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Nikoleika. E. Kolia (Στ' ΕΠΚΑ) and A. Gadolou (National Museum) report on continuing excavation (2004, 2006 onwards) of a Geo temple on the land of A. Komninos and P. Karachaliou. The site lies W of the Kerynites river, ca. 400m inland from the hill of Kallithea or Psoriarou (on which LH IIIA−LH IIIC tombs are known) and probably in the territory of anc. Helike (recent research has located remains of the city in the wider area). The temple is apsidal, oriented E−W (apse to W), and with a semicircular porch at the E end similar to that of the Temple of Artemis Aontias at Ano Mazaraki (Rakita). The building so far uncovered is 13.3m l. and 5.35m maximum w. Four tetragonal sandstone bases along the interior axis supported the wooden columns of the central colonnade: 4 square sandstone bases along the interior face of the S wall generally align with those of the colonnade and must have held the wooden supports to strengthen the walls and support the wooden frame of the roof. The walls are constructed with 2 outer rows of flat stones with smaller stones and earth between them, and presumably a mud-brick superstructure. Associated pottery dates the temple to the last quarter of the 8th Ct. The carefully worked sandstone blocks used in the construction of the porch stylobate indicate a slightly later addition. The addition of semicircular porches to the temples at Nikoleika and Ano Mazaraki indicates a harmonization of temple building and a move towards monumentalisation in LGeo−EAr Achaia. In 2006, the E part of a tetragonal structure, built of layers of mud-brick, was revealed under the floor of the apsidal temple, in the centre of the building. According to the pottery, it probably came into use in the 1st quarter of the 8th Ct and continued in use until the construction of the apsidal temple.  An associated burnt layer contained a great number of animal bone fragments (cooked or burnt) and many other finds: sherds mainly of cooking and drinking vessels (though other shapes were represented); items related to dining; and (the most numerous and characteristic find) terracotta wheels from chariot models. This altar confirms cult at the site over a long period, perhaps originating in the 9th or 10th Ct. Pottery dates from the PGeo to EAr (950−675 BC). Terracottas include animal figurines, most probably from chariot models, dating to ca. 700 BC, plus fragments of at least 4 building models including a sloping roof decorated in impressed technique (ca. 725−700 BC). All the excavated examples belong to a general tradition of model construction developed in Achaia during the Geo period. All phases of Achaian local decorated pottery are represented, including the Thapsos style ware of which Achaia was one production centre. The deity worshipped is tentatively identified as Poseidon: terracottas indicate a male deity linked to horses and chariot driving, and literary sources attest to an anc. cult of Poseidon Helikonios at Helike. Further research is required on this point.

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Isthmia. E. Gebhard (ASCSA/Chicago) reports on a study season focused on the renovation of the Sanctuary of Poseidon and the Isthmia Museum, a project undertaken by the ΛΖ' ΕΠΚΑ with support from the European Fund for Rural Improvement and the Third Community Support Framework. Study of finds from the University of Chicago excavations continued. M. Risser and K. Nolin’s work on LAr and Cl ceramics focused on comparison between shapes presented as votives in the temple and temenos and those used for food preparation and feasting after the sacrifices, using pottery from the Cl terraces, the temple and the reservoir (great circular pit) in the area reserved for dining. A. Thomsen studied the terracotta figurines, identifying among the horse figurines dominant at the sanctuary 2 distinct types: E and LAr individualized figurines and ‘standardized’ horses close to the 5th and 4th Ct ‘Late Group’ from the potters’ quarter at Corinth. L. Houghtalin continued to prepare the publication of ca. 900 coins from the Chicago excavations and 600 from the UCLA/Ohio State expedition. From their study of the arms and armour, A. Jackson and I. Marszalek report on the poor condition of certain dedications, noting damage and repair to a helmet prior to dedication. Iron weapons of the 2nd half of the 4th Ct BC from a funerary monument SW of the sanctuary (the W foundation) closely resemble arms from tombs at Vergina and Derveni, and probably reflect Macedonian influence at Corinth and Isthmia from the time of Philip II and his successors. Finally, K. Hallof commenced study of 4 2nd Ct BC documentary stelae; P. Funke studied the historical context of the decrees. In the Palaimonion, M. Sturgeon’s restoration of the sculptural programme was assisted by documentation of floor elevations: phase III (Hadrianic) ca. 0.38m−0.60m above the underlying stadium floor; raised in phase V (Antonine) to ca.1.25m above the stadium. In the Rachi settlement, V. Anderson-Stojanović’s study of remains assigned to houses III, IV, V and VI showed that there were only 3 houses here. Domestic structures are generally consistent in size, between 60−75m2. Analysis of activities practised and their location in the settlement was undertaken. Tim Gregory (ASCSA/Ohio) reports the completion of cleaning and stabilization of the excavation area along the S side of the Rom bath. In collaboration with the ΛΖ' ΕΠΚΑ, work was undertaken to make the Rom bath, the Hexamilion and the E field accessible to visitors (Fig. 1). Study towards publication of the Rom bath continued (Fig. 2). The protective layer over the great monochrome mosaic in room VI was removed. Cleaning to the SW corner of room XIV completed the overall project of documentation. A 0.6m w. wall, poorly built of rough stones in a mud mortar, was found in fill of the 7th Ct AD. The surviving portion ran E−W for ca. 2.30m: it must belong to a building large for its period (the so-called Byz Dark Ages) and which may have been partially removed during excavation of this area in 1978. At the SW corner of room XIV a wall of ashlar blocks ran W from the presumed corner of the bath, indicating the presence of at least one other room or defined space W of room XIV (toward the NW ravine). It is unclear whether this was contemporary with the construction of the bath, but it must pre-date its abandonment. Little can yet be said about this space, but the area to the N appears to have been used as a depository for ash, presumably from the furnaces of the building, perhaps saved for later use. Finally, 2 trenches opened in the 1970s, ca. 18m S of the S wall of the bath, were reinvestigated, revealing considerable debris from a large wall built largely of mortar, rubble and tiles (like the upper portions of the walls of the bath). This was likely part of a monumental building S of the bath, and is perhaps to be connected with 2 sets of parallel walls visible to the E and N of the trenches under consideration. Study of the E field, between the Temple of Poseidon and the Byz fortress (partially excavated in 1970−1972) refined the sequencing of wall phases (Fig. 3), producing up to 17 different phases (not all chronologically significant). As previously concluded, in an early period (perhaps 2nd Ct AD) the area was dominated by several large structures, probably public in nature. Cleaning continued in the Hexamilion outworks, NE of the Rom bath, where the Byz fortifications (the Hexamilion) run E toward the fortress.  Several Rom buildings are known in this vicinity.  A project was begun to record extant spolia and associate them with existing foundations (Fig. 4).

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Kenchreai, Koutsongila ridge. E. Korka (Ministry of Culture), J. Rife (ASCSA/Macalester College) and P. Kasimi (ΛΖ' ΕΠΚΑ) report on excavation, study and conservation on the Koutsongila ridge, N of the anc. harbour (Fig. 1). Excavation concentrated in 3 major areas (A, B, C, Fig. 2). In 2004, geophysical survey in area A (at the S end of the ridge overlooking the harbour) had revealed a large rectangular enclosure: monumental blocks remain on the surface. Excavation revealed a N−S wall facing onto a deep, wide depression in the bedrock. It is as yet uncertain whether this created a terrace or delimited space in a more significant way. A cremation pyre was also discovered in area A: a small, elliptical depression contained ash with burned cobbles, bones and nails, presumably from a coffin or bier. The human bones, mixed with a few animal bones (perhaps sacrificial victims), show extreme changes typical of prolonged exposure to temperatures exceeding 800 °C. An ERom basin and amphora deposited near the pyre may have been used for drink offerings or fuel. To the NE, a rectangular building was apparently used for burial: the fill contained numerous bones and LRom lamps. Next to it were 3 5th−7th Ct AD cist graves cut into bedrock: one was looted, but the others contained numerous bodies buried over a long period. Eight lead tablets bearing geometric and floral designs and rolled into tubes had been left at the top of one of the cists. In area B (along the ridge’s E cliff), structural remains have long been visible on the surface. Excavation revealed a mod. (20th Ct) circular structure, probably a Second World War turret, directly overlying a well-preserved mosaic floor of the E2nd−M3rd Ct AD (Fig. 3), which was partially uncovered in 2007. The design is conventional: a field with a diagonal grid surrounds bands of wave crests, diamonds, guilloche and cubic patterns, all framing an emblema depicting an enwreathed head of Silenus looking left. The mosaic displays several colours, and the stone and glass tesserae inside the figural panel are very intricate. It represents the Hel, or eastern, style of mosaic art of the period: there are close contemporary parallels in Asia Minor and the Corinthia (the Kokkinovrysi villa W of anc. Corinth). It likely belonged to an opulent seaside villa, though its proximity to the cemetery is noteworthy. In addition, another building, likely an ERom house, was found ca. 36m S along the cliff. The presence of these structures in the SE corner of the ridge suggests that the lavish complex at the base of the N mole of the harbour extended up onto the ridge. Such buildings may comprise a wealthy residential quarter. In area C (the cemetery), excavation around tomb 10 uncovered a building above the dromos which had apparently suffered a catastrophic collapse (Fig. 4).  A niche in the W wall might have contained an epitaph or artefacts such as lamps or a sculpture. Only 2 isolated burials (graves 51−52) were found between tombs 10 and 7. Here commemorative rituals, such as dining, were apparently performed either in the home or inside the tomb. Inside tomb 7 were discrete deposits of objects associated with funerary rituals of the 1st−3rd Ct: lamps, figurines, unguentaria, cinerary urns, Knidian bowls, cups in thin-walled ware, amphorae and frying pans. Wof tombs 3 and 23, 5 wheel ruts running N−S constitute 2 or 3 cart roads used over a long period during the Rom Empire. This was perhaps the main route into the harbour from the N as travelled by Pausanias. To the SW, a substantial building, with walls in opus testaceum on an ashlar socle, served (until its collapse around the 120s AD) as an above-ground chamber tomb with a rock-cut cist (grave 50) along the N wall. Sixteen cist graves of the 5th−7th Ct were dug into the bedrock here: all had the typical form of a vertical shaft opening W into a wider compartment. Many had been partly looted, but some were undisturbed: the mortar and slab covering and epitaph of grave 43 were intact (Fig. 5). The epitaph, inscribed on a bluish-gray schistose marble plaque, reads: + κυμητίρι<o>ν δι/αφέροντα Ἀνδρέα/ τῶ ὐι(ῷ) τοῦ Κορω/νέου+ (‘+ The burial belonging / to Andrew / the son of / Koroneos +’). These graves, as those in area A  contained numerous bodies interred over a long period in a supine, extended position, with heads to the W. They occasionally included such artefacts as lamps (Fig. 6), pitchers and lekythoi, bronze rings, crosses and buckles.  Study of artefactual and skeletal remains and of the natural environment of the ridge continued. M. Morison examined numerous artefacts, including over 19,000 sherds. R. Weir identified the 50 coins and bracteates so far discovered on the ridge. D. Ubelaker continued his study of the human bones, and S. Garvie-Lok sampled bone for chemical analysis in connection with the study of anc. diet.  R. Nunes Pedroso collected samples of mortar and painted plaster. Finally, R. Dunn examined the geological conditions of the tombs to understand taphonomy. On site, conservation of the chamber tombs and their plaster was begun.

