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Dernières notices ajoutées par région : Péloponnèse
Andritsa Cave. L. Kormazopoulou (ΕΠΣΝΕ) and D. Hatzilazarou (2nd EBA) present a study of pottery from a Late Roman closed deposit excavated in 2004. The cave had a single large chamber (75x65m) accessed via two 14m deep, almost vertical cliffs. Four clusters of finds inside it include the skeletal remains of more than 40 individuals (mostly young people – infants, children and some new-born babies – who either died here or were brought to the cave soon after death): in situ in groups around them were 119 vases (mostly intact), 59 lamps, many metal everyday objects, and numerous sixth-century coins.   The central cluster 1 (around at least eight individuals) contained 18 lamps and 51 vessels in three groups (including an LR2 amphora, a smaller amphora with ring base, large and small prochoes, and oinochoae).  The similar, western cluster 2 (at least none individuals) contained 17 lamps and 36 vessels in two groups, similar to those from cluster 1. Clusters 3 and 4 appear different. Cluster 3, in the deepest and least accessible part of the cave, consisted of human remains with a few small vases (prochoes, oinochoae) and lamps (deposit XXXIV in cluster 3 consisted of a single burial with a small oinochoe, a lamp, and a bronze probe and fibula). Cluster 4 (closest to the cave entrance) had a very few vessels by a group of five skeletons and then close by on a separate ‘loft’ a large amphora with four pithoid-amphorae. A homogeneous group of vessels with painted decoration probably derives from a single workshop: this consists mostly of oinochoae and prochoes with crudely painted red or black circle decoration (the oinochoae also bearing incision on the shoulder).  In general, parallels for the range of vessels at Andritsa are found in the late sixth- to mid seventh-century repertoires of the Argolid and Corinthia. Many vessels may have been imported from these areas, although local production of at least some is possible. Close similarities with material from the baths at Argos, Corinth, and in particular with the final phase of the farmstead at Pyrgouthi outside Berbati, indicate a date from the end of the sixth to the beginning of the seventh century. A large collection of coins was found at the back of the cave beneath cluster 3, fallen into a crevice in the rock near deposit XXV. These include 30 large bronze coins (folles and semifolles), numerous nummi, and a solidus of Tiberius II (578-582AD): one mass of coins was preserved with a piece of cloth adhering to it. The solidus provides a terminus post quem for the transport of the assemblage to the cave. The coin evidence spans the sixth century from Anastasius I to Tiberius II, with the majority dating to the reign of Justinian II (565-578).    The group is interpreted as connected with a short episode that ended in tragedy for the settlers in the cave.  The cave was a place of refuge for the local inhabitants in times of danger: the nature of the space and difficult access preclude systematic settlement here. The absence of vessels for food preparation and consumption, and the near absence of food storage vessels is striking: provision focused on oil and others liquids for lighting and basic sustenance. Clusters 1, 2 and 4 (which contain most of the pottery) were laid down first, while cluster 3 likely represents the last survivors. The five collections of vessels in cluster 1 and 2, deposited around large amphorae, may indicate family groups.

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Plataniti. The 25th EBA reports on excavation around the 12th-century cruciform church of the Metamorphosis of the Saviour (fig. 1). The exterior elevations of the building were revealed, plus a walled-up entrance on the north side and the foundation of a cist tomb to the south which indicates that the church had a funerary function. Parts of an extensive cemetery around the church were excavated, dating from the late 13th to the early 15th century. 

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Koilada (Argolid). Underwater exploration by the Ephoreia of Maritime Antiquities (directed by A. Simosi) and the Swiss School in Athens was undertaken in preparation for future excavation.  The aim was to reveal the underwater Neolithic settlement which probably lies close to Franchthi Cave.  The Cave was settled from ca. 35,000 BC, from Palaeolithic to Neolithic times, at the end of which it is assumed that there was a support settlement closer to the then shoreline (further out from the cave).  In the 1960s and 1970s, in parallel with excavations in the Franchthi cave, sea level measurements were for a short while made in the Koilada bay in search of this Neolithic settlement. In 2012 they were resumed using a mono beam echo sounder in order to map in detail depths in the bay.  

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Corinth-Patras motorway (anc. Corinth). The ΛΖ’ ΕΠΚΑ reports the discovery during the widening of the motorway of a tomb of the 3rd century AD. The underground chamber (internally 2.4x2.3m) was cut into bedrock and had a tiled roof and very well-preserved wall-paintings. The chamber contained nine niches and two larnakes, one of which (along the south wall) bore a head-rest or pillow on which was painted a female face with gold earrings. The woman’s body is covered by the painted coverlet depicted over the ‘couch’: this cover is painted red with decorative bands in yellow, blue and white. Three walls (excepting the north, entrance, wall) were decorated in fresco with motifs including green garlands, blue flowers, lachrymateria, a small chest and a peacock.  The Central Archaeological Council has approved the conservation of the tomb and its removal for display in the courtyard of Corinth Museum.

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Diros, Xagounaki. G. Papathanasopoulou (Ephoreia of Palaeoanthropology and Speleology for Southern Greece) reports the discovery of an undisturbed grave containing three adult burials (probably Final Neolithic) in the location where an undisturbed double child enchytrismos was found in 2011. This group of burials and the large quantity of pottery and tools found indicates the existence of ordered settlement in the area, in connection with the Alepotrypa Cave. No post-Neolithic remains were found. A geophysical survey was made of the Xagounaki area (the Neolithic acropolis of Diros) north of the entrance to the cave.  

