to the exploitation of resources, such as those in the mining districts of Attica and Pangeo, in the ancient stone quarries of Piraeus, Thasos, Naxos and Paros; new data have been acquired on the artisanal neighborhoods. Particular attention was paid to the protection and conservation of the monumental complexes, with the help of the most modern technologies (Acropolis of Athens, temple of Apollo Epikourios in Basse, etc.); and in the meantime the museums of Piraeus and Olympia have been reopened to the public; other smaller ones, local or regional, have been created from scratchto allow a wider use of the archaeological heritage. Below we give information on the main archaeological activities and discoveries, based on a general topographical criterion.

Attica and Megaride. – For Athens and Attica, see the relevant items in this Appendix. In Megara the circuit of the walls, some elements of the ancient road network, the consistency of the necropolis have been defined. The discovery of an ostrakon constitutes the first evidence of the practice of ostracism in Megara.

Peloponnese. – Important research has involved Corinth (see in this Appendix), Nemea, Argos (see in this Appendix), and Epidaurus, but numerous other excavations and prospecting have contributed to increasing the knowledge of the inhabited centers and the territory. The research carried out in Argolis was intense and fortunate. At Nemea, the excavation of the stadium at the end of the 4th century BC, equipped with a vaulted passage that interrupts the proedria of the west side, was completed and investigations were carried out in the sanctuary of Zeus, which gave decisive results for the knowledge of this important complex.

According to Sourcemakeup, a Mycenaean presence is now documented, the meaning of which is not yet definable, and an intense attendance during the 8th and 6th centuries BC. From the archaic phase, the vestiges of the temple from the first quarter of the 6th century BC have been recognized (destroyed around 410) and some buildings related to it (circular monument built around 475 and destroyed at the end of the 5th century, archaic circular open-air enclosure, probably a heroon, which was superimposed on in the 2nd century BC a pentagonal enclosure), a rectangular building from the first half of the 5th century BC in the south-east sector, identified as a priest’s house or hotel for official representations during the games. A series of oikoi can be referred to the phase of the 4th-3rd century BClined up along the south side of the sanctuary, near a sacred grove (traces of which have been recognized), some furnaces for the casting of bronze statues, a building from the end of the 4th century BC, identified as a gymnasium.

In Epidaurus, research continued in the sanctuary of Asclepius and in that of Apollo Maleatas; the construction phases of the latter were reconstructed starting from the Mycenaean age and new data collected for the reconstruction of the classical temple (prostyle with 6 columns on the facade). A 4th century BC temenos dedicated to the Muses has been identified at the entrance to the classical age sanctuary. A new sanctuary was also explored on the Katsimilis property, with a temple consisting of a pronaos and a sekòs, with double internal colonnade. In Tirinto, the research of the Germanic Institute mainly concerned the levels of occupation of the Bronze Age, but a protogeometric tomb and levels of attendance from the geometric and classical periods have been identified outside the citadel. Four recent geometric constructions have been explored in Asine, three squares and an apse, perhaps for funerary purposes. Tests on the fortifications on Mount Barbuna made it possible to attribute some stretches of the wall to the second half of the 8th century BC. In Arcadia, research was started in Megalopoli (prospecting in the territory) and in Stymphalus (topographical survey and survey of the ancient center); in Lykokia the sanctuary of Artemide Kallistè was explored, remembered by Pausanias,bouleuterion and classical and Hellenistic tombs. The study of the three temples of Pallantion was resumed, while the restoration of the temple of Apollo Epikourios began in Basse. In Laconia prospecting campaigns were carried out by an Anglo-Dutch research group and excavations continued in the Menelaion of Sparta and in the adjacent areas (votive deposits from the end of the 8th-early 7th century BC on the ruins of the Mycenaean houses). In Messenia, prospecting was carried out on the Mèthana peninsula. In Voidokili’a, in a context rich above all in evidence of the Mycenaean age, a classical-Hellenistic votive deposit was found, placed on tholos tombs and consisting of clay plaques with a knight and funeral banquets, referable to a heroic cult.

Greece Archaeology 1