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Anc. Corinth. G. Sanders (ASCSA) reports the completion of excavation in the S part of the Panagia Field. Colluvium, laid down in the LNeo, was encountered over the entire area opened to date. Ot and Emod. cemeteries covering the N part of the field currently make further work here impractical. Excavation of the monumental L4th Ct AD building partially revealed in previous seasons was completed, with the exposure of the westernmost 16.5m. At least 6 rooms were laid out in pairs, with anterooms to the S and main rooms to the N, on an E−W axis. Only the foundations (of poor quality, large, roughly dressed limestone blocks), a cellar, a scrap of flooring and the foundations are preserved. As the upper part of the blocks of the outer face of the N wall are finished, the ground level here was lower than to the S where the same course was unfinished. Rooms in the W suite are ca. 7m w. On the E side of the larger N room is a cellar, 2.8 x 1.6m, accessed via steps cut into a leaning ashlar in its NE corner. The cistern was filled in the M3rd Ct with a deposit rich in pottery. The 2nd suite is only ca. 4.7m w. The main room preserved a fragment of watertight pebble and mortar flooring sloping down towards the SW and, to the SW, part of a dipping basin in the same material. The quantity of grape pits found suggests that this room served as a wine press and the cellar to the W perhaps as a wine store. Below the floor of the putative pressing area was a votive deposit of 22 miniature vessels, each of a different form. A careful search for grave cuts was made to ensure there were no further tombs of the Geo cemetery (see now C. Pfaff, Hesperia 76 [2007], 443−537). The edge of the excavated area was blowcreted to prevent collapse of the baulks. It is intended to cover the area with geomaterial and backfill to the level of the LRom domus floor. Research resumed in the area S of the S stoa, where in the 1960s H. Robinson revealed a complex of Med houses. Phasing of the architectural remains was undertaken using the old excavation notebooks plus excavation in critical places. A pit to dispose of burnt material contained an African red slip form 50 bowl (M4th Ct AD), decorated glass and a marble portrait head carefully buried face-down. The pit was located immediately in front of a threshold. A deposit immediately predating the Med construction programme suggests that much of the area remained out of use from the M6th Ct to the MByz period. Deposits of decayed mud-brick produced large quantities of small coins. One layer contained 3 legible coins of the E6th Ct and an almost complete Phocaean red slip form 3C bowl (450−475 AD). A complete Hel pithos was reused in the LRom period, accommodated in a deep hole dug into the LRom floor. A new area opened to the S of Robinson’s excavation was intended to reveal more buildings of his Byz phase. A large area was opened, revealing the tops of Med walls and pits, but much of it was disturbed by agricultural activity and wall robbing during the E19th Ct, resulting in the reduction and redeposition of Frankish occupation remains. Among the finds was a gilded metal object decorated with a fortress.

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Stymphalos. H. Williams (Canadian Institute/British Columbia) reports that extensive hand coring was carried out selectively across the entire valley of Stymphalos as the start of a project to investigate geomorphological and environmental change in the area.

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Nemea. K. Shelton (ASCSA/Berkeley) reports on the 2007 season of study and conservation at the Sanctuary of Zeus. Reconstruction of the Temple of Zeus continued as described in 2006. Work focused on the foundations and krepidoma on the E end and in the pronaos, especially the NE corner, and on columns K-30 and K-29 in the centre of the E colonnade. In the stadium, a structural and environmental study of the tunnel was begun to determine the cause of the decay/collapse and to propose necessary measures.

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Nemea, Agia Sotira cemetery. R.A.K. Smith (Canadian Institute/Brock), J. Wright and M. Dabney (Bryn Mawr College) report on continued excavation of the LBA chamber tomb cemetery on the hillside of Ag. Sotira, outside the village of Koutsomadi near anc. Nemea. Test trenching in the field of P. Tombros, begun in 2006, was completed and the blocking wall removed from tomb 4 (which had been partially destroyed by illicit activities over the winter). A further tomb, tomb 5, was excavated. Tomb 5 was undisturbed. Sherd material and complete vessels indicate that it was in use from LH IIIA2 until LH IIIB (Figs 1, 2), but due to poor preservation of the skeletal material only 2 certain individuals could be identified. The stratigraphy of the dromos and blocking wall of the stomion were well preserved, and it is clear that this tomb had a complex history. The blocking wall contained 4 clearly defined construction phases with floor levels beneath each. Evidence for at least 7 episodes of tomb use and reuse were identified based on stratigraphical and artefactual information. Included among these are adult and child burials in the chamber and the dromos, as well as an offering made by tunnelling into the tomb after the chamber had collapsed. Tomb 5 fits the general picture of the cemetery’s use from LH IIIA1 to LH IIIB2, and corresponds to the major periods of occupation at nearby Tsoungiza. Tomb 5 was backfilled and a layer of gravel placed over the dromos and chamber. All test trenches were backfilled and excavation dumps levelled in order to return the olive grove to its original state. We are confident that no further tombs exist to be looted in the field of P. Tombros, but the location and alignment of the excavated tombs suggests that others are likely to exist in the area.

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Sikyon Survey Project. Y. Lolos (Thessaly) reports on the continuation of a multidisciplinary (archaeological, geophysical and geo-archaeological) survey of the plateau of anc. Sikyon. Since the project’s inception in 2004, intensive survey has covered some 86ha (of a total of 250ha) and geophysical survey 37ha; geo-archaeological study is almost complete. In 2007, 25ha were surveyed in 767 20m x 20m squares (Fig. 1). Artefact density varied significantly. On the upper plateau there were usually 100−150 sherds per square, with higher concentrations (ca. 200−300 and rarely up to 400) only in specific places. This pattern, observed also in previous years, probably signifies scattered, insubstantial installations (confirmed by the scarcity of architectural remains and the small quantities of roof tiles). W of the stadium, higher densities were found, as were traces of the city wall. On the N plateau, the area N of the agora and E of the stadium produced generally higher concentrations, and in certain squares roof tile greatly exceeded sherd. This phenomenon, encountered elsewhere on the plateau, relates to the large number of structures in this area − walls and corners of buildings and city blocks, retaining walls of streets, cisterns, quarries, etc. On the S plateau also, architectural remains are common in the area investigated, S of the agora, especially ashlar walls oriented N−S, E−W, on the anc. city grid. Associated finds indicate that many of these structures are domestic: industrial activities (stone quarries and an olive-processing installation) were also located. Finally, investigation of the ridge projecting from the SE edge of the plateau produced markedly different results. Instead of the Hel to MRom pottery found elsewhere, ceramics here date back at least to the EH and continue to LH III, with very little Cl−Rom: Byz and post-Byz sherds and tiles represent periods rare in other areas. Geophysical prospection revealed a number of streets 6−6.5m w., oriented N−S and E−W, plus an almost 10m w. N−S avenue detected N and S of the agora. The dimensions of the agora are now almost established. The anc. city grid was formed of ca. 69m x 69m squares. Within the resulting insulae, a number of walls and structures, some belonging to courtyard houses, have been located.

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Argos, Aspis. G. Touchais (EfA/Paris 1) and A. Philippa-Touchais (EfA) report on the 2007 season of excavation and study. Cleaning of the E sector of W. Vollgraff’s excavations was completed (Fig. 1), revealing the spatial organization of this part of the MH settlement. The settlement was organized in 2 successive terraces: the houses of the lower terrace, built along the peribolos, are oriented N−S following the contours of the hill, whereas those of the upper terrace are perpendicular to the peribolos, conditioned by the morphology of the rock. The discovery of 3 MH graves in situ (Fig. 2), all pre-dating the final phase of habitation, proves the presence of intramural burials in this sector. Study of material from previous excavations continued. The presence of storage vessels, at least in the N sector, strengthens the hypothesis of functional differentiation between a N sector dedicated to domestic and craft activities and a SE sector where a high frequency of drinking vessels indicates more social practices. A preliminary inventory of all non-ceramic finds had been made: the majority of the ca. 1,500 objects are MH in date, but there are also a number of Ar, Cl and Hel items. Finally, the topographic plan has been augmented. Three 3-D views give an impression of the MH site as seen from the plain. They demonstrate that the concentric organization of the settlement, especially in its final phase, created the impression of fortification, and thus heightened its prestige.

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Argos, Nannopoulos plot. A. Pariente (EfA/Lyon) and Ch. Piteros (Δ' ΕΠΚΑ) report on the 5th season of excavation. Clearance of the agora cemetery provided no further possibility of determining its chronology in the absence of funerary offerings and definable limits. The 6 tombs discovered in 2007, like their predecessors, were uniformly oriented with the head to the SW and the feet to the NE. They housed the remains of a young adult buried in a pit protected by a wooden cover, 2 children buried in a shroud, an adult buried in a shroud, and the bones of an adult interred in a coffin but found in secondary disposition due to the burial of a juvenile in the same pit. This practice, already in evidence in this cemetery, probably indicates that graves were not marked on the surface. A limestone krepis continued to be exposed on the N side of the plot, and the E part of the monumental exedra was completely exposed along with its concrete floor. A single layer of fill covered the NE part of the monument and produced abundant pottery: some 20 lamps dating from the 1st half of the 4th−E6th Ct AD (Fig. 3) were associated with pottery of the 2nd quarter of the 3rd−E6th Ct AD. This fill included a fragment of a lion muzzle from a Cl terracotta gutter and an almost complete amphora, probably dating to the L5th or E6th Ct AD. In the S part of the excavation area, the concrete floor of the exedra slopes gently to the edge of the ‘Byz disturbance’ previously encountered in the neighbouring plot. The brown earth layer of this ‘disturbance’ contained much L4th−E5th Ct and 6th Ct AD pottery.

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Argos. Junction of Korinthou and Heras Streets (property of P. and I. Bozionelou). E. Sarri (Δ’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports investigation of a Late Geometric and Archaic cemetery. In addition to pithos burials and one built cist, a Late Geometric-early Archaic (early seventh-century) bronze cinerary urn was found covered by limestone slabs. The vessel contained the remains of one or more sheets of cloth, and pomegranate seeds. The rarety and early date of these finds, the use of a metal vessel in a cemetery characterised by large burial pithoi, and the rarety of cremations in Early Iron Age Argos, combine to indicate the particular status of the deceased.

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Mycenae. S. Iakovidis (ASA) reports on a further season of excavation on the acropolis, between the NW settlement and the ΜΛ complex, and in Petsas House. On the acropolis, the open court between the excavated rooms and the N cyclopean wall was cleaned and investigated, as was the sloping pathway along the length of these rooms to the court. The 3.5m x 5m court communicates with the northernmost room (3) via a doorway in its W side, and has 2 successive clay floors over a stone fill. The pathway will be fully investigated in 2008. Finds included sherds, fragments of wall-painting, clay loomweights and spools, olive pits and scattered animal bones. On the banks of the Chavos in the lower city, the city grid (5 x 5m) was extended, and 5 trials opened where architectural remains of historical periods existed at d. of 0.10−0.15m. In the northernmost (trench 22), 2 apsidal structures of fieldstones produced Hel sherds and wasters, indicating pottery production. Further S was a strong external wall, a square hearth, and 2 orthogonal bases for columns or wall supports. The pottery was mixed with fragments of figurine and wallpainting, plus iron nails. To the SE, another strong wall with the same orientation was cut by a transverse wall running W which belongs to another less careful construction. These walls are Hel in date. In the neighbouring quadrants 63 and 74, the W wall of a building (previously revealed by geophysical survey) was excavated, and to the S, 2 parallel transverse walls which enclose rooms or perhaps a road. The finds − Myc sherds, a stone pendant, a bronze awl, Ar figurines, Cor pottery and Argive coins − date the building to the E6th Ct.  All these buildings were founded in a clean levelling fill above earlier Myc architectural remains, the orientation of which conforms to the known Myc pattern. In Petsas House (Fig. 1), excavation of the well in room Π reached 12.35m d., where the fill contained many stones likely from the mouth of the well, and a corresponding shortage of finds. The LH IIIA2 pottery is mostly plainware and utilitarian. Among the few decorated examples is a bridge-spouted jug. In total, 317 near-complete vessels were collected, plus 350 which could be restored. Other finds include a portable hearth of plaster and a few tiny fragments of tablet with one or 2 characters preserved. In room K, where excavation in 1951 stopped at a LMyc dividing wall, the dense fill was full of stones. Pottery was mixed LH IIIA2 and later. Room T which neighbours room Γ was also full of stones and bricks baked hard by the fire, as well as large sections of wall-painting which had fallen upright, probably from the upper floor. In the SW corner, a pithos in situ lay in mixed Myc and Hel fill: in the N part there was a stone-paved floor and part of a carbonized wooden beam. The small room I of the 1951 excavation was completely cleared. In the area N of room E, light walls founded on bedrock were traced to their full course and shown to have been erected and destroyed during the Hel period. An opening into the neighbouring room was shown to be a fault in construction rather than a doorway. Room Θ, N of I, was completely cleared and its flooring revealed. In 2007 excavation also proceeded in Kato Pezouli, the uninvestigated lower level, W of the rooms. Here site H was uncovered in 1951, the exact location of which was uncertain and varies on different plans. A fruitless attempt was made to locate it amidst mixed fills cut by various Myc and later intrusions. In the S part of this lower level, W of room Γ, an apotheke (Υ) was excavated, packed with fill from the break up of the upper floor, just as in the neighbouring T. On the floor were receptacles for large vessels, the lower parts of 4 pithoi and settings for 2 more on slabs. Finds from this year’s excavations comprise 98 complete and fragmentary LH IIIA2 vessels, abundant sherds of this period, parts of wall-paintings of different sizes, animal figurines and various Hel objects.