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Pylos, Palace of Nestor.  S. Stocker (ASCSA) reports that excavation in the current parking area in 2011 revealed a quantity of Early Iron Age pottery and other finds. Additional excavation in 2012 in preparation for setting the supports for a new roof over the Palace revealed LH IIIA and LHIIIB (final palatial) remains, plus a significant amount of Late Geometric material. Study of the Ship Fresco from the Southwest Building produced a significant number of new joins: it is now clear that at least one human was represented in the ships, and new joins (including a fish and an additional oar) were added to the Argonaut ship. An IR Luminescence Study was undertaken on select wall-paintings. In the Throne Room, the channel in the floor was cleaned in order to clarify its operation. Cleaning of the ‘throne space’ and the easternmost corner of the decorated floor (square L10) revealed further details of their physical appearance, construction sequences, and possible uses.  Cleaning in the east corner of Room 6 revealed the painted floor decoration including the grid string-lines made to guide the artist.  An area of in situ plaster was removed from Court 88 in preparation for excavation for the new roof supports. Study of the pottery from Room 60, a storage pantry outside the Palace proper, indicated that items stored here were used for the production of perfumed oil and for funerary rituals. Study of human remains from tombs in the Pylos area focused on comparative study of material from the Ellinika tombs in the Kalamata area.  Ten new individuals were identified, bringing the total of those buried to 85 people, with significant differences in the demography of the Ellinika and Pylos chamber tomb occupants.  

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Nemea, Sanctuary of Zeus. K. Shelton (ASCSA/Berkeley) reports on the third and final season of excavation in the Heroön and surrounding area (Fig. 4), which aimed to trace prehistoric/early historic activity to better understand the construction of the Archaic Heroön mound and its boundary walls, to define more clearly the Archaic-Classical-Hellenistic phases of these walls, and to characterise the area west of the Heroön. Work demonstrated that extensive construction phases throughout the Archaic period began with landscape modification to control water courses and create a tumulus-like mound that was expanded several times. Further evidence of ritual linked to the use of the area as a hero shrine pertains to several phases of the Archaic period, with an intense phase of deposition in the mid-sixth century BC. The pattern of deposition indicates a focus of ritual in the southeast part of the early precinct. The recovery of further late Mycenaean pottery emphasizes early activity at this location.  Results from individual grid squares are reported as follows. Excavation in F19 focused on the pre-shrine usage of the area. Renewed excavation in an area where whole vases were found at the end of the 2011 season revealed part of a dipper and two LH IIIB/C Early deep bowls in a layer of soft yellow-brown clay with charcoal flecks. The condition of the finds suggests a nearby source context, yet no structure or use context was found. In the southeast quarter of F19, excavation in the centre of the low hill that predates the construction of the Archaic mound revealed a well-preserved wall which continues to west and east (in G19 as wall i). Consisting of a single course of rough limestone, it had two construction phases, both belonging to an early Archaic phase of the shrine mound (Fig. 5). Below this level was a mix of late eighth- to early seventh-century sherds, followed by exclusively Late Helladic sherds of drinking vessels to a depth of 1.7m. A limited test to a depth of 2m revealed clean, hard clay.  An iron spearhead with associated carbon was uncovered just beneath the surface.   An attempt was made to define and better understand the western boundary wall, its phases and its relationship to the massive stone packing (possibly a revetment or dam) to the east and southeast. The space was used progressively from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods: pottery recovered from the lowest layers was associated with burning, perhaps indicating ritual activity. A complete absence of stone packing and boulders clearly indicates that the northern limit of this feature lay further to the south.  Excavation in G19 aimed to clarify the stratigraphy and construction phases of the Archaic Heroön. The continuation of wall i was not found (although a few displaced stones may be related): rather, a second east-west retaining or boundary wall (ii) had two construction/activity phases within the Archaic period. Over 20 whole vases (primarily drinking and pouring vessels) clustered with finds such as an Aeginetan coin, fragmentary figurines, and a substantial iron tool blade, almost exclusively to the north of this wall, within the perimeter of the shrine. A few ritual deposits, especially with a receptacle of overturned and modified jug/oinochoe, were associated with the curving line of the wall when many large stones were robbed out and the line of the wall to the north interrupted. The wall was then extended to the east, expanding the interior area of the shrine. Vase clusters associated with the mound’s construction and use in the Archaic period included (Fig. 7) an Attic black-figure band cup (possibly by the Tleson Painter) depicting hens and cocks, an Attic black-glazed kotyle, and a Corinthian black-figure kotyle decorated with elongated sirens, probably by the Vermicular Painter. These vases provide a mid sixth-century date for this phase of the Heroön.  Earlier phases associated with the mound, and likely with the initial construction of wall ii, date from the late eighth to the seventh centuries BC. Two pits (both containing evidence of burning, stones, and pottery) date to the latest phase of activity excavated this season, in the late sixth to early fifth century BC. Further investigation of the extent and phasing of wall ii and of the relationship of the mound’s Archaic construction/activity to the Hellenistic temenos wall at the east and south was begun at the end of the season. Finds include an Archaic terracotta figurine of a horse and rider holding a shield (Fig. 8), found close to, though not abutting, the southern face of wall ii. The figurine and associated pottery, including a miniature krateriskos, further suggest ritual activity in the area. Investigation in E19 focused on the southern extent of a north-south road and on a feature of large squared boulders, both excavated in 2011. A curving row of architectural blocks (one with a Lewis cutting) was found to mimic the curve of the Heroön boundary. The road revealed alternating layers of surface and bedding: most of the material excavated consisted of broken-up Hellenistic tile used as fill in the road construction. In the south corner of E19 use phases date from the early Archaic to the Late Roman periods. The principal features found in this area (in addition to the road) are a substantial support wall below the southwest corner of the later Heroön and more of a massive stone feature, possibly a dam, encountered in 2011 (the fact that all of the stone are well water-worn further indicates that the feature should relate to a water management programme). Small finds associated with road layers include a late fourth to third-century coin of Sicyon and a fourth-century coin of Corinth.    Conservation and restoration was undertaken on three monuments. The Stadium Tunnel was heavily conserved and lightly restored. Cracks and breaks in the stone blocks of the upper vault were filled with a special grout and stabilized with titanium pins. In a few instances partial blocks were created from artificial stone to replace missing surfaces (Fig. 1). Stabilization of the tripartite cistern in the western sanctuary involved the placing of horizontal braces in each of the chambers (Fig. 2) to counteract the inward-sagging of the east and west walls. In the Temple of Zeus, the second stage of Phase II involved the restoration of the entablature at the northeast corner of the temple. All ten of the fully restored epistyle blocks were set on a temporary cement foundation off the northeast corner of the temple: beginning with the northeast corner block, they have begun to be individually lifted onto the columns (Fig. 3).   

