Greece Archaeology Part 6

By | February 13, 2022

It is impossible to report the vast bibliography on individual searches. We limit ourselves to mentioning, in addition to the topographic series (see App. IV, ii, p. 116), the main journals that welcome studies and research on Greek archeology: Hesperia (American School of Classical Studies in Athens); Annual of the British School at Athens ; Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique (French School of Athens); Yearbook of the Italian Archaeological School of Athens ; Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung (Germanic Archaeological Institute); Opuscula Atheniensia (Swedish School).

Imperial and Proto-Byzantine age (from Augustus to Constant II). – In the last fifteen years in archaeological research in Greece two elements have taken on importance: on the one hand, the increasingly frequent, organized scientific rescue intervention (the physical one, the Greek legislation, more favorable than the Italian to private property, protects it very limitedly) carried out by the competent Ephorias in the cities with the highest demographic expansion (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Iraklion, Rhodes, etc.), on the other hand the spread of methodical surface territorial surveys. The latter, by the work of both Greek and foreign and mixed multidisciplinary units, involved very large areas and were, some chronologically targeted (such as that of the Paleolithic stations of the Voidomatis in Epirus), others diachronically open.

Among these, to give an idea of ​​the work carried out and the means used, we only mention the survey on the Larissa area carried out by B. Helly (URA15; CNRS Paris) with the aid of images from the Landsat satellite and prospecting carried out by the universities of Cambridge and Bradford in Boeotia west of Mavrommati and between Neochori and Tespie, which led to the census, to remain in the chronological area that concerns us, of as many as 9-19 Hellenistic-Roman sites, 25-30 late sites – Romans, 3-5 Byzantine sites. A team from the state university of Milan has also been active in Thessaly for a few years (F. Cantarelli).

According to Vaultedwatches, salvage excavations in cities and those in traditional excavation areas lend themselves to some general observation.

Funerary monuments – still attributable to the early imperial age. Numerous constructions featured rooms centered around a colonnaded atrium with an impluvium often covered with marble slabs; frequent black and white mosaics and wall paintings (some attributable to the second Pompeian style). Particularly significant is the discovery (IA Papastopulu) of aaedes augustalium of 1st-2nd century on the Castro, where it was built in terraces; of a public building of the 3rd-4th century which was perhaps part of the Roman agora ; of a group of monumental tombs in the north necropolis (1st-2nd century AD), of which at least one originally belonged to a Pomponia gens. Not a few road axes found (one east-west 5.20 m wide led to the sea, another crossed the northern necropolis from north to south), useful for a better reconstruction of the 1st-4th century AD city plan. centuries in which the remains of the buildings brought to light are distributed chronologically. Following are indications regarding the various excavations, sorted according to regions.

Peloponnese. – Numerous and important discoveries concerning the Roman Corinth thanks to the excavations conducted under the direction of CK Williams, of the American School, in the theater area.

In the street east of the theater the buildings appear to have been built between 44 BC and 22-23 AD, and at least two of them (nos. 1 and 5) were destroyed in the last quarter of the 3rd century AD, perhaps by an earthquake not far in time from the one (or those) who devastated Dion in the north and Gortyna in Crete. Excavations in the odeion and in the theater have made it possible to identify in the latter 8 phases from Augustus to the beginning of the 5th century. To the south of the east temple, finally, a decumanus paved with flagstones has been identified which seems to have been frequented, after a repair at the beginning of the 5th century, still throughout the 6th century.

Also in Olympia – where the new excavation museum was inaugurated in 1982 – the Germanic Archaeological Institute of Athens has extensively explored the Roman buildings of the Sanctuary: from the southwestern baths to the Spolien-Haus, to a building with a colonnaded atrium and white mosaics -black with phases ranging from the 1st to the 5th-6th century AD, when a lamp factory was installed there – and it is a notable fact – imitating the characteristic contemporary North African lamps. The excavations conducted by the French School in Argos are significant, important for the knowledge of late Roman and Proto-Byzantine ceramics recovered in large quantities, also due to the historical data of the destruction of the city by the Slavs around 580.

The stratigraphic excavations (with materials ranging from 50 BC onwards) mainly concerned the agora (where a singular circular foundation used as a pool in the late Roman age appeared), the gymnasium, the B baths, the north portico of the baths, the south-east region and a monumental villa on the road to Tripoli, rich in polychrome mosaics and which dates back to between the 4th and 6th centuries AD.

Greece Archaeology 6