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M. Vlassopoulou-Karydi (Athens, National Museum) discusses the analysis of leaf samples from around bodies in Grave Circle B and their identification as papyrus.

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Midea. The Gr-Swedish excavations on the Myc acropolis of Midea continued in 2007 under the direction of K. Demakopoulou (Director Emerita, National Museum) with the collaboration of A.-L. Schallin (Director, Swedish Institute) and N. Divari-Valakou (Γ' ΕΠΚΑ). The Gr team excavated in the SW part of the lower acropolis and the Swedish team in the area E of the E Gate. The Gr team worked in 2 sectors: in the W part of the building complex (previously excavated in the W Gate area) and on the lower W terrace of the acropolis. In both areas excavation continued in trenches opened in 2006. Investigation of room XIV in the W part of the building complex, abutting the fortification wall in the W Gate area, was concluded. It is a roughly square room (3 x 2.7m) built against the fortification wall. Its other 3 walls are almost ruined, evidently by the earthquake that struck Midea at the end of the 13th Ct BC. The room is founded partly on bedrock and has a sloping floor of beaten earth. The destruction deposit which covered the entire room yielded much fragmentary LH IIIB2 L pottery. A number of vases have been partly restored: a narrow-necked jug with panelled decoration on the shoulder and another wide-necked jug with linear decoration, a rosette deep bowl (Fig. 1), a stemmed bowl, a deep bowl of Group B, a medium-coarse askos and a cooking-jar. There are also many fragments of plain vessels such as kylikes, jars and hydriae. Notable among the coarsewares are fragments of a large hydria and a basin, as well as of cooking jars and pithoi. Other finds from room XIV include fragmentary human and animal figurines, stone tools, pieces of mother-of-pearl, sea shells and remains of carbonized fruits. An important find is a lentoid seal of haematite depicting a frontal human face flanked by 2 arms with forearms and hands suspended (Fig. 2). The whole scene is surrounded by a snake, almost touched by the figure’s left hand, recalling cult scenes with deities and snakes in Cretan-Myc iconography. On the lower W terrace of the acropolis, trench C was extended 3.5m to the W to clear the entire upper surface and the outer face of a large section of the fortification wall uncovered in 2006. The full w. (5m) of this section of the wall was exposed; a 5m l. stretch, occupying the whole space of the trench, was uncovered. The 2 faces of the wall are constructed with boulders and the filling is composed of large and small stones. Part of a room was revealed against the inner face of the wall. Next to this (to the S), a large area was investigated to ca. 3.7m d. Thick accumulated deposits with piles of large stones and boulders fallen from the wall were removed. Below these, ruins left by a great destruction were uncovered, with the remains of human victims, evidently from the devastating earthquake. Marked traces of burning were also visible. With the removal of the debris, a large part of the inner face of the fortification wall was uncovered. An opening leading to a tunnel through the thickness of the wall was found. Only a small part of the interior of this was partly cleared: it is constructed in the corbelled system. The opening, which has a boulder as a monolithic lintel, is flanked by a wall and a megalithic construction. The vaulted gallery probably led down to an underground cistern or spring − a water supply system similar to that of Mycenae and Tiryns, and of the Myc acropolis of Athens. The pottery from the destruction layer, as from all other destruction layers at Midea, dates to LH IIIB2 L.  It is fragmentary, but includes all typical painted, plain and coarseware shapes of the period. The most common painted ware shapes are Group A deep bowls, stemmed bowls and kraters.  A fragmentary krater is decorated with antithetic whorl-shells and added white paint. Closed shapes include stirrup jars, feeding bottles, jugs and amphorae. Plainwares include many fragments of conical and carinated kylikes, as well as a large mug found in front of the gallery opening together with a fragmentary coarse stirrup jar. Many fragments of other coarse or transport stirrup jars were found, including sherds of a stirrup jar with light-on-dark decoration and a Linear B sign. The abundant coarseware comprises many fragments of storage and cooking vessels, and hydriae and 2-handled jars, which were probably used to transport water from the underground cistern. Fragmentary sherds of the much discussed Handmade Burnished Ware were also recovered; large parts of jars with appliqué cordon and horseshoe handles have been restored. Investigation of the room next to the area with the gallery opening continued. The part of this room uncovered is defined by the fortification wall and a cross wall. Under an accumulated layer of many fallen stones, a beaten earth floor was reached on a higher level than that of the area with the gallery. The room was founded on a stratum above the debris of the great destruction. The floor deposit contained fragmentary LH IIIC E pottery, including rosette bowls, as well as Group A and B deep bowls with antithetic and running spirals, kraters with similar decoration and monochrome interior, and 2 characteristic vases of the period, a deep semiglobular cup with monochrome interior and a medium band around the rim, as well as a stirrup jar with triangular patch on the shoulder and foliate band in the belly zone. On the floor of the room, an intact (0.11m l.) bronze violin-bow fibula was found. This pottery and the fibula demonstrate that the room belongs to a building constructed after the destruction, in LHIIIC E. Sherds of this period were also found in the upper layers of the adjoining space S of the room. These finds are of considerable interest and add to our knowledge of the post- Palatial settlement of Midea.   The work of the Swedish team was divided between 3 sites: (1) the baulk between trench 3 and room 9, in the row of basement rooms abutting the citadel wall (Fig. 3), where excavation commenced in 2006; (2) trench 9, last examined in 2004; (3) trench 14, partly excavated in 2005. The 2 latter sites were chosen in the hope of mapping the use of the interior side of the citadel wall, and the adjacent rooms, during the Myc period. In the baulk between trench 3 and room 9, work resumed in the massive destruction layer 4; a light grey and finely grained soil (largely ash) containing charred seeds and figs. Pottery fragments and animal bones were frequent. Parts of Myc female figurines, one pierced faïence bead and 2 separate pieces of a figurative relief plaque of bone were collected. The baulk has now been taken down to floor level and forms part of room 9 excavated by Åström. Perpendicular to the citadel wall and bordering trench 3 is a well-preserved wall; facing the citadel wall is a wall with fewer courses. In 2004, work in trench 9 had concluded at a point when most of the area was seen to be covered with small- to medium-sized stones. Some may have been part of a paving, but now they have the appearance of rubble. In the neighbouring trench 3, the aim was to determine the relationship between a room earlier excavated next to the citadel wall and the area of trench 9. Due to lack of time and resources, work in trench 9 concentrated on the NE quadrant. Excavation recommenced at layer 4, with the removal of stone rubble. Especially in the NW corner of the investigated area, there was clear evidence of a conflagration. The stones had clearly been scorched and the soil between was dark grey and contained charred seeds and figs as well as charred sherds. The area was excavated down to bedrock and, except for pottery, animal bones, shells and charred seeds, only a chert arrowhead was recovered. No structures were identified. Work continued in the baulk between trench 3 and trench 9: NE quadrant, at the level (layer 2) where excavation stopped in 2004. This is a dark brown soil containing large pottery fragments, one spindle-whorl and one obsidian arrowhead. Again, stones were numerous, but did not form any structures: bedrock was reached in the larger part of the baulk. The area of trenches 13, 14 and 15 is not yet fully understood: it slopes down towards Åström’s rooms 6 and 7, and erosion has affected it severely. Trenches 14 and 15 yielded a post-disaster paving of small stones and in trench 13 is a platform-shaped structure of later date, but only at the N end of trench 14 has the Myc ground level been excavated. The S end of trench 14 was, therefore, further investigated, in an area of 1m x 1.5m, to find the corresponding level. Work in the S end of trench 14 had been discontinued in layer 2 in 2005, i.e. in a dark brown loose soil. Only a few cm remained before layer 3 appeared as a hard, light grey soil that mostly consists of fine ashes. Charred seeds were noticed, but few could be collected in one piece. At the top of the layer was the head of a Myc female figurine and an incised pottery fragment, probably of later date; at the bottom of the layer were one flat lump of molten lead and half a spindle-whorl. Layer 4 consists of densely packed small stones between which were found sherds and a conical spindle-whorl. It appears to be paving and is the only level in trench 14, S end, that could be associated with the neighbouring Myc building (rooms 6 and 7). Layer 5, with reddish-brown soil, continues to bedrock with an increasing number of stones and pottery fragments in the lower part.

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Tiryns. J. Maran (DAI/Heidelberg) reports on a further season of excavation and study. W lower town: for a 2nd year, excavation continued in grid squares L51 and L52, offering a rare opportunity to uncover EMyc (LH I−II), EPalatial (LH IIIA) and EIA remains, elsewhere missing or covered by later structures. Undisturbed pre-LH horizons were not reached, but finds in later levels reveal the history of pre-Myc occupation. The earliest pottery dates to the LNeo, while the next clear horizon is EH II. In addition to large quantities of EH sherds, certain finds unexpected in domestic contexts include at least 3 EH clay sealings and building materials, such as terracotta and slate tiles, used to roof major constructions during the ‘Period of the Corridor Houses’. Such finds suggest that significant EH architectural remains linked to administrative practices are to be expected. The earliest architectural phase is EPalatial (LH IIIA), continuing into the incipient LPalatial period (LH IIIB). Two Myc building phases in L52 exhibit marked differences in construction techniques, orientation and probably also size. Architecture of the earlier phase appeared only at the end of the excavation: accordingly, the layout and size of the emerging building remain unclear. The uppermost part of a carefully built, solid wall was uncovered, which closely resembles in construction and width the walls of the large LH IIIA complex found in 1969−1974 S of the new excavation. A multiple-room building of similar size and construction dating to LH IIIA1 and IIIA2, with its origins possibly reaching back into LH II, is therefore expected. The later Myc phase (LH IIIA2 and possibly LH IIIB1 E) is represented by a partially uncovered building with painted walls (noting plaster fragments with blue, and sometimes one further colour). Finds, such as lumps of unused clay, fragments of unfired or slightly fired vessels and a spiral clay coil used to build up vessels, indicate the use of the building for pottery manufacture − the first such discovery in Tiryns. Domestic wares and coarsewares were produced, but a smaller number of pieces are thin-walled and made of fine clay. The choice of this particular area for a potter’s workshop may have been guided by the proximity of the acropolis. The workshop is very close to the acropolis rock and to the upper citadel in particular. When the first megaron was built in the 14th Ct, the workshop was immediately visible to its occupants. Therefore, although only one disputable sealing has so far been discovered, an immediate relationship between palace and potter’s workshop is postulated. A decisive break in settlement in the W lower town occurred early in LH IIIB1: the lack of LH IIIB2 and IIIC occupation, indicated by previous excavation, was confirmed. The potter’s workshop and contemporary neighbouring buildings were abandoned without destruction and there are no signs of Myc reoccupation of the area. The abandonment of this part of the lower town may be connected with the creation of a new approach to the citadel from the W in LH IIIB2 with the construction of the W staircase and the associated gate in the W bastion. No construction in the area of the W lower town bordering on this approach was thenceforth tolerated, perhaps for reasons of security or aesthetics (to preserve the view of the palace and fortification on the low acropolis). Further investigation of an EIA construction of large horizontal slabs and stones discovered in 2006 and thought to be a grave, revealed no grave pit or post-Myc finds. The possibility of a burial at a greater depth cannot be ruled out, but the structure was probably part of a well-built slab pathway built when the foundations of the Myc potter’s workshop were used for a new PGeo building. This phase was short: MGeo or LGeo horizons cut into the ruin of the reused Myc building. Fresco project: A. Papadimitriou (Δ' ΕΠΚΑ) and U. Thaler continued the restoration and analysis of a large complex of wall-paintings found in Archaeological Service excavations in the area of the W staircase (1999−2001). Wall-paintings in the National Museum from earlier excavation in the same area are also included (in co-operation with L. Papazoglou-Manioudaki), since they form part of the same complex. A systematic search for joins between fragments from the new complex began by focusing on friezes showing imitations of wooden beams and spirals. These probably belong to the famous Tirynthian procession of life-size women, and are thus important for clarifying the relation to the old frescoes published by Rodenwaldt. It was thus possible to assemble large parts of the friezes as well as new compositions of figural fresco painting.

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Epidauros. V. Kyriaki reviews restoration work undertaken on the hestiatorion (the so-called gymnasium) of the Asklepieion by the Committee for the Conservation of the Monuments of Epidauros (ESME) from 1984−2006. S. Makrypodi and E. Mastellos also report on the restoration of the stadium of the Asklepieion.