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Kenchreai.  J. Rife (ASCSA/ Vanderbilt) reports on studies arising from the ASCSA’s Kenchreai excavations (1962-1969) and Kenchreai Cemetery Project (2002-2006). Study of the standing architecture at the base of the north mole of the ancient harbour (Figs. 1-2) focused on the Upper Terrace, a flat area cut into the bedrock which overlooks the Brick Building from the north.  A new actual-state plan was made of this area, extended down into the Brick Building. The sequence of walls here reveals two construction phases, the first Early-Middle Roman (ca first to third centuries AD) and the second Late Roman-Early Byzantine (ca fifth to seventh centuries AD).  On the Upper Terrace, Phase 1 is represented by a row of three rectangular chambers (ca 8 x 5.2m) with a floor at the level of the exposed bedrock. The walls, of evenly set mortar, rubble and tile/brick, are founded in shallow rock-cut footing trenches.  The chambers faced a straight, open-air passageway (ca 3.15m wide) sloping slightly eastward: immediately to the north of them lay the road which connected the north mole with the Koutsongila Ridge and delimited on the northwest the extent of building in this area.  The form of the chambers in Phase 1 and their arrangement relative to traffic routes supports their identification as tabernae.  Determination of their exact chronology and function awaits further study. Phase 2 is represented by an irregular cluster of three or four large rooms erected over the collapsed and unevenly filled tabernae, the road-grid, and the north wall of the Brick Building.  These rooms represent free-standing buildings in closely proximity and roughly aligned with the buildings of Phase 1.  They have relatively thick walls in irregular mortar and mortar masonry containing numerous elements in secondary use (e.g. recycled ashlars).  One elongated, rectangular two-roomed building was evidently a Late Antique burial complex focused on a monumental tomb - the more spacious room to the south may have been an antechamber to the narrower room to the north which contained a built grave of the finest construction, with massive cover slabs. The funerary character of all buildings on the Upper Terrace is supported by the dense concentration of fifth- to sixth-century lamps found in the vicinity in 1966. Four ashlar fragments in gray oolitic limestone were scattered over the area in secondary contexts.  These display mason’s marks in large letters that can be dated paleographically to the Late Archaic period (sixth century).  Two additional stones from this group have been identified in the structures of the Brick Building to the south.  Very close comparanda for all six stones are found in the numerous blocks with masons’ marks discovered by N. Verdelis when excavating the diolkos.  These blocks attest to the presence of monumental architecture at the north end of the harbor in the 6th century. At the south mole, structures west and south of the nave of the Early Christian basilica were cleaned.  Two phases are seen in the architecture around the baptistery and the buildings near the narthex - Roman-Early Byzantine (ca sixth to seventh centuries) and Middle Byzantine (11th-13th centuries).   In the course of architectural study of the north and south moles, marble remains collected during the 1960s excavations were studied. Those at the north mole came from the Brick Building and those at the south most likely came from the Early Christian basilica and the Fountain Court complex identified as the Sanctuary of Isis.  The most prevalent marbles used for revetment and interior decor (76-77%) were yellowish to greyish whites identified chiefly as Proconnesian and Pentelic but probably also including Hymettian, Thasian, and white Docimium.  A variety of colored marbles were present at lower frequency: cipollino, rosso antico, breccia di sciro, portasanta, bigio antico, verde antico, breccia corallina, pavonazetto, africano, porfido rosso, fior di pesco, and Egyptian alabaster. Evidently, both the Brick Building and the so-called Iseion were sheathed in panels of mostly white marbles with highlights in polychrome, chiefly in reds and greens and less commonly in variegated, brecciated marbles. The rich diversity of exotic marble at Kenchreai compares with the lavish buildings at the Isthmian sanctuary.  Most stones originated from Greece or Asia Minor, with none from Italy, Gaul, or central North Africa.  The well-known Roman-era quarries in Attica, Euboea, Thessaly, Laconia, the Sporades and Dodecanese, the Propontis, Bithynia, Phrygia, and western Asia Minor are all represented.  This geographical pattern echoes that of the imported ceramics and artistic styles at the port, which are predominantly eastern. A survey of the uninventoried finds stored at the Isthmia Museum from the 1960s excavations at the harbour revealed numerous fragments of bone, painted plaster, glass, and pottery especially of Byzantine or post-Byzantine date.    

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Franchthi Cave.  The ASCSA reports on the following studies conducted in 2012.  Ornaments (C. Perlès): work focused on re-examination of the identification of the raw materials used for the Neolithic geometric beads (a number of pieces being re-assigned to serpentinite, steatite, limestone or marble) and on a first microscopic examination of presumed shell tools.   Faunal remains (N. Munri and M. Stiner): work focused on the comprehensive analysis of deposits dating to the Neolithic-Mesolithic transition in trenches F/AS and F/AN (NISP=~2000) and on continued collection of fauna in the later Neolithic sequence in trench F/AN (NISP=~2000). Franchthi Cave is a rare site in the Mediterranean that preserves intact the Final Mesolithic and Initial Neolithic deposits essential to document the nature of the forager-producer transition in the region. It is uniquely suited for testing three alternate hypotheses about the arrival of agriculture in Greece: was an agriculture lifestyle imported to the region by seafaring colonists, was farming adopted from neighbouring agriculturalists by local residents, or was domestication an in situ development in this particular region? Preliminary observations of the Final Mesolithic-Initial Neolithic fauna indicate an established domestic economy from the earliest Initial Neolithic units (F/AN Unit 163). Red deer, a wild ungulate species, dominates the Mesolithic sequence but is rapidly replaced by domestic sheep/goat across only three F/AN units (% Caprine = >Unit 164 <10%; 163 =64%; 162=76%; 161=90%). The Mesolithic layers are characterized by dense bone assemblages, much of which were recovered from the water screened fraction as a highly fragmented and burned bone mulch. Taphonomic study of fragmentation and burning patterns on small unidentifiable bone chips in the Initial Neolithic and Final Mesolithic deposits suggests that some mixing occurred between the Final Mesolithic and Initial Neolithic layers. In general, the unidentifiable fraction of the Final Mesolithic assemblage is characterized by very high rates of burning (F/AN mean 77%) and high fragmentation. The Neolithic faunas are also burned, but in significantly lower frequencies (F/AN mean 58%), and are less fragmented. Rates of burning in units dating to the latest Mesolithic and earliest Neolithic (F/AN 160-164) show an intermediate degree of burning (70%) expressed as a gradual decline across the units. This trend corresponds to that demonstrated for red deer and caprine abundance. Given the mixing of the Mesolithic bone mulch into the Initial Neolithic units, it is possible that some larger bone fragments may also have migrated.  The presence of red deer bones in the first couple of Initial Neolithic cuts, and caprine bones in the last few Final Mesolithic units, is better explained by small scale sediment mixing than a gradual adoption of agriculture by Mesolithic foragers. The faunal remains thus suggest that domestic caprines arrived at Franchthi from elsewhere and immediately became the primary meat source in local human diets.   

