Agios Leontios and Petras sites, Aposelemis dam. Avdou Pediados - 2009
Agios Leontios and Petras sites, Aposelemis dam. Avdou Pediados. Maria Mavraki and Aleksandros Kastanakis (ΚΓ’ ΕΠΚΑ) report that extended excavation works took place at the sites of Petras and Agios Leontios in Avdou Pediados, in the framework of the engineering of the new provincial road Potamion-Avdou, as part of the construction works for Aposelemis dam. These two sites comprise one geographical and excavation unit. The excavation consisted of three periods (2007, 2008, 2009) (Fig. 1) and was focused in two main areas: west of the abandoned church of Agios Leontios (15th c. AD) and west of the nearby site of Petras. Architectural remains of an MM II-III settlement, already known through survey, were unearthed there. Additionally, near the church of Metamorphosis (15th c. AD), post-Byzantine (15th-17th c. AD) badly preserved architectural remains were also discovered. The aforementioned antiquities potentially extend, covering a wide area on both sides of the new road.
ΜΜ settlement- Building phase A’
During building phase A’, the oldest architectural remains belong to a MM II settlement, and derive from two levels (Fig. 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9). The settlement is organised around a free space, without built structures and was conventionally named “central yard” (Room 11). Seventeen small, rectangular, well-made spaces were ascribed to building phase A’; they were divided in five potentially independent buildings (houses) or house complexes. Room 8 was the northern end of a corridor leading to the central yard. Rooms 1, 2, 4, 21 and 23 of building phase A’ were excavated entirely. Part of a built staircase leading to the highest spot of the settlement was discovered at the south part of the excavation, east of Room 23. The rooms that were excavated were underground, and were mainly used for storage purposes. They were being entered through the ground floor rooms, and as a result they did not have any doors. A cobbled road which was potentially the south entrance of the settlement was found at the southern limit of the excavation.
The collected pottery of the lower levels date to the MM II and III periods; cups, jugs, tripod pots and pithoi are some examples of the identified shapes. A lentil-shaped seal made of serpentine, depicting an ibex, parts of zoomorphic figurines, a shrine model, as well as bronze and stone tools (querns and pestles) are some other noteworthy finds.
ΜΜ settlement- Building phase B’
During building phase B’, the MM settlement underwent a small-scale destruction of unknown causes probably around the beginning of the MM III period. It was immediately repaired and reinhabited. Some of the existing spaces were divided into smaller rooms (Rooms 1, 2, 3, 7Α, 7Β), new walls replaced destroyed ones (7Β), old doors were blocked and new spaces were founded. Above Room 21 and its ruins a new building was built, and its walls are partially preserved (Room 19). These repairings and additions suggest that the settlement was not completely destroyed, and most of the existing walls of phase A’ were used during phase B’ as well. The repairings also aimed to save space, and it is implied that the social cohesion and the domestic economy were not affected irreparably by the destruction.
The settlement seems to have been inhabited for a short time, only during the MM III period, despite the repairings and improvements of phase B’. Before the end of the MM III period, the settlement was destroyed and suddenly abandoned, with a lot of everyday objects being left behind and later discovered intact inside destruction layers. A multitude of vessels was excavated in Rooms 1, 4, 7Α, 12, 20 and II, shedding light regarding the use of each room (domestic and storage use in Room 12, storage use in space 7A, daily use in Room 4 etc).
A significant amount of MM III pottery was discovered in deposits of phase B’ in all the rooms; handless conical cups, pithoi, jugs, skyphoi were among the preserved shapes. The quantity of stone tools from this phase is also noteworthy, however it is impossible to identify if they were tools of phase A’ that were then reused.
The post-Byzantine (15th-17th c. AD.) remains are found in the area of the “yard” (Room 11) and Room 8, but also in other areas where post-Byzantine architectural remains related to the use of the nearby Christian churches or related to a settlement were excavated. From these remains, Rooms 10, 14 and 15 were excavated in their entirety. The main characteristics of these areas are their large dimensions and their hasty construction. Room 10 comprises a rectangular cistern with a well-preserved cobbled floor; north of it an arched wall marks the location of a building extending towards the west, outside of the excavation limits.
No distinct evidence of any destruction related to the post-Byzantine buildings was identified. Their abandonment was probably the result of their poor construction; however the gradual abandonment of the area is another possibility. During this phase, some small additions on the MM walls and structures were made. The most significant intervention on a MM wall was the incorporation of a built circular structure on wall 14.
The post-Byzantine layers contained a large quantity of glazed pottery of good quality. The presence of many clay tripods signifies the existence of ceramic kilns in the area. A few coins from the end of the period of the Venetian occupation were also recovered.
[Entry created by C. Koureta]
ADelt 64 (2009), Chr., 895–901