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Franchthi Cave. K. D. Vitelli (ASCSA) reports on continuing study and analytical programmes. Comprehensive analysis of the fauna from trench H1B began with the lowest unit (unit 213) and progressed upward. Full taphonomic analysis was undertaken on every 3rd unit, while a more restricted analysis was recorded for the remaining units. By the end of the 2007 season, full taphonomic analysis was completed for 2,407 specimens from 16 units. Restricted analysis was completed on an additional 1,492 specimens. In order of decreasing frequency, the most common taxa include: hare (Lepus sp.); birds (partridge and pigeon [Columba livia], in particular); red deer (Cervus elaphus); wild ass (Equus hydrantinus); tortoise (Testudo graeca); wild cattle (Bos primigenius) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Research on shells and ornaments (C. Perlès) continued: the sequences in H1A and FA were completely studied for the Pal and rarer Mes species. For the much more numerous Cyclope shells a sample of ca. 2,100 individual specimens was recorded for the Lower and Upper Mes and a record of all FMes specimens was completed. All the micromolluscs from H1B were identified and counted, and all food shells were resorted to establish the proportions of burnt specimens  Finally, samples were assembled for a major programme of C14 redating.

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Agia Paraskevi Arachamitai. B. Forsén (Finnish Institute) reports on a project conducted in 2006−2007 to clarify whether column drums allegedly found here in the 1930s could belong to an anc. temple. The site is located at the highest point of the pass leading from Asea to Arachamitai: magnetometry revealed at least 2 monumental buildings, one rectangular (ca. 30 x 11m), the other square (ca. 65 x 65m) with a large central courtyard. Trial trenches showed that the rectangular building is a stoa, open towards the N and with a series of square rooms along the S side, and likely Hel on the basis of form. A Lakedaimonian coin found below the collapsed roof offers a tpq of 50−25 BC for the destruction of the stoa. S of the stoa lay a shallow pit filled with dark soil, much pottery and other small finds. The pottery includes many mouldmade bowl fragments, both imbricate and floral bowls of ca. 225−50 BC and some long petal bowls of ca. 150−80 BC, as well as miniatures, cooking pots, amphorae, jugs and some lamps, plus a few female figurines of the 2nd Ct BC (Fig. 1). At the S end of this trench lay a terracotta water channel, and next to it L5th−M3rd Ct BC bg pottery and a foot fragment from a 2nd half 6th Ct BC bronze hydria. These finds may be the remains of ritual dining common in sanctuaries. Two tile stamps, one beginning AΡTEM… and the other DEΣΠ…, might indicate the cult of Artemis Despoina, although further research is needed. Further work is also required to explain the date and function of the larger square courtyard structure.

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Leondari. A. Louvi-Kizi presents a study of the architecture of the church of the Ag. Apostoloi as part of a programme to restore the monument. New architectural observations refine the building sequence from the point of original foundation, probably in the L14th Ct AD, onwards.

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Mt Lykaion, Sanctuary of Zeus. M. Petropoulos (ΛΘ' ΕΠΚΑ), M.E. Voyatzis (ASCSA/Arizona) and D.G. Romano (ASCSA/Pennsylvania) report on the 2007 season of excavation and survey. Trenches were opened in the lower and upper areas of the sanctuary, at the altar of Zeus, in the temenos, in the xenon, in the area of the stoa seats or steps and on the terrace SW of the hippodrome. The altar trench produced EH, MH and LH pottery, an LM II rock-crystal lentoid seal, plus pottery and votive objects from the Geo−Hel (miniature vases, bronze tripods and rings, iron blades and a spit, silver coins) and much animal bone. Use of the altar from the 3rd millenium BC is inferred. Some 52m2 of the temenos area near the altar were excavated to bedrock, with virtually no finds. In the lower sanctuary, excavation within the xenon revealed a small area of the floor and evidence for interior wall-plaster. Trenches outside the N wall of the stoa exposed the building’s foundation and part of the interior. Documentation of all extant blocks via a combination of topographical survey and architectural drawing continued, and the first actual state drawings of the buildings and monuments of the sanctuary were created. Architectural documentation focused on a ca. 40m l. series of steps or seats to the N of the stoa and on the E wall of the adjacent xenon. Y. Pikoulas continued his historical study of the Mt Lykaion area, identifying anc. roads and towns, and M. Davison continued the cultural landscape study reported in 2006.

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Lousoi. G. Ladstätter (Director, Austrian Institute) reports further examination of the cult building on terrace I and of the peripteral temple. On terrace I, W of the peripteral temple, the following sequence of cult buildings is visible following excavation from 2004 onwards. First, the foundations of a simple rectangular building (5 x 7m) of LCl date; a hoard of terracotta figurines (found in 2005) indicates a cult function. Above this oikos, a rectangular building, subdivided into 2 rooms (5.7 x 8.1m), was erected in the Hel period; its E access and some limestone orthostats from its superstructure survive. Deposits of lamps and balsamaria (located in 2004) indicate that this structure also served a cult purpose. Probably in the LHel period, this structure was extended with the addition of symmetrically placed halls in use at least until the E2nd Ct AD. In 2007, an altar was revealed 2.7m E of the orthostat building, oriented axially towards its entrance (Fig. 1). The rectangular substructure of 6 limestone slabs (2.6 x 1.3m) survives; the upper surface was smoothed and mortises cut into it to facilitate the placing of orthostats. One of this upper level of limestone blocks survives in situ in the NE corner (h. 0.6m). Similarities with the materials and techniques used in the orthostat building and the stoa NW of terrace I suggest a Hel date for the altar. The exact orientation towards the orthostat building further indicates a cult ensemble combining that structure and the stone altar to its E. The surroundings of the altar contained relocated fills with anc. disturbances, with finds of occasionally Ar date, but mostly Cl, Hel and Rom dates. A sounding NE of the structures revealed the rubble foundation of the N hall of later date, also foundations of the Hel orthostat building cut into a fill containing sherds of numerous Geo and Ar thin-walled drinking cups. Numerous Cl, Hel and ERom sherds indicate continuity of intensive eating and drinking (feasting) in the context of this building, suggesting a cult that preceded the LCl oikos and went back to the Geo period. It could be a local heroon. In the area of the Hel peripteral temple, work concentrated on the W area of the E hall in the sekos. In conjunction with previous excavation results, the following architectural phases can now be proposed. The temple (Fig. 2), erected in the EHel period, had a peristasis of 6 x 15 columns (15.8 x 42.35m) and a sekos subdivided into a pronaos, an elongated E cella hall (15 x 8m), a square W cella hall (7.8 x 8m), and a transverse room (adyton) to the W (2.8 x 8m). The E cella hall was subdivided into 3 aisles by 3 pairs of interior supports, indicated by 6 individual footings, and in the NE by one limestone slab as bedding for a wooden pillar. This hall was paved with a well-preserved floor of clay slabs. The building was radically redesigned, probably in the LHel period. The E cella hall was subdivided by a N−S wall. Its E part was transformed into a new pronaos and the W part remained a cult space, now divided into 3 aisles by 4 secondary internal supports, located in accordance with the room’s new proportions. In the course of these modifications, the clay slab floor was partially removed, as were 5 of the 6 limestone bedding slabs for the original internal supports. The base of a cult statue, placed axially in front of the W wall, belongs to this modification. The same almost certainly applies to the 6 internal supports in the W cella hall. The surroundings of the cult statue base contained numerous LHel and E Imperial clay lamps from the period of the temple’s use, as well as secondary deposits of older cult objects, including a LAr iron sword and a Cl bronze sauroter. Soundings beyond floor level in the E cella hall in 2006 provided information about the pre-Hel use of the temple area. The terrain, sloping down to the N, was subdivided into terraces by E−W running support walls, of which rubble foundations survive at varying elevations. Associated with these walls were use deposits and fills above the preserved wall tops, containing finds such as sherds of Ar drinking cups and cooking pots, bones, ashes and burnt clay. Thus the area was used for meals or feasting from the Ar period onwards, before the erection of the temple. A cult of the same duration is indicated by the secondary deposits in the area of the cult statue base. Fragments of an Ar Laconian clay roof suggest an older cult building, probably located S of the Hel temple. It can therefore be assumed that the Hel cult is intentionally connected with an older cult, the origins of which lie in the Ar period at the latest. Overall, the excavations suggest that the extra-urban Sanctuary of Artemis is complemented by an urban sanctuary, with its own distinctive, but so far unidentified, cult from the Ar until the E Imperial Rom period.

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Sparta theatre. C. Morgan (Director, BSA), A. Vasilogamvrou (Director, Ε' ΕΠΚΑ) and K. Diamanti (Director, 5th EBA) report on the first season of a 5-year investigation of the anc. theatre in preparation for its conservation and public presentation. In 2007, the BSA undertook 2 non-intrusive surveys, to trace the extent of theatral and later antique remains in the koilon with a view to future excavation, and to contribute to the assessment of immediate and medium term conservation needs. Combined topographical and resistivity survey (C. Gaffney, H. Goodchild and S. Harrison [Birmingham Archaeology]) revealed extensive areas where seating or the settings for seating may be substantially undisturbed (Fig. 1), plus the likely location of structures probably related to Byz settlement. A new condition report on the exposed masonry was made by C. Woolfitt (Ingram Associates). The Ε' ΕΠΚΑ and 5th EBA completed drainage work, removed part of the old excavation dump and continued archival and architectural study with particular reference to the parodoi. Ceramic finds from previous excavations in the area were located in the Archaeological Museum of Mystras, and conserved.

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Kouphovouno. W. Cavanagh (BSA/Nottingham), C. Mee (BSA/Liverpool) and J. Rénard (Clermont-Ferrand) report that, following the 2007 study season, descriptions and interpretations have now been drafted of the stratigraphic sequences, archaeological features, sediments and finds in each of areas B, C, G and H (Figs 1, 2). The sequence of MNeo contexts from the sondage in area C showed the range of shapes and decorative motifs. Sherds were examined for evidence of manufacture and use wear: even decorated pottery was sometimes exposed to fire, with burned areas inside and out. The M−LNeo transition (evident in area G, especially in the 2006 sondage) is characterized by an increase in storage and cooking vessels. The quality of Urfirnis decoration declines at the end of the MNeo and gradually evolves into the Matt Painted style. Black Ware is also present early in the LNeo period, and even proto Polychrome. Good LNeo contexts in area G enable identification of variation in the proportions of different ware types from the stratigraphy. No clear FNeo levels were noted: possibly the settlement was restricted to the summit of the hill in this period. EBA contexts were associated with stone platforms: ceramics suggest that some date from transitional EH I/II or E EH II, while others represent a more developed stage of EH II and there are also later EH II contexts. The W edge of area G was disturbed by substantial LRom fill and it is evident that there was considerable Rom activity at Kouphovouno. I. Whitbread has identified the main pottery fabrics used: 130 samples will be subject to petrographic analysis in the Fitch Laboratory (BSA). Initial identification and classification of the animal bones was completed (J. Cantuel). Preliminary observations confirm an overwhelming predominance of domesticated ovicaprines, pig, and cattle, of varying proportions but with the first always predominant. Wild animal bones were not common, but show a variety of species including deer, boar, wild goat, hare, aurochs, wolf and fox. A pilot study on the physical, chemical and lipid analyses of soil samples is in progress: hydrographic study of the environs of Kouphovouno has been completed (E. Fouache and C. Cosandey) and initial results obtained from micromorphological analysis of samples from the excavation (C. Ballut). In collaboration with the Ε' ΕΠΚΑ, measures were taken for the long-term conservation of the site.

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Amyklai. In an interview with Ta Nea (07/11/2007), A. Delivorrias (Director, Benaki Museum) describes a programme of research begun in 2004, with the aim of completing excavation at the Sanctuary of Apollo and assembling all available material evidence for the Amyklaion Throne and other major monuments of the site. New information incorporated into the restoration drawings of the throne made by M. Korres indicates that it had a round base 8m di. and ca. 4m h.; the supports for the throne, with their lion-paw bases, have also been recognized.