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Ancient Corinth.  G. Sanders (ASCSA) reports on continuing excavation south of the South Stoa. Early Modern and Byzantine levels were removed between the walls of a Frankish building (revealed in 2009) and the Middle Byzantine House (completely excavated in 2010). A pit under the floor of the north room of the Frankish building contained restorable domestic vessels, including matt painted pitchers and flasks, cooking wares, and glazed sgraffito and champlevé, which date it to the second quarter of the 13th century (Fig. 1). Outside and to the north, a pit probably contemporary with the building contained restorable pottery datable ca 1270, plus objects such as gilded rosette clasps and bone panels (also decorated with gold leaf) from a box (Fig. 2).  The area was bisected by an 11th-century Byzantine wall of rubble and lime mortar which had mostly been robbed out in the Early Modern period. Associated with its construction are several dump fills of Late Antique (fifth- to sixth-century) material, including the fill of a pit used to store lime mortar. In the lime pit were two decorated bone knife handles (Fig. 3), a panelled glass bottle base and a glass jar (Figs 4 centre and right), and a lead curse tablet (Fig. 5). Another of these dumped fills contained the intaglio of a ring showing Artemis riding a deer and reaching for an arrow from her quiver (Fig. 6). Below the earliest Middle Byzantine deposits lay a cutting filled with earth and eighth-century pottery (handmade ‘Slavic’ beakers, imported micaceous cooking pots and wheel-made amphoras). This cut was made through a sequence of floors datable to the sixth and seventh centuries. The neck of a glass flask (Fig. 4 left) was found on the latest of the floors.   Work proceeded to consolidate and present to the public the larger of the complexes (Fig. 7) excavated in the Frankish Area south of the Museum. Located in a very central position within the site, it represents a single cohesive phase easily understood by the visitor. The complex includes a row of shops with what may have been a bank, an apothecary’s shop and a food seller. One shop preserves a medieval board game (‘nine men’s morris’ or ‘triliza'). These spaces front an enclosed domestic space, perhaps an inn, with a kitchen and storage facilities. The second complex is a small monastery which contained over 200 burials of people who suffered a range of diseases and exhibit a variety of pathologies.   

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Isthmia, sanctuary of Poseidon. E. Gebhard (ASCSA/Chicago) reports on continuing study.  Work on the terracotta figurines (A. Thomsen) has isolated a ‘High-Arching Tail Group’ of horse-and-rider figurines of the second quarter or middle of the sixth century BC, thus earlier than the Asklepieion Group of the third quarter of the sixth century.  Assessment of the general chronological pattern of figurine dedication indicates an increase through the second half of the seventh century (beginning from the construction of the Archaic temple around 650 BC), and again towards the middle of the sixth century when the Isthmian Games gained Panhellenic status. The common practice of dedicating terracotta figurines, represented by the most common horse-and-riders, ends in the early fourth century BC, with almost no figurines which must postdate the Classical temple fire of 390. Other types replace horse-and-riders only in small numbers and for a limited time, raising the question of why the practice of dedicating terracotta figurines was not revived with the Early Hellenistic refurbishment of the sanctuary or the Roman renewal of the games.   

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Tiryns. J. Maran (DAI/Heidelburg) reports on the first season of a three-year interdisciplinary project Hypothesis-testing of Earthquake Ruined Argolid Constructions and Landscape with Engineering Seismology (HERACLES) conducted in cooperation with the geophysicist K-G. Hinzen (University of Cologne), which will apply seismological techniques to test the archaeological hypothesis of major earthquake damage to the archaeological sites of Tiryns and Midea at the end of the Mycenaean palatial period. A geophysical survey supplied data for the construction of an engineering seismological model of the archaeological site of Tiryns. Measurements included seismic refraction tomography on twelve profiles, ambient noise measurements and a gravity survey. In addition, 3D laser scans will aid construction of a virtual model of the northwestern fortification walls supplemented by a systematic comparison between old and current site photographs. A model of the sediment thickness and layering in the area surrounding the acropolis of Tiryns citadel and of the Upper and Lower Citadel will form the basis for simulation of earthquake scenarios.  As part of the project Cross-Craft Interaction in the Cross-Cultural Context of the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean, A. Brysbaert and M. Vetters investigated workshop spaces and pyrotechnological activities. All material remains from selected study areas in the Lower Citadel and Lower Town were examined taking a combined chaîne opératoire and cross-craft interaction approach to reconstruct interconnected artisan activities and the integration of practices within material and social networks in settlement contexts and beyond. Contextual analysis of the spatial and stratigraphic distribution of finds and architecture was supplemented by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy analyses of the composition of several metal, vitreous and composite finds, giving further insights into material technologies. Find assemblages often feature objects vaguely described as ‘exotica’, a term which conceals many separate phenomena. The approach taken helped to emphasize the changing nature of materials and social practices and their mutual interaction. ‘Exotica’ are shown to be context-specific and likely changed their status through the life of the objects concerned. Variable practices connected to ‘exotica’ were exemplified via analysis of specific items found in Tiryns and spatial analysis of associations between finds, features and architecture.  Conservation and documentation of Tirynthian wall-paintings in the National Archaeological Museum continued with particular emphasis on the life-size procession of women. Although this scene was found in a dump of palatial debris outside the palace proper, its attribution to the central part of the palace including the megaron and main court, recently suggested on contextual grounds, accords well with observations made in the ongoing project. Further progress was made in the documenting the wall-painting fragments discovered in 1999 in the Western Staircase, examples of which were illustrated in the 2009 and 2010 reports.  