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Geraki (anc. Geronthrai). J. Crouwel and M. Prent (Netherlands Institute/Amsterdam) report on the 2007 season, which was dedicated to the final study of material from earlier excavation and survey, with particular focus on the PH and Hel pottery and other finds. Following study of EH II L destruction deposits in 2006, work concentrated on the earlier occupation of the acropolis. Prolific but fragmentary pottery of earlier periods comes from different parts of the site, but rarely from good contexts. The presence of FNeo and EH I was confirmed, although EH II E pottery was rare (especially in comparison with EH II L). Attention focused on material associated with wall 30 (in trench 17/13K and the NE of field 17), which belongs to the EH fortification system (Fig. 1). This was constructed and filled in EH II (probably EH II L). Material of this date, as well as FNeo/EH I and EH I/II, deriving from occupation levels elsewhere on the acropolis, was used in the construction. The defensive system on this part of the acropolis was extended in EH II L (wall 180 was built in front of wall 30, with a casemate room between them, in trench 17/13q), and the entire settlement and its defences were destroyed in the same phase − a sequence of events which strongly recalls that at Lerna in phase IIIC. Early pottery from another wall trench to the NE (17/13r), associated with a fragment of a wall of small stones resting directly on the original hill surface, which predates the fortification, was shown to date to EH I/II E. An EH II L pottery deposit from the SW part of the acropolis (trial trench 19/2a), perhaps deriving from another casemate room, was strewn together with finds from survey in this area, resulting in further joins. Study of PH pottery from trial trench 25/4b, below the SE crest of the acropolis and outside the acropolis wall, together with survey finds from the area, produced much EH II pottery, including Geraki ware, and material of historical periods. Finds likely derive from higher up on the acropolis. Ca. 40 EH clay sealings from the casemate room and other contexts were consolidated and studied (by J. Weingarten) for separate publication. Study of MH pottery from the site began: this largely comes from fills and dumps of household ware. I. Whitbread continued work on the MH fabric typology. Study of the historic periods focused on 2 LHel buildings (room 1 of building C and room 5 of building B) and the intervening street in the SE corner of the excavation area, with further work on the stratigraphy and artefact assemblages. Work on the flotation and sorting of soil samples was completed.

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Messene. P. Themelis (ASA) reports  on excavation in several parts of the site (Fig. 1). In the theatre, a large number of EByz graves containing no offerings were uncovered in front of the E and especially the W parodoi. In the latter case, graves were lined with blocks from the superstructure of the parodos, most of which had builders’ marks (Gr characters denoting course and position). Graves in the E parodos were usually built of limestone blocks, notably the geison blocks of a Doric stoa, the location of which is not yet known. The channel round the orchestra was cleaned and work undertaken to drain the orchestra and proskenion. Fragments belonging to 2 surviving stone thrones were collected, and surviving elements from the steps and stairways of the koilon put in order. The 2 body sections of the 2nd Ct BC marble statue of large Herculaneum type, found in the E apse of the proskenion,  were joined and the statue set on a stone base. The missing head probably represented Claudia Frontina, wife of Claudius Hostilius Caelianus and mother of Tiberius Claudius Sathidas Caelianus I, who was Helladarches of the Achaian League and chief priest of the Sebasteion during the reign of Trajan. The torso of Hermes from the proskenion was also set on a base. The theatre basilica and surrounding area were landscaped. One of the fallen columns from the S colonnade was re-erected. One of the stylobate blocks of the S colonnade is an inscribed statue base of the M2nd Ct AD, in honour of the chief priest of the Sebasteion, Tiberius Claudius Geminianus, son of Claudius Crispianus and Aufidia Gemina. His statue was erected by Claudius Aristomenes, priest of Zeus Ithomatas, and Claudius Nikeratos, grammateus of the Synedrion, both members of known families in Messene. Tombs were discovered along the S side of the basilica and outside the apse. One of the cover slabs bears a 2nd Ct BC inscription on both sides setting out the boundaries of an unknown region. Excavation of the NE corner of the N stoa in the agora revealed 2 stone measuring tables for solid substances (Fig. 2), as well as orthostats on which the table tops were set. On the lower face of the table slabs, around the flow hole, were metal clamps and pegs. Among other finds from the fill between the tables and the E wall of the stoa was a cast bronze Hel head of Medusa from the fulcrum of a couch. During cleaning and landscaping of the temple of Messene, numerous fragments of inscribed limestone were discovered, from 2 decrees. The first concerns the giving of honours to Messenian judges by the Thessalians. The 2nd, of the 1st Ct BC, records the honour paid to the Messenian Archidamos Philostratou as proxenos and benefactor by the polis of the Pylians. The stele with the decree was to stand in the Sanctuary of Athena Koryphasias at Pylos, with an exact copy in the homeland of the honorand, in accordance with the customs of the ancients, and probably in the sanctuary of the goddess Messene, where the stele was in fact found. It is the only stele so far found from the city of Pylos, which was also named Koryphasion. The Doric stoa, discovered long ago close to the W side of the temple of Messene, is the prostoa of a broad-fronted building, the function of which is still unknown. W of the Doric prostoa, 2 entrances, with large stone thresholds, lead to 2 chambers. Left and right of the thresholds were large limestone bases for inscribed stelae. Probably the building belonged to some city authority.  A destruction level of tile from the roof covered the floor of the rooms: in certain places, especially in the SE corner of the N room, there were strong traces of fire. This occurred before the 3rd quarter of the 4th Ct AD (according to the ceramic and numismatic evidence), probably due to the catastrophic earthquake of 375 AD which caused the destruction of many public and private buildings at Messene. N of the temple of Messene, a square hypostyle hall was investigated, the N edge of which lay under deep fill; along the length of the front face was a roofed prothalamos. Inside the hall were the foundations of 2 parallel rows of bases (8 along the long sides, 4 on the short). The building is identified with the bouleion referred to in the inscription recording the boundary dispute between Messene and Megalopolis inscribed on the adjacent Base of the Knights. Ch tombs with no grave goods were found in several places inside the bouleion and out.  Digging associated with their construction was largely responsible for the destruction of the building’s superstructure. Reconstruction continued with support from the Third Community Framework: work was completed in the stadium, the gymnasium stoa and the E stoa in the gymnasium, and in the heroon-mausoleum of the Saithidai S of the stadium. E.-A. Chlepa reports on restoration and reconstruction work undertaken at the Arcadian Gate.

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Anc. Thouria. E. Greco (Director, SAIA) reports on a further season of surface survey in the area of this site, conducted in collaboration with the ΛΗ' ΕΠΚΑ. In 2007 attention focused on the area S of the city, within the wall and at the S edge of plateau B and beside plateau C. The data gathered were processed in CAD and GIS systems, enabling both quantitative and thematic analyses (of finds by category and class, or elevation models, for example). The team architects made drawings and photographs in the area N of the city known as the location of cemeteries, and of a notable stone quarry from which came a large proportion of the building stone used in the anc. city. Many tombs were visible: their co-ordinates were plotted and particular attention was paid to their relationship to the quarry face, since in many cases this permitted recognition of anc. extraction marks. The addition of these new elements to the area already surveyed and georeferenced provides a complete general picture of the anc. city and its environs. The annual report of the ΛΗ' ΕΠΚΑ reports findings including the location of a retaining wall (Fig. 1) preserved for a l. of 13.95m and to a h. of 3m, slightly N of the Church of the Ypapantis or Panagitsa (Fig. 2), noting the large number of anc. spolia built into the church and evident nearby. Excavation of the wall revealed a Cl public building (or complex) preserved to a h. of 2.4m (Fig. 3): research at the site continues.

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Trypes.  O. Vikatou (Ζ΄ ΕΠΚΑ) reports the discovery of a Myc pictorial amphora in the Myc chamber tomb cemetery at Trypes. The scene depicts an ekphora, with the bier carried by 4 male bearers and followed by mourners. Four further chamber tombs from this well-known cemetery were excavated in 2007; all were undisturbed and contained rich offerings. One contained a child burial accompanied by animal figurines and a kourotrophos. Decorated finewares from the tombs included pyxides, alabastra, pilgrim flasks and 2- and 4-handled amphorae; of particular note is a flask of Cypriot shape. Other offerings included steatite seals and a rich variety of jewellery.

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Pylos, Palace of Nestor.  S. Stocker (ASCSA) and J. Davis (Director, ASCSA) report on the continuing study of finds from Blegen’s excavations. All post-BA pottery has been reviewed for the first time by J. Davis and K. Lynch. Activity continued only in certain restricted areas. There is no evidence of continuity in the socio-political institutions of the BA palace into the EIA. Activity almost ceased late in the EIA. The little Ar and later pottery has no connection with ritual or even informal veneration. There is no reason to consider the palace ruins a sacred site. J. Murphy examined grave goods from Pylos in the National Museum; in the Chora Museum, she restudied with K. Lynch the post-BA pottery from the Kokkevis tholos which dates to the E−MPGeo, with most pottery dating to the MPGeo. L. Schepartz and S. Miller-Antonio analysed the human remains from tholos III in the National Museum. S. Lafayette determined that much floor plaster retained by Blegen and Rawson had fallen from an upper storey of the palace. X-ray diffraction was employed at IGME to determine the composition of the plaster samples. H. Brekoulaki fully documented the nautilus frieze from hall 64, mentioned by Lang but not illustrated. New joins were made to the ‘Two Men at Table’ fragment from the throne room, and many to the procession scene illustrated in Lang’s pl. Q. The ship fresco from hall 64 has been more accurately reconstructed, but the iconography of a large group of joining fragments with purple decoration from the same room remains a mystery. E. Kottoula completed experiments on the effects of burning on mod. samples of pigments used in the wallpaintings at Pylos. J. Davis, S. Stocker and G. Cadogan identified Cretan and M ceramics from MH levels, some at least as early as the Old Palace period.

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Olympia. Geophysical prospection aimed at locating the hippodrome,  was undertaken as part of a 5-year research programme directed by R. Senff (DAI) and G. Chatzi-Spiliopoulou (Ζ' ΕΠΚΑ). The topographical significance of a building complex found by the Ζ' ΕΠΚΑ S of the entrance to the Olympic Academy in the winter of 2006−2007 and identified with the Sanctuary of Demeter Chamynes is emphasized. Pausanias placed this sanctuary SE of the stadium: built on a height, it was a vantage point from which spectators could watch chariot races. Current prospection thus focuses S and E of the stadium.

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Skafidia.   A large Roman bath, part of a large public or private complex, is situated east of the river Yardanos. Sixteen rooms around a peristyle court were richly appointed with a variety of marble wall cladding, arched ceilings with relief decoration, mosaic pavements and wall heating. The large rectangular frigidarium had niches around for statuary, and mosaic pavements with geometric patterns and depictions of dolphins.  The bath remained in use from the first to the fourth century AD.  The remains of Roman buildings were also found in its immediate surrounds. Excavation was carried out by O. Vikatou.

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Kyllini Harbour Project. J. Pakkanen (Finnish Institute/London) and K. Preka-Alexandri (EMA) report on a new study of the coastal and underwater remains of this anc. naval base and Crusader harbour, the principal installations of which are today partially submerged and well preserved. Fieldwork in 2007 focused on mapping the coastal and archaeological features both on dry land and in the sea, and cleaning the partially submerged features. Marine geomorphological studies were begun by G. Papatheodorou and M. Geraga (Patras): marine surveying techniques employed were subbottom profiler and side-scan sonar. Survey revealed 3 possible entrance-ways to the currently silted harbour basin: recorded features include, in addition to moles, breakwaters, quays, and several possible towers.

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Aigeira. G. Ladstätter (Director, Austrian Institute) reports on continued excavation of the public guesthouse on the Solon terrace, N of the acropolis. This was originally built in the LCl period and substantially extended in the L3rd Ct BC. After it ceased to function as a public guesthouse it was modified for an as yet undefined purpose and remained in use until the end of the Hel period. Work continued in the functionally interconnected ensemble of rooms in the SE of the extended guesthouse, excavation of which began in 2005. In 2007, the feeder room and the andron were fully excavated (Fig. 1). In both rooms, the stone-built bottom course of the walls, covered in white plaster, and the floors, executed in terrazzo on a pebble bedding, are almost completely preserved. The square feeder room (6.4 x 6.4m) contains no specific features: its 4 doorways, originally equipped with stone thresholds, indicate its central function, giving access to the rest of the complex. In the andron (6.4 x 4.6m), the central floor area and the surrounding pedestal for the placement of 9 klinai survive in their entirety. In the SE corner of this room, where stone-robbing had extended even to foundation level, a small Hel sandstone capital from a rectangular pillar was found. It probably belonged to a window of the andron. The well-preserved floors contain several drainage features: the NE and SE corners of the andron contain 2 channels which run under the klinai pedestal, permitting water spilt inside the room to drain outside to the E of the building. A further channel runs in the S part of the W wall of the andron, collecting water from the SW corner of the andron and the SE corner of the feeder room and draining it to the S. Confirming previous impressions, the stratigraphic sequence indicates that these 2 rooms, and probably most of the extended guesthouse, were intentionally abandoned in the LHel period. Immediately above the floors was a fill of fine clay, notable for the scarcity of finds, which was the result of gradual wash deposit. Above it was a massive fill of clayey earth from the mud-brick superstructure, containing very small fragments of roof tiles and other ceramics, all heavily disturbed by recent viticulture. In a sequence of rooms to the W of the ensemble described above, excavation continued in some areas and new soundings were opened. Immediately W of the feeder room are 2 small, nearly square rooms, A and B, entered from the W via a N−S oriented room, C. Beyond it to the W is a large area, D, probably an open yard. Although they partially reuse some walls from the extended Hel phase of the guesthouse, these rooms must have been built after the abandonment of the feeder room and probably much of the SE ensemble of the extended guesthouse. This is indicated by the facts that the dividing wall between rooms A and B abuts the secondarily walled-up W door of the feeder room and that the floor level of these rooms, of which some levelling fills survive, is distinctly higher than that of the feeder room and andron. These levelling fills contained diverse secondary Hel deposits but also numerous Hel bronze coins, which date them to LHel and suggest a chronological separation from the extension of the guesthouse. A clear idea of the use of these rooms has not yet been reached, but the abandonment of the andron suggests that the erection of this group coincided with the cessation of the structure’s function as a guesthouse. The latest, similarly unclear phase of use is indicated by a wall corner discovered in area C: its foundations cut into secondary deposits over the aforementioned levelling fills. The lower soundings in the area of this group of rooms revealed, immediately beneath the Hel levelling fills, a 0.5m thick, extremely hard layer of clayey earth and densely packed small pebbles. Apart from some lumps of mud packing, this fill contained exclusively PH sherds. A preliminary classification identified a few LMyc sherds, but mostly fragments of MNeo open vessels. This homogenous fill is so far identified over an area of 9 x 4m, but is expected to extend beyond the area so far excavated. It can be surmised that this material represents a secondary deposit of MNeo material originally from the Solon terrace. Older excavation data for the Hel use of the area indicated that water for bathing and banqueting was provided by a local well, indicating local access to water on this natural terrace, an impossibility on geological grounds for the remainder of the settled area at Aigeira. Access to local water and to small arable areas closely fits MNeo settlement patterns − so far the oldest known anthropogenic activity in the Aigeira area. W. Gauss (Austrian Institute) continued to study finds from the excavations by W. Alzinger in the SE area below the acropolis (1972−1981). Examination of PH finds from excavations on the acropolis was continued by S. Jalkotzy and E. Alram (Vienna) in preparation for publication. A new study of the historical finds from the acropolis was begun by G. Schwarz, M. Poulkou and S. Karl (Graz).

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Gremoulias (Kalavryta). G. Alexopoulou (Στ' ΕΠΚΑ) and G. Ladstätter (Director, Austrian Institute) report on continued excavation on the Gremoulias saddle, 3.5km NE of Kalavryta. Soundings in 2005 and 2006 had revealed the substructure of a Doric peripteral temple in limestone with a peristasis of 6 x 14 columns (euthynteria: 13.9 x 34.75m). Many fragments of a Cor marble roof were ascribed to this building. Ιn 2007, excavation continued along the S peristasis; a sounding following the central axis of the temple examined the area E of its E façade to a distance of 12m. Previous conclusions about the substructure (preserved in situ) were supported. The euthynteria is built of clamp-linked limestone blocks, their edges finished in anathyrosis, on a foundation of limestone slabs. Occasional limestone blocks from the lowermost level of the krepidoma have survived. In addition to a multitude of heavily damaged limestone blocks from the substructure and the Doric elements above it, a more substantially preserved part of a Doric column drum(lower di. 0.84m) and a very informative fragment of a Doric capital (lower di. 0.67m, abacus 0.98m), the echinus curve of which does not predate the 4th Ct BC, were found outside the S peristasis (Fig. 1). The E sounding also revealed limestone fragments from the temple, roughly as they had fallen, up to a distance of 4.8m: immediately E of the peristasis, a fragment of a horizontal geison joined the one discovered in 2001, fully completing this element. Further E, lay a fragment of a sloped geison from the pediment, as well as part of its roof ridge. The architectural elements recovered permit the reconstruction of the temple from the euthynteria up to the pediment. As in 2005 and 2006, the surrounding soil contained innumerable small fragments of the stroters and calypters of a Cor marble roof, but no evidence of clay tiles anywhere near the temple. Inside the peristasis, in the area where the sekos is to be expected, the marble tile fragments lay upon a thick deposit of lime powder. This suggests that the marble roof was deliberately smashed to be burnt into lime in more recent times. No evidence for the execution of the sekos, which probably had higher foundations than the peristasis, has been revealed in the areas so far excavated due to this disturbance. To the E of the limestone temple, at a distance of 10.2m, where there is a marked increase in the angle of the upward slope, a parallel limestone foundation with a carefully finished levelling course was revealed. The bedrock to the E was cut away diagonally to permit the laying of the wall stones, indicating that this wall supported a terrace. To the W of this setting, several worked blocks of crystalline limestone, clearly part of the wall’s superstructure, had fallen westward together with some of the fill behind it. They included blocks with anathyrosis, fragments of Doric column drums and 2 Doric capitals. Some of these spolia had been subject to secondary cutting before they were built into the wall; the polygonal cutting of the originally rectangular blocks indicates that the stability of the terrace wall was a priority. The echinus curve and the distribution of the annuli on the better preserved capital (lower di. 0.55m, abacus 1.02m) suggest a L6th Ct BC date. The use of crystalline limestone and the identical techniques used on these pieces indicate that they belong together in a LAr Doric building. The terrace fill contained several diagnostic fragments of a Cor marble roof (stroters, calypters, lion’s-head waterspouts and a well-preserved piece of the pedimental sima), largely identical with the fragments of the roof of the limestone temple and of LAr date. Although it is only partially verified archaeologically, the following architectural development can be deduced for the sanctuary on the saddle of Gremoulias. In the L6th Ct, a monumental Doric limestone temple with a Cor marble roof was erected. Since the plateau was too small to hold several monumental buildings, this structure can be connected with the foundations of the later limestone temple, the elongated proportions of which may well belong to such an early date. The LAr structure was thus a peripteral temple. For reasons as yet unclear, this building was replaced, not before the 4th Ct BC, by a peripteral limestone temple, re-using the original Cor marble roof. In the context of these modifications, the retaining wall to the E was erected from fragments of the older temple, the debris of which was deposited in the fill behind it. Between the E façade of the limestone temple and the E wall, 2 further limestone blocks in situ suggest the position of an altar. Here a small area contained numerous lance or spearheads, mostly of iron, both full size and miniature. In the absence of written sources, this material provides the only evidence for the cult performed at the Gremoulias sanctuary.

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Aigialeia. A. Pontrandolfo (SAIA/Salerno) reports on the 6th season of surface survey conducted in collaboration with M. Petropoulos (Director, ΛΘ' ΕΠΚΑ) and the KERA/EIE (Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Research Foundation). Activity focused on the area around the villages of Ambelokipi and Vella, on the left slope of the Krios, and on the village of Monastiri on the right bank. Extensive research across the entire territory was added to the systematic survey. Its aims were: the location of natural water sources (useful indicators to define areas which lend themselves to stable occupation); research on routes of communication within the valley and with surrounding valleys, and on the crossing points over the Krios, in order to reconstruct routes which could plausibly follow in part the anc. road network; reconstruction of population trends in that portion of the villages belonging to the demos of Aigira located in the Krios valley; research into the plant species growing in the valley and the crops cultivated. In parallel, research proceeded on the material recovered in previous years in the area of Kasaneva-Devinou.

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Ambelokipi (Kasaneva).  Settlement traces are reported in the form of stone tools and EH II sherds. The site has not been systematically excavated.

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Tegea, Stadium. Hill of Agios Konstantinos. The ΛΘ’ ΕΠΚΑ reports the discovery of a settlement (fig. 1) occupied principally in the Early and Middle Helladic periods but continuing into Late Helladic. A rectangular building with two rooms (one over 25m2) has so far been partially excavated. The pottery recovered includes an undecorated EH bowl and sherds of at least two storage pithoi with rope decoration.  

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Ancient Corinth. ΕΡΓΟΣΕ. The ΛΖ’ ΕΠΚΑ (previously the Δ’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports the following discoveries during the construction of the high-speed railway line across the plain north of Ancient Corinth and Ancient Sikyon (fig. 1). 1. A Geometric cemetery extending over some 1,200m2 containing graves with rich offerings of gold and bronze rings, daggers, figurines and vases. There is no evidence of later activity.   2. A 12m-long stretch of the western branch of the long walls between Corinth and Lechaion, as well as Classical-Byzantine graves with few offerings. 3. Two parallel walls, probably part of a drainage system, built of large dressed limestone blocks with a fill of stone, mud and tile. 4. Twelve Archaic larnax burials (two of children), with no consistent orientation and mostly without goods. 5. Twelve Classical graves (11 limestone sarcophagoi and one pit) , eight of which contained grave goods. 6. A section of ancient paved road with wheel ruts running southeast-northwest.  7. A Mycenaean tomb: a pit in the floor contained offerings including an early prochous and two LH II pithoid amphorae (fig. 2). 8. An Archaic cemetery initially reported as having 73 tombs, 39 of which had no offerings (see now 4337 for a detailed report) . 9. A two-roomed building with strong walls on three sides.  10. Part of a grave monument, oriented north-south, which continued beyond the excavation area to the south.  11. Some 160 graves of different types, including four chamber tombs, four funerary monuments, a drainage facility, and a building complex with 14 rooms. Chamber tomb III and funerary monument ΠΙ have on their west side a curved wall. Five rooms, 20 tombs, and part of the walls linked with water management (3 above) relate to this wall.  12. Part of a funerary monument with a three-stepped limestone krepis linked to walls. 13. In Sikyon, 30 Mycenaean rock-cut chamber and double cist graves were found, along with 42 fifth- to fourth-century pit graves. A retaining wall defined the cemetery on the southwest side. Ancestor cult was practiced at most of the chamber tombs from Late Protogeometric to Early Hellenistic times. (fig. 3).  

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Schoinos (property of Ν. Papakonstantinou). E. Balomenou (ΛΖ’ ΕΠΚΑ) discusses an Early Helladic burial ca.1km east of the bay and hill of Ag. Soter (fig. 1).  An amphoroid krater with horizontal handles, the mouth covered by a handmade bowl, was discovered in the course of rescue excavation. It lay within a burnt layer 0.9m below the modern surface, and contained the cremated remains of an adult. Both the bowl (of Lerna Early Type I) and the white-slipped amphoroid krater (of Lerna Type V) are dated early in Early Helladic II. The bowl had a hole in the base (perhaps for ritual purposes) and the amphoroid kater two holes in the walls (probably for an ancient mend, though ritual is possible). This is the first Early Helladic cremation reported from the Corinthia. While the burial is slightly earlier than the first Early Helladic tumuli (and no evidence of a tumulus was found), the possibility that it formed part of a larger cemetery requires further investigation.