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Olympia, sanctuary of Zeus. R. Senff (DAI) reports on the 2012 excavation season. In the southeast of the sanctuary (Figs 1-2) excavation exposed the stratigraphical sequence and the large mortar platform partially revealed in 2008 and 2011.  Under the top level (again dated to Late Antiquity by a coin of Constantine) and a further soil packing were large quantities of Late Classical-Hellenistic pottery and tile. Beneath a layer of debris and partially covered with ash lay the solid red floor surface found in 2011. Numerous holes in the surface show that another construction must originally have been present. This may be the base of a potter’s kiln, with the superstructure completely lost. Further re-used limestone blocks emphasize the character of the area as a manufacturing location. A variety of metal finds are mostly iron and fragments of sheet bronze, plus parts of offensive and defensive weapons (Figs 3-4) such as the rim of an Argive shield and the most important find of the campaign, a large Archaic Gorgoneion shield device (noting cutting and puncture holes for attachment). Other bronzes belonged to furniture or utensils, as a decorative cover with stylized buds (Fig. 5), or a cast lion’s paw foot of a metal vessel (Fig. 6). The large base set before the centre of the Echo Stoa (Fig. 7) was shown to rest on a solid foundation of large spolia set in pebbles and mortar. For want of evidence its date remains open, but the solidity of the foundation suggests that it supported a very substantial monument, probably a column or pillar. In cooperation with the Olympia ephoria, the northeast corner of the gymnasium (excavated in 1880 and 1936 but then buried under almost 2m of sediment) was exposed, and the passage between the East and North Stoas cleaned. (Fig. 8) The work was undertaken in preparation for the Ministry of Culture’s planned excavation of the gymnasium. The few surviving architectural elements from the opisthodomus of the Temple of Zeus were cleaned, consolidated, and set back in place. Stainless steel spacers under the southern capital and between the two remaining drums of the associated column distinguish elements which were not originally directly related. The northern capital sits directly on the stylobate, since its column is entirely lost. The capital of the southern pillar, the best preserved of the entire temple, draws attention to the original stucco coating of the limestone architecture (Fig. 9).  Following the replacement of the orthostats, the original stone anta capital was placed on the northern anta (Fig. 10). Finally, further restorations in Thasian marble completed the base and lower drums of the north column of the Ptolemaic Monument (Fig. 11).  

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Arachamitai, Agia Paraskevi. B. Forsén (Finnish Institute) reports on continued excavation at the sanctuary of Artemis Lykoatis.  The Late Hellenistic rectangular building (RB I) was shown to measure ca. 45 x 11m, and (with the exception of the westernmost room) to have two rows of rooms running along its length, separated by a longitudinal, east-west wall (Fig. 1).  Work concentrated on Rooms 5, 9 and 10 (Fig. 1). Room 5 (inner dimensions 2.6 x 3.3m) was entered from the north via a corridor that leads west into Room 2. Below the collapsed roof lay pottery of the late third or first half of the second century BC, including parts of large amphorae, a lagynos, jugs, plates and kantharoi. The earliest phase of Room 5 dates between the late fourth and mid-third century on the basis of a one-handler and a small bowl with projecting rim decorated with grooves and stamped ovuli (Fig. 3). The room had two doors (to the west into Room 2 and to the east), a bench in the southwest corner, and a fireplace in the south-centre connected by a terracotta channel to the southeast corner of the room. A crucible found next to the channel may indicate some kind of production (Fig. 2).  Room 9 (inner dimensions ca. 5 x 4.5 m) was entered through a north door. It was entirely covered by the collapsed roof, on top of which lay a small Doric capital in secondary disposition. A Laconian coin of 48 - 35 BC was found between the roof tiles, thus verifying the destruction date in the late first century. In the centre of the room a fireplace of stone slabs was covered with a layer of burned clay. The floor consisted of small stones in beaten earth.  Between the floor and the collapsed roof were a little pottery, four loom-weights, and 16 coins (late third- and late first-century BC, with one Megalopolitan coin of ca. 363-350 BC). The pottery ranges from the late fourth until the late first century BC, and includes two small black-glazed gutti with stamped decoration (late fourth- to early third-century), an unguentarium, a couple of early Megarian bowls and terra sigillata sherds.  Below the floor of Room 9 lay a stratum dating between the mid-sixth and mid-fourth century, containing pottery such as kraters and different types of jugs and drinking cups. This layer, which was only partly excavated, also produced one miniature vessel, two loomweights, two miniature lead votive wreaths (Fig. 4) and the bezel of a bronze finger ring decorated with a flying bird.  Room 10, at the east short end of RB I, was partially excavated. Parallel with, and partly superimposed on, the south wall of this room is the long western wall of the entrance to the Roman courtyard building. This wall had collapsed towards the west, partly covering the roof tile layer of RB I. Some larger stones had at a later stage been added to this cairn, including a cut limestone block probably from the foundation of a monumental building. Under the roof of Room 10, an area of hard burned red clay may indicate a fireplace. Close to the eastern wall, the foot of a Hellenistic limestone perirrhanterion stood up-side-down on top of the beaten earth and gravel floor. The layer between the collapsed roof and the floor contained 14 coins (dating from the mid fourth century until 48-35 BC), five loom-weights, five third- or second-century lamps and three unguentaria.  Ca. 9m north of RB I lay the wall of another building – the rectangular building RB II (ca. 32-34 x 12-13m) revealed in earlier magnetometer survey. RB II lies parallel to RB I and is presumed to be of same date. Along the south side of RB II ran an open water channel ca. 0.3m wide, coming from the east. It then turned 90 degrees southwards, entering RB I to the east of Room 5. The water may have been delivered to the unexcavated Room 6, next to the bath in Rooms 1 and 4 (Fig. 1).  Ca. 2 m to the south of, and parallel with, RB I a ditch drew rainwater off towards the west. This ditch was filled with pottery (including large quantities of Megarian bowls), other finds and food remains. At the time of the construction of RB I the ditch was ca. 1m deep and 0.5 wide at the bottom broadening to 1.5m at the ancient surface. Detailed study of the pottery may reveal the full history of the re-fill, which apparently took place during the late second - early first century BC.  Next to RB I and probably extending beneath it, a floor ca. 1.6 m below the present surface belongs to an earlier building. Just above this floor and next to the lowermost part of the foundations of RB I lay the foot of a Late Archaic- Classical stemmed cup with a small complete terracotta figurine of a pigeon next to it.   