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Sparta, Alkman Street (Ο.Τ. 128, property of A. Biba and S. Spyridakou). K. Diamanti (then Director, 5th EBA) reports on rescue excavation in 2007 which revealed the mosaic floor (fig. 1) and foundation of the apse (three-sided on the exterior and curved on the interior, oriented southeast) of an Early Christian basilica probably of the late fifth or early sixth century AD. The apse was built of unworked stones and cement with tile in the interstices.  The mosaic extens into the neighbouring Koutsogiannopoulou property to the west. It is decorated in sections according to the plan of the basilica. Apse: the main motif is a scale pattern of which only a small part is preserved. The border has intertwined circles forming four-leafed motifs with triangles in the centre, alternating red and white. The border on the east side is a wavy band.  Central area: part of the border only is preserved, decorated with concentric circles with a rcoss at the centre, and then two rows of squares set within squares.  South side: the central passage has scale pattern, surrounded by borders with wavy line, concentric circles with central cross, and intertwined circles around rhomboid motifs. Black is used for outlines, and white, yellow and red to fill the motifs (fig. 2). North side: the decoration is similar to that on the south side, with slight variations and embellishments. The tesserae are stone (of medium size) laid in mortar (opus tessellatum) (fig. 3). Reviewing the iconography, many of the motifs used have parallels on the floor of the large Early Christian public building excavated on the properties of I. Philippopoulou and I. and E. Asimakopoulou, as well as on the floor found on the neighbouring Voutianidi property and those of the basilica on the Phournarakou plot at Gytheion.  There are also similarities with the motifs on the late fifth-century floor mosaic on the Varvitsioti plot, and with the sections of floor found on the Roumelioti, Perganto and Dertili properties in Sparta. The division of the surface into zones which have their own unified decorative scheme is customary in Early Christian mosaics across Greek lands. The choice of severe geometric, aniconic motifs dominates the eastern Mediterranean as part of a general trend in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. However, purely geometric floor mosaics survived into the sixth century, characterised by careless design and execution (the ‘second Geometric period’) and are particularly common in Sparta.  In this case the poverty of the design, the absence of zoomorphic representations, the limited colour range, and the accentuation of the circles and scales with the use of more than one colour, are characteristics of the early work of the workshop of Athens (first quarter of the fifth century). However, the simplicity and slackness evident in the linearity, simplification and irregularity of the design, the clumsiness of the execution, and the particularly limited colour range which creates a monotonous effect, combine to suggest that this is the work of a provincial craftsman in a local workshop. The floor likely dates slightly later, in the second half of the fifth century, contemporary with the floors on the Philippopoulou, Asimakopoulou and Voutianidi plots which offer the closest parallels for it.  Mosaic production developed in Sparta through the fifth and sixth centuries, showing close links with workshops in the Aegean and mainland Greece.  Finds from the excavation include Roman and Late Roman pottery, metal items, marble and other stone members, glass vessels, glass paste tesserae and masses of glass, painted plaster, and seven bronze coins.  The plot lies 360m southwest of the Late Roman city wall, in an area where rescue excavation has revealed remains of Roman, Late Roman and Early Christian houses, mosaics, baths and tombs, underlining its importance in the city plan of that period.

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Polichni (Divari). X. Arapogianni (ΛΗ’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports the discovery of a Late Roman water channel inside the Divari cistern. West of the Divari, on a plot where part of a floor mosaic had previously been found, a large Late Roman building complex, perhaps a villa, was uncovered. It had a large hall with a floor mosaic (a central area of figurative depictions within a frame). Trial trenches north and west of the Divari revealed extensive Late Roman and Early Christian settlement remains, with architectural spolia from monumental buildings of these and earlier periods scattered over the entire area.  

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Corinth, ΕΡΓΟΣΕ. A. Giannopoulou, V. Evangeloglou, E. Maragkoudaki and Ch. Pipilou (ΛΖ' ΕΠΚΑ) report the discovery of 74 monolithic limestone sarcophagi (with cover slabs) from an Archaic cemetery during construction of the high-speed railway line at a point north of Acrocorinth, west of the north cemetery and northwest of Cheliotomylos (close to the ancient road to Sikyon). Tombs began to be located 1.87m below the modern surface, with no evidence of later activity in the area. As in the north cemetery, they were oriented either north-south or east-west. Depending on their depth, they were variously intact, damaged or looted. One was decorated with a red band around the interior. While there is no evidence for grave markers, a few vessels were placed outside the grave (on the cover slab of tomb 14, around the edge of tombs 21 and 60, or both in the case of tomb 55). Outside tomb 27 were traces of a pyre with no associated objects.  The sarcophagi held single inhumations, almost all in contracted position. Fifty had no grave offerings. Four of the 16 child burials contained vases and in the case of tomb 65 also electrum beads. Twenty adult graves held offerings (mostly vases plus a few metal items) usually placed by the legs or around the head (there are isolated instances of offerings on the chest in tomb 20 or around the bones in tomb 62). Nine graves contained iron nails and five (tombs 13, 44, 56, 67 and 72) iron or bronze pins placed on the shoulder of the corpse: one bronze ring was also found. Tombs 28 and 32 held loomweights placed at head level. The majority of the vases so far studied date from Middle Protocorinthian II (ca 670-650 BC) to Late Corinthian I (ca 570-550). The following observations are based largely on the portion of the material so far conserved and studied. Of the 24 graves with offerings, 16 had up to three items and 8 more than three (the greatest quantity, 14, is in tomb 62). Only aryballoi appear in the two seventh-century tombs (9 and 20), while kotyles and oinochoae (broad-bottomed trefoil forms, handmade Middle Protocorinthian plainware forms and monochrome round-mouthed types of late sixth century - many with lids) predominate in sixth century graves. Other shapes represented in adult and child graves are pyxides (straight-sided, rounded and tripod) with lids (tombs 17, 18, 55 and 62) and kylikes (tombs 18, 55 and 62), plus a mid sixth-century monochrone one-handled cup, a Late Corinthian I omphalos phiale and a lekythos. Only one minature vessel (a Late Corinthian I amphoriskos) was found, aryballoi do not feature in sixth-century graves, and there is no evidence of Attic imports or influences.  A bronze lebes with a limestone cover slab held in place with clay, found just south of tomb 25, was set in a pit the walls of which were plastered with clay and which was in turn sealed with a limestone slab. An East Greek lekthyos, found outside the lebes but stuck to it with clay, dates the the beginning of the third quarter of the sixth century. Inside the lebes were well preserved pomegranate seeds with the impressions of a straw basket, and round aryballoi (including a Late Corinthian I example with a warrior procession).  It is not yet clear whether the lebes was used for an enchytrismos, a displaced burial or to contain offerings. An early seventh-century parallel is noted from a rescue excavation in Argos (containing also pomegranate seeds and textile).  

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Dorati (anc. Ornees). J. Marchand (Wright State University), I. Tzonou-Herbst (ASCSA), and M. Boyd (Cambridge) summarise the results of intensive survey of the Dorati hill on the coastal plain between Corinth and Sikyon, where Mycenaean settlement had previously been identified. The survey took place in 2004, with study continuing to 2007. Of the 761 diagnostic sherds catalogued, only 63 are post-prehistoric.  Neolithic sherds were scattered over the entire site: these comprised Early and Late Neolithic (variegated bowls and black burnished bowls respectively), although no Middle Neolithic was found. The quantity of pottery increased markedly during Early Helladic, with most concentrated on the southeast part of the plateau: typical wares are Early Helladic II white slipped bowls and vessels with incised decoration (including herringbone pattern), although EHII saltcellars have not been identified. However a decline in Middle Helladic was sustained throughout the Early Mycenaean period: wares include grey and yellow Minyan, black burnished and mainland polychrome. The largest part of the pottery collected dates to Late Helladic, with all phases represented. Late Helladic I sherds were scattered across the site, while LHIIA goblets with black and red glaze or with spiral decoration continued into LHIIB (alongside Vapheio cups).  The palatial period is the best represented (in terms of quality and quantity of pottery). A large quantity of LHIIIA-B sherds comes from the top of the hill, as well as the slopes to the north, east and west, including LHIIIA1 goblets, cups, jugs and shallow cups, and LHIIIA2 kylikes, cups, kraters and rhyta. One sherd of a probable stirrup jar had a bird depiction.  LHIIIB1 pottery includes a stirrup jar, kylikes, deep bowls with high feet, and dippers. Typical of LHIIIB2 are group B deep bowls. The quantity of pottery declined during LHIIIC, with finds largely concentrated on the hill top: the 71 catalogued sherds include monochrome conical kylikes and deep bowls, plus kraters, basins, cups and deep bowls, and a large number of imported Achaian monochrome closed vessel sherds in a hard red fabric (as previously found at Korakou). Aeginetan imports of cooking and fine vessels continue from Middle Helladic to LHIIIC, with potters’ marks appearing on a variety of shapes (on or above the base or on handles, and consisting of incised lines, and impressed triangle or an inverted T). In addition to pottery, finds include Mycenaean terracotta figurines (ΦA and B, and ΨA types, plus animals and one larger bovine figure), miniature figurines, sherds (as kylix stems) reworked as lids or stoppers, terracotta and steatite spindle whorls, flint cores and flakes, and the lip of a lead vessel. Numerous millstones of imported grey and red andesite were found, plus sea shells (mostly porphyry, though with no evidence of use). Of the little post-LHIIIC material recovered, only a Late Roman cooking pot is ancient. Architectural spolia (including well-worked blocks) were recorded, plus walls on either side of the southern part of the plateau (mostly aligned with the plateau, but with three large cross walls too). A potential cemetery is noted on the lower eastern slopes. Geophysical survey of 1/5th of the survey area in 2004 revealed structures especially on the uncultivated (and less visible) western side of the hill, including a rock-cut complex covering ca 1600m2 which reveals a level of organization above the household. Following a fire in 2007, a dense concentration of walls (some Mycenaean) was revealed on the hilltop, along with a stretch of probable fortification wall on the west slope.

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Ancient Corinth. P. Kassimi (ΛΖ’ ΕΠΚΑ) publishes a Mycenaean tholos tomb discovered on the coastal plain 2km north of the archaeological site of ancient Corinth (just to the west of the North Cemetery) during the construction of the Corinth-Patras high-speed railway.  Four later burials inside the perimeter of the tholos comprise an Archaic limestone sarcophagus with 39 vases around the tomb and 35 vases, bronze and bone objects inside it, plus three Geometric limestone sarcophagi (one with six vases and an iron dagger, another with 10 vases, and the third with 11 vases, bronze pins, gold spirals and a bronze ring). The 2.9m wide dromos, which did not have supporting walls, ran north-south for 12.2m as preserved: within it were Geometric sarcophagi with rich grave goods. The west stomion wall was preserved for a length of 2.7m (three courses high) and the east for 1.38m (one course). The entrance was sealed with a dry stone wall of large unworked blocks. The tholos, 6.7m in diameter, was built of largely unworked blocks of hard limestone and conglomerate, with smaller stones as wedges: a fill of earth and small stones lay over the trimmed bedrock, beneath the tholos wall.  The chamber fill contained patches of clay plus carbonized wood and clay. The entire interior of the chamber had been looted and was disturbed: bones, sherds, and stones from the collapsed superstructure were mixed (sherds from the same vase were widely separated). Two jars were found, one of which contained bones of displaced burials. Beads of gold and of blue glass and bronze arrowheads were scattered over the floor.  The only burial pit in the chamber, just to the west of the entrance wall, contained two Late Helladic IIA three-handled jars (lying with their mouths together in the centre of the pit), two earlier, intact vessels, a Late Helladic I mainland polychrome jug with cutaway neck, a grey chytra and a whetstone. The pit had been looted (it contained a sherd from an alabastron belonging to a group of vessels placed elsewhere in the chamber).  A 5.46m long ditch aligned with the dromos divided the chamber into two equal parts: 1.74-1.8m wide and 0.15-0.7m deep, it contained a black earth fill with much pottery, bone and small finds. Electrum beads found in both the trench and the burial pit probably came from a necklace deposited in the pit. The later tomb 1 (a single inhumation) lay above the black layer inside the trench, by the chamber entrance: no grave goods can be associated with it. Both of the LHIIA jars in the pit contained bones and grave goods: one held a bronze phiale (similar to one from grave Δ in Grave Circle B at Mycenae) and a small bronze knife with a bone handle. A near complete LHII-IIIA two-nozzled terracotta lamp found in the chamber imitates Minoan stone prototypes (and is dated by reference to a marble parallel from chamber tomb 88 at Mycenae). LHIIB round and straight-sided alabastra were also found. Five sealstones (not postdating LHIIA) were found, two of which bore depictions of lions. The latest items were two LHIIIC bronze violin bow fibulae. The tomb thus contained items dating from LHI to LHIIIC, although continuing study will determine whether it was in continuous use or was re-used in LHIIIC. While the tomb cannot be associated securely with any single settlement, its proximity to Ancient Corinth and Cheliotomylos is noted.