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Mycenae. Excavations continued under the direction of S. Iakovidis (ASA) at the Petsas House and the East House.   At the Petsas House (Fig. 1), use of a 1m deep, square pit with a low stone wall at its edge was dated to the Archaic and Classical periods by Archaic tiles and black-figure and Corinthian ceramics. The pit was abandoned during the fourth century BC.  Two deep bothroi dug between Mycenaean walls were filled with refuse including post-Mycenaean sherds, tiles and round pebbles. A square structure (Room Φ) was also revealed, but with no evidence to indicate its use except some fragmentary proto-Φ figurines and a round carving on the floor.  Room Δ was fully excavated: the southeast corner was occupied by one of the Hellenistic bothroi. A wall ran across the west section of the room, while the east section was excavated to bedrock yielding early Mycenaean sherds, some figurines, and a few stone tools. An irregular series of post holes were found following the cleaning of Room Π, as well as quartz and obsidian tools, and remains of pigments.  Room Τ was completely excavated and its south wall identified (but not the west). A hard-packed surface above the natural rock belongs to an older phase of use of this area. Towards the east, the bedrock had a series of square and round cuttings of unclear purpose, while the area around it was filled with sherds, fragments of human and animal figurines, and small fragments of wall painting.  Room Η was filled with destruction debris from the upper parts of the building, including large scattered pot sherds. The fill contained figurines, a zoomorphic rhyton, and fragments of wall painting: its removal revealed the walls of a room which were not fully excavated.  Finds include mostly sherds, 16 complete vessels, many fragments of wall painting (Figs 2-3), figurines (especially early types), bone tools (Fig. 4), and ceramics of historical periods. All the areas completely excavated in 1950-1951 were cleaned. Excavation north of Room Δ clarified the plan of the Petsas complex and revealed the existence of another structure to the northeast. Finds confirmed that the Petsas House was used for storage and perhaps the making of pottery and figurines, until it was violently destroyed in Late Helladic IIIA2.  The complex was inhabited through the Archaic and Hellenistic periods. In the East House (Fig. 5), the north continuation of Wall I was identified. West of Wall I, the rectangular room (Fig. 6) contained Hellenistic fills and constructions reaching almost to bedrock, with Mycenaean architectural remains mostly destroyed. The Hellenistic fill covered almost all the house in one loose layer, and lay over a solid fill dating to LH IIIC Middle on the levelled bedrock. Mycenaean architectural remains were probably destroyed in Hellenistic times.  Investigation in the area between walls Σ, Ρ, and the trimmed bedrock towards the west revealed the existence of undisturbed Mycenaean fills and architectural remains. Mycenaean building activity in the area probably ended in catastrophe, with the collapse of walls and the formation of a stone pile which was not disturbed again until the Hellenistic period.  Excavation east of the South Room revealed the remains of three circular cuttings in the rock, and a rectangular cavity in the northeast corner (Fig. 7). Wall Κ/Υ was founded in Hellenistic fills upon Mycenaean wall Η. Two Middle Geometric tombs were cut into the Mycenaean fill in the east part of the South Room. Tomb 1 was the contracted inhumation of a child in a simple pit, accompanied by a pot and a bronze ring. Tomb 2 is a built cist tomb with a contracted inhumation accompanied by seven pots, three bronze rings, and an iron dagger. From the upper fills in the area came a bronze ring and a silver coin of the beginning of the sixth century (570 BC) minted by Aegina. The whole area of the South Room was in use in the late Mycenaean period, the rectangular cavity linked probably with water collection or some other outdoor industrial activity.  

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Iklaina, Messinia. At Traganes, excavation of the Mycenaean complex continued under the supervision of M. Kosmopoulos (ASA) (Fig. 1).  New walls in Building Τ define three rooms built in Late Helladic IIA, reconstructed in LH IIB/IIIA1, and destroyed in LH IIIA2 (Fig. 2). Fragmentary wall paintings were found inside them. Building V was constructed in LH IIA and occupied until LH IIB/IIIA1 (Fig. 2). The Cyclopean Terrace which dominates the excavation area appears to have been built in LH IIIA2, after the destruction of Building T.  A deposit, investigated in 2011, was found to contain 50 pots, mostly cylindrical and conical cups, but also storage vessels and cooking wares, within a thick layer of burnt earth and ash (Fig. 3). A large number of burnt bones of small animals were studied, mainly piglets and goats with a maximum age of 18 months. The bones carry no signs of cutting and so the animals were burned with their meat, presumably as burnt sacrifices. The probability that the deposit with the bench constitutes an open air sanctuary is reinforced by study of the finds, which included plaster offering tables and a lead sheet. Pottery in the deposit dates to LH IIIA1/LH IIIA2.

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Agios Vasileios (Xerokampi), Lakonia. A. Vasilogamvrou (ASA) reports on the third excavation season. Following the discovery of a further room in the northeast corner of Building A, larger than the others (Fig. 1), the north part of the building was shown to consist of two series of rooms with smaller rooms or passageways between them. The new room communicated with the others via a door in the south wall which had a wide stone threshold. The walls were of stone with a mud brick superstructure. The room contained tiles, a large pot (an open shape with low walls) and a quantity of barley. The little pottery consisted mostly of undecorated vessels, but a burnt layer contained many finds: a large bronze lamp, a dagger and two knives, a gilded bronze seal ring, finials, a small Egyptian ivory seated figurine, semiprecious stones, and decorative glass plaques. At the northwest corner of Building Δ was an extensive clay floor with strong traces of burning; three large stone bases with tenons on their upper surfaces were set on the transverse axis of the building, with two smaller stone bases in between and a third to the north of the west end. The smaller bases were set lower and probably partially covered by the clay floor. The area was likely central courtyard, with a stoa on the south and west sides. The roof was supported with built piers and wooden columns (Fig. 2). On the clay floor were large fragments of a mortar and pebble floor from the collapsed upper storey. The area was destroyed by fire in LH IIIB Early, with a re-use phase in LH IIIB-IIIC. Building remains identified below these probably belong to the west long side of Building Δ, and suggest the existence of two older, LH IIIA, building phases (Fig. 3). Remains of Byzantine (ninth- to tenth- century) habitation were also found here. In the northwest corner of the excavated area, within the upper Byzantine layer, was a fragment of a Linear B tablet, the sixth from Agios Vasileios, preserving the symbol of the double axe.   

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Thouria. X. Arapogianni (ASA) reports on continued excavation of the Doric temple dedicated to Asklepios and Hygeia. The partial removal of an Early Christian wine press covering part of the west side of the temple exposed the krepis of the southwest corner of the monument. The press had been built above a thick layer of ash containing much Early Hellenistic pottery with traces of burning. The press contained architectural spolia from ancient buildings in the area, including a large orthostat block (1.31 x 0.98 x 0.19m), and two fragments of epistyles (one Ionic with triple tainia probably from the Ionic colonnade of Building B, the other Doric, most likely belonging to the temple of Asklepios and Hygeia).  A trial trench inside the southwest corner of the temple sekos revealed the euthynteria, consisting of a series of rectangular blocks (height 0.53m), stylobate (height 0.24), and the first step of the krepis (height 0.24m). A ramp at the entrance of the temple (length 3.03m, width 1.34m) was constructed from two large rectangular blocks with smaller slabs placed vertically at the edges (Fig. 1). To the right of the temple entrance, two intact limestone statue bases were in situ (Fig. 2), their upper surfaces carrying cuttings for the feet of bronze statues, perhaps of children judging by their size. One of the bases bears a votive inscription by two parents, Damophantos and Nikandria, dedicating to Asklepios and Hygeia statues of their two sons, Damothales and Euthymos. The second base has much carved decoration, but the inscription is not preserved (Fig. 3). In front of first base are two stele bases, one cylindrical but not preserved, the second the lower part of a rectangular Herm stele (Fig. 4) preserving an inscribed dedication to Hermes in five lines.  In the area before the two bases and higher than the level of the ramp were found a large number of architectural members, the majority of which come from the Ionic colonnade of Building B, as well as three sections of fluted columns and two Ionic column capitals. Investigation revealed the southeast corner of the pronaos of the temple, containing three parts of Ionic columns in secondary use, two placed sideways and one vertically, which probably formed a seat or support, just as the two Ionic epistyles placed at the southwest corner of the pronaos had been used.   On the stylobate of the southeast corner, between the Doric columns, parts of Ionic columns had been set vertically (two at the south side and three to the east), probably to wall off the intercolumnar gaps, creating a closed area at the pronaos (Fig. 5).  The whole east side of the temple was exposed, as well as the pebble pavements which surrounded the monument. A strong layer of burning covered the krepis of the temple outside the southeast corner, and there was also evidence of fire damage to the krepis itself. The layer of burnt earth and ash (around 0.4m thick) contained a large number of burnt Early Hellenistic sherds, animal bones and shells.  The plan of the temple can now be described: the length was 9.4m at the stereobate and 8.8m at the stylobate; the width 6.1m at the stereobate and 5.5m at the stylobate. The whole height of the two-stage krepis on the long sides was 0.46m (Fig 6). The length of the pebble paving or walkway was 11.4m at the long sides, 8.1m at the narrow, while its width was 0.98m.  Ca 2.95m east of the ramp, a later makeshift wall ran northwest-southeast (length 6.8m, height 0.8m) which included many damaged ancient architectural members in secondary use: two parts of geisons, one Ionic column capital, and four parts of Ionic fluted columns. This wall was probably from some later embankment retaining the slopes which rise at the east of the sanctuary.  A rectangular limestone altar was found 4.5m south of the end of the ramp (Fig. 7) and parallel to the façade of the temple. Its entire surface was coated with white mortar, with traces of blue colour on the crowning. The southwest part of the altar lies beneath the foundations of the church of the Panagitsa and for this reason its full exposure was not possible.  0.4m further west of the altar was a smaller stone cylindrical altar with rectangular base (Fig. 7). In front of the altar was a thick layer of ash and burnt earth, with a large amount of pottery and animal bone.  The portable finds comprised principally Hellenistic ceramics (fourth- to second-centuries BC), prominent among them being many moulded bowls (Fig. 8) of excellent quality, fragments of antefix, two bronze coins (one Messinean of the third century BC), a few bone astragaloi and one in glass (Fig. 9), and a black-glaze sherd with an incomplete graffito: . . ΛΑΠΙ, probably from ΑΣΚΛΑΠΙΩΙ (Fig. 10).