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Ancient Sikyon, ΕΡΓΟΣΕ excavations. V. Papathanasiou (ΛΖ’ ΕΠΚΑ) presents a summary of the results of five years of excavation (2002-2007) in preparation for the construction of a high-speed railway line between Corinth and Kiato. Investigation of a 1km-long corridor 30-40m wide, revealed an ancient quarry and two cemeteries (Mycenaean and Classical). The site lies northeast of the ancient city, ca. 1900m from the plateau on which ancient Sikyon was refounded in 303 BC, and probably close to the edge of the Archaic and Classical city.  The core of this earlier city likely lay to the south and west of the cemetery, in an area which includes the known archaeological sites of Merkouri, Agios Nikolas, Agios Konstantinos and Ktiri, as well as discoveries made during the construction of the Corinth-Patras motorway in the 1960s (see now ID2500 for further finds made during motorway widening). The Mycenaean cemetery (some 36m from the sea) was explored in two sectors. Sector A contained eight collapsed tombs cut into the bedrock in two rows: Α, Β, Δ, and Ε were chamber tombs with dromoi, Ζ and Η were double cists, ΣΤ a pit-like fissure which was also used in historical times, and Γ was unfinished. The four chamber tombs plus Γ were in one row, with the three cists in the second. A total of 42 vases were found in sector A, plus a Sandars Type E sword, two psi figurines, three steatite steatite spindle whorls plus one in terracotta, and a round bead of blue-green glass paste. Tombs A and H are presented in detail. Tomb A (Late Helladic A2-B1) has a relatively large chamber (3 x 2.45m, with straight sides) with a 4.9m long dromos. The chamber doorway (which was flanked by two parastades) was closed with a dry stone wall which had been rebuilt after each episode of burial. The chamber contained seven burials, four of which were laid out next to each other on the chamber floor, parallel to the central axis. In the northeast corner of the chamber was a pair of graves: 1, along the north wall, was the extended inhumation probably of a woman with four stirrup jars, a flask, and a steatite spindle whorl, and 2, the extended inhumation probably of a man with a stirrup jar). In the southwest part of the chamber was a second pair of graves: 3 was an extended inhumation without goods, while 4, also an extended inhumation by the southwest corner wall, contained three stirrup jars, plus a plain LH IIIA2 kyathos, and a LH IIIA2-B1 stirrup jar, jug, amphora and psi figurine. Bones from displaced burials were found on the floor in the centre of the chamber, along the southwest side (tomb 6) and in an oval pit (tomb 7) in the centre of the chamber floor. Finds from the fill of the chamber and dromos include a small lekythos and a psi figurine. The oval chamber of tomb H (a double cist) lay 1.9m below the surface and was entered via a shaft. No bones were found in the chamber, just sherds of an LH IIIA1 three-handled squat alabastron plus a conical steatite and a biconical terracotta spindle whorl. To the northwest, 170m away (in the west part of the excavation plot), the remains of at least two destroyed burials were found, in the form of a layer of tumbled stones and LHIIB-IIIA1 pots and sherds close to the surface (finds include a thilastron, a kernos and a round-bodied jug). In situ in a hollow (at a depth of 1.5m) were an LHIIB goblet and three-handled jar. Following geophysical prospection in 2005, a further area of the Mycenaean cemetery was located and excavated as sector B. Twenty-two collapsed and partially preserved tombs were found, 19 of which were chamber tombs were dromoi closed without dry stone walls, one was a similar chamber tomb without the closing wall, one a double cist, and one a half-finished chamber.  The tombs were dug into the bedrock and closely spaced in two rows running southeast-northwest. Two streams had partially washed them away. A total of 230 LHIIB-LHIIIB2 vessels were recovered, including jars, amphorae, goblets and kylikes, thilastra, cups, a bridge-spouted cup, stirrup jars, bridge-spouted and cut-away necked jugs, large jugs, a handleless jar, an askos and kernoi. In addition, 11 bronze items were found (a knife-axe, swords, knives, needles), two gilded bronze nails, 84 beads, 62 spindle whorls of steatite or terracotta, and a phi figurine. Eleven tombs produced skeletal remains from primary or displaced burials.   In general it is noted that pottery from the cemetery shows connections to the northwestern Peloponnese (chiefly Achaia) as well as to the Argolid and Attica. The majority of tombs produced evidence of ancestor worship continuing from Late Geometric to Early Hellenistic times in the form of pottery (hydriae, krateriskoi, skyphoi, kotyles and oinochoe) and bronzes (pins, mirror discs and a Late Geometric figurine with three birds in a row) found in layers with burnt soil and carbonized wood over the burials and below/between the fallen stones of the superstructure.  A round well opened to the southeast of the burial chamber of Mycenaean grave Ia, which was excavated to a depth of 7.5m, had been used to deposit offerings: it contained Classical pottery (mainly hydriae) and bronze sheet between layers of burnt earth and carbonized wood. Late Archaic and Classical pottery and small bronzes, plus much domestic pottery and loomweights, were collected from stream 1 and the chambers of tombs Θ, Ι, Ια and Ιβ. From the streambed came a red-figure bell krater of the first quarter of the fourth century, depicting a Dionysiac thiasos and on the reverse three draped youths. The Classical cemetery (fifth- and fourth-century) lay 110m south of sector A of the Mycenaean cemetery. An area of 505m2 (in the area of Dragatsoula and Tragana Moulkiou) was excavated in two sectors (on either side of the main stream channel), revealing 42 simple cist graves which represent a continuation of a larger cemetery (connected with that excavated in 1936 by Orlandos 80m northeast at Tragana, which produced very similar offerings). Rescue excavation in 1976-1979 at the site of Chtiri, 900m southwest of the current excavation had revealed part of the paved road from the acropolis to the harbour, which was flanked by Late Archaic-Roman graves. In sector A, 32 densely packed graves had been opened as pits each within a larger rectangular cutting in the rock. The exception, tomb 5, was a built cist with walls of tiles and re-used limestone cover slabs. Eight had been damaged by the boundary wall of a modern house, while tomb 27, which preserved skeletal remains, was the only tomb found during investigation of the neighbouring road from Anatoliki Tragana to Vasiliko.  Tomb 22 was empty.  The grave goods imply the presence of men and women, adults and children, plus at least one infant: goods were placed in the grave, on the cover slab or in the fill of the larger cutting. The majority of graves contained the remains of inhumations, usually contracted (with some examples extended). Of the 200 offerings recovered, most were figured or black-glaze lekythoi (tomb 17 contained two fifth-century red-figure lekythoi depicting women), with in addition plain lidded lekanes, squat lekythoi, small black-glaze bowls, plus a very few pyxides with lids, small oinochoae, lamps and amphorae. Figurines were mostly standing or seated females holding fruit, flowers or small animals, with two examples of seated males and one of a seated youth holding a ball, several bearing animals or birds, and satyrs holding fruit and other objects.  Bronzes include three strigils, two rings, a cosmetic spatula and a mirror: two iron strigils and three iron rings were also found. Tomb 3 (second quarter of the fifth century) is unusually rich. The rock cutting (2.2 x 1.3m, 1.38m deep) contained a 1.5 x 0.52m pit, 0.58m deep (with a cover slab), which contained the semi-contracted inhumation of a woman. Around the body were 49 offerings, 23 of which were lekythoi (19 being Attic black-figure – one depicting an Amazonomachy, the rest floral motifs – and four black-glaze). Other vessels comprised three lekanides (two with lids), a black-glaze one-handler and a small bowl. The figurines (which preserve traces of colour) lay chiefly along the southeast side of the tomb: twelve were seated or standing females with chiton and polos holding a variety of items, although most commonly a dove in the right hand and a fruit in the left. This part of the cemetery was defined to the southwest by a retaining wall of a single row of limestone blocks. A pit (2.89 x 0.45/0.6m) cut into the rock parallel to, and in contact with, the unfinished rear face of this wall contained two terracotta figurines - a standing male figure (interpreted as Pluto by the excavator) wearing a chiton and chlamis and holding in his right hand a cornucopia, and a garlanded female (seen as Persephone). 18m northwest of this area lay the channels of the stream which ran southwest-northeast across the entire excavation area. Water-rolled pottery and pieces of stone from tombs (including a stele and pieces of sarcophagi) were recovered from the right bank. In sector B, to the west of the channel, ten further pit graves (mostly looted) were found in 2006. Tombs 41 and 42 were pits with cover slabs dug into rectangular rock cuttings, tombs 33, 36 and 38 were tile graves, and the remainder were simple pits in the bedrock, with no covering. The majority contained the remains of inhumations, usually strongly contracted (with some extended examples).  The majority of the 45 vases recovered were lekythoi, miniature amphorae, small kotyles, lekanides with lids, black-glaze bowls, lamps, and a round kythos. Other finds include eggshells, a bronze ring and a bronze coin of Sikyon, an iron strigil and (from tomb 33) a bronze spearhead.

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Kyparissia (property of P. Anagnostopoulou). S. Koursoumis and Ph. Stavrianopoulos (ΛΗ’ EΠKA) report on the discovery of settlement remains of Hellenistic-Roman date (Figs. 1-2) at this location on the west slope of the kastro hill, only a few metres from the location of a Hellenistic public building excavated in 1967-68.  Remains of 3 buildings of unknown use founded in the 2nd – 1st c. BC and used throughout the 1st c. BC were uncovered, among which was added an almost square structure (3 x 3 m), its entrance to the N, its floor of beaten earth.  A burnt level attests to its destruction between the 1st c. BC and AD; a large number of loomweights (Fig. 3), fragments of glass vessels and animal bones suggest a residential or industrial function.  Immediately in front of the E lintel of the entrance a stone phallus was recovered in a foundation pit (Fig. 4).  The building was abandoned until the end of the 2nd c. AD, when the room was re-used as an open space, its E wall restored as the W side of an alley running N-S., which formed the N end of an imposing wall (17 m long) made of large limestone blocks and orientated to the E.  In the same area as the earlier pit in front of the lintel, a later pit with traces of burning produced a protome of a clay idol and a model of a clay idol, both probably dating to the 2nd-3rd c. AD (Fig. 4).  The excavators suggest these materials might have been connected with the original foundation and then the re-dedication of the building, a practice common in several cities in western Greece in the Hellenistic period.

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Kyparissia (property of E. Kollia-Rouphou). S. Koursoumis (ΛΗ’ EΠKA) reports on the discovery of a marble funerary stele with pedimental decoration (Fig. 1).  The stele (0.74 m tall, 0.46 wide) belongs to a common Peloponnesian type dated to the Roman imperial period.

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Kyparissia, Mousga (property of S. Sartzi). S. Koursoumis (ΛΗ’ EΠKA) reports on the uncovering of a wall (preserved length 1.2 m) comprising roughly worked stone; associated ceramics suggest a Late Roman date. Elsewhere in the plot, W of the railway line, was found a pit containing coarseware vessels and tile, while a short distance away from a second, adjacent pit were found the remains of a buried embryo, covered with large fragments of a fineware vessel.  Both pit and burial date to the Late Roman period.

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Kyparissia, Mousga (property of A Konstantopoulou – P Karakaïdou). D. Kosmopoulos (ΛΗ’ EΠKA) reports on continued excavation of this 3-phase building complex dating to the late second to early first century BC, the third century AD, and the late fourth to fifth century AD.  The excavated area was extended 3-4 m E and 14 m N-S (Fig. 1), revealing the continuation of 6 walls uncovered the previous year and 4 new walls forming rectangular spaces which seem to extend to the E of the main group of buildings.  One of the new walls appears to have a slight curve and used many tile fragments and lime-plaster in its construction.  The building remains appear to date to the Late Antique-Early Christian period.  The terracotta pipe excavated in 2006 ended at a rectangular built structure covered with strong lime-plaster (Fig. 2).  Once recording was complete and permission received from the Ministry of Culture, the area was back-filled.

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Kanalos. E. Malapani (ΛΗ’ EΠKA) reports on continued excavation at this location.  Work focused on the low mound, almost completely dug out (property of P. Georgakopoulou), where excavations in 2006 had revealed worked building stone of a public building of the historical period.  Alongside this, work continued on the N side of the mound, where building foundations were found and a large amount of ceramics collected, mostly dating to the end of the Middle and beginning of the Late Helladic periods.  On the W side remains of a strong wall (9.5 m long and 1.2 m thick) were found, whose cleaning revealed Roman ceramics, fragments of glass and a damaged coin. From the excavation a fragment of a stone grinder and other stone tools were recovered, while a short distance NE of the mound a complete stone axe (0.10 x 0.05 m) was found on the surface (Fig. 1).

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Kephalovryso, Diavatorachi. E. Malapani (ΛΗ’ EΠKA) reports on the discovery of a cist-tomb c. 1 km NW of the village (formerly known as Chalvatsou) and only 500 m SW of Alonia, where 2 cist-tombs were excavated in 2006.  The tomb (1.27 x 0.4 m), situated on the W slope of a low overgrown hill and orientated NE-SW, was missing its W side and was constructed with unworked limestone slabs placed vertically; part of the covering, of schist slabs, was preserved.  A skull fragment and a few femoral bones were found in the SE side.  (By implication the date of the tomb is Roman, but this is not stated.)

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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.