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Messene. Excavation directed by P. Themelis (ASA) continued mainly in the area of the agora. The east part of the massive north stoa of the agora was exposed (Fig. 1), revealing fully the preserved sandstone columns of the Doric outer colonnade and the Corinthian of the two interior series, which define the three aisles of this two-storeyed stoa. A number of coated sandstone members belonging to the second floor of the stoa were also found.  The east exedra was fully exposed at the back wall of the stoa, with two Ionic half columns (Fig 2). At the southeast corner of the stoa lay a further stone table of the agoranomoi for the measuring of liquid and dry measures, with two unequal measuring cavities covered by stone conical covers, hollow inside and with a circular opening in their tops closed with metal discoid stoppers (Fig. 3). Other finds include the upper part of a stone Hekate (Fig. 4). The area east of the stoa was explored, and a long edifice excavated had five square rooms of equal size (4.8m a side), shops or storerooms, in series from north to south.  On the west side of the agora, was a Hellenistic Doric stoa facing westwards (Fig. 5), with five rectangular shops and a peristyle of unfluted columns. In the northeast corner of the peristyle was a large trapezoidal stone with a hole to tether animals. On one of the epistyles of the Doric stoa a three line inscription records that a wealthy Messinian citizen … τὴν στοὰν ὠρόφωσεν καὶ τὸν τοῖχον ἐκονίασεν, spending from his own money 1875 denarii.  Within the stoa, between the columns, bronze honorific statues were set up, for which three inscribed bases are preserved. At the south end of the stoa, in front of the paved entrance leading to the agora, was a limestone slab with a relief of a lion running to the left (Fig. 6). Other finds include a fragment of a marble Herm stele with the protome of Saithidas, a votive of the sons of Tiberius Claudius Saithidas Kailianos II and Tiberius Claudius Phronteinos Nikiratos, according to its inscription.  Pausanias notes only the cult statues and the temples of the agora, without describing the buildings of political and economic character such as the commercial stoas and the bouleuterion. A first-century AD inscription regarding repairs (SEG 23.205, 207 and 35.343) refers to Παντόπωλις στοά, ἡ στοὰ τοῦ Νικαίου καὶ ἡ στοὰ ἡ παρὰ τὸ Κρεοπώλιον. It thus appears that the Hellenistic stoa building should be identified with this stoa παρὰ τὸ Κρεοπώλιον.  In contact with the north end of the stoa building with the meat market was a retaining wall of the agora terrace. In front of the stoa to the west was a square paved with multi-coloured mosaic of the second-third centuries AD (Fig. 7). This is connected with the mosaic floor around the circular monopteros, which was covered partly by the apse of the basilica sanctuary (Ergon 2009, 47-48). At the north end of the square with the mosaic was a semicircular cistern which brought water from two clay hydrants to the retaining wall of the overlying terrace (Fig. 8).  Sanctuary of Eileithyia. A number of architectural members from the east façade of the temple were extracted from the southern slope of Ithomi, including parts of the pediment, the horizontal and Ionic geison, as well as the lower part of a marble votive statue of the goddess in Peplophoros type. Many miniature vases, mainly hydriskoi, were recovered from the fill of the temple terrace, along with coins and terracotta figurines probably associated with a sanctuary deposit.  

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Dans le cadre d’un programme de l’Ecole française d’Athènes dirigé par G. Touchais (Université Paris 1), S. Fachard (post-doctorant, Brown University), a procédé en 2012 à un nettoyage fin des fortifications de la colline de l’Aspis, sur le site d’Argos, dans le but de compléter le plan général des vestiges. Les travaux se sont concentrés sur trois secteurs.   Secteur Nord : le saillant triangulaire (fig. 1:1). - Un nettoyage de la tour carrée qui défend le flanc Nord du saillant a amené la découverte d'un nouveau mur (jusqu'à présent recouvert par l'affaissement d’une tranchée des anciennes fouilles de Vollgraff), qui vient compléter le plan de la tour : il s'agit en fait du parement interne de la courtine (large de 3 m), qui se prolongeait jusqu'au bloc d'angle formant le piédroit Nord de la poterne (fig. 2-3). Ainsi, la tour était pleine, du moins jusqu’à l'arase de son socle de pierre. Ses dimensions peuvent désormais être établies avec précision : 7,95 m à l’Est, 6,51 m au Nord et 6,60 m au Sud, pour une superficie au sol de 42 m2. La poterne de la tour était aménagée avec soin.   Secteur Sud-Est : jonction de la tour Y et du mur X (fig. 1:2). - Le mur qui semble relier le circuit fortifié de l’Aspis à la ville basse (mur X), a été nettoyé en vue de préciser sa jonction avec la tour à pans coupés Y (voir fig. 1). Seuls deux tronçons du mur sont encore visibles. Le premier se trouve à quelques mètres au Sud-Est de la tour ; le second sur le même axe, à une quarantaine de mètres vers le Sud-Ouest, en partie visible dans la coupe créée par le creusement de la route moderne. Le nettoyage du premier tronçon a permis de confirmer qu’il s’agit bien du parement externe du mur, composé d’une seule assise de blocs (fig. 4). En contrebas, la coupe de la route a été rectifiée afin de dégager les blocs visibles : on retrouve le parement externe, composé de deux assises de blocs de calcaire, mais le parement interne ne peut être localisé avec certitude (fig. 5). Un tronçon situé à plus de 5 m du parement externe pourrait lui appartenir, ce qui ferait une largeur considérable pour une simple courtine, mais il pourrait aussi correspondre à une tour en saillie par rapport au rempart. Dans les deux cas, toute reconstitution demeure hypothétique en l’absence de fouilles plus étendues.   Secteur Sud (fig. 1:3). - On avait préalablement relevé, sous une épaisse végétation, la présence de plusieurs alignements de blocs de calcaire, parallèles ou perpendiculaires au tracé de l'enceinte. Après débroussaillage, on a pu retrouver le parement extérieur de l'enceinte historique, vraisemblablement dégagé par Vollgraff. Un nettoyage plus fin encore a amené la découverte d'un mur polygonal, construit environ 1,80 m en avant du rempart et conservé sur plus de 25 m (fig. 6). La campagne 2012 a ainsi permis de répondre à de nombreuses questions en suspens, tout en complétant le plan des fortifications. Il apparaît désormais que des travaux de très grande envergure ont été entrepris sur l'Aspis au début de l'époque hellénistique. Cette valorisation du dispositif défensif de la colline suggère qu'elle a été amenée à jouer un rôle nouveau dans la stratégie défensive de la cité.

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Trapeza.  A.  Vordos (Στ' ΕΠΚΑ) reports the discovery of a Geometric temple immediately beneath the Late Archaic temple of 530-510 BC on Trapeza hill.  The Geometric structure was built of mud brick (preserved to four courses) on a stone foundation. Offering pyres were also found in the area: previous reports note eighth-century bronze votives and pottery found on the hill top.

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AVERTISSEMENT
La Chronique des fouilles en ligne ne constitue en aucun cas une publication des découvertes qui y sont signalées.
L'EfA et la BSA ne peuvent délivrer de copie des illustrations qui y sont reproduites et dont ils ne détiennent pas les droits.