SPARTA - 2000
Bath - Tomb - Numismatics - Tools/weapons - Public area - Cemetery - Building Type - Find Type - Site Type
Type of Operation
Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ε' ΕΠΚΑ
Sparta. 140−44 Vrasidou Street (O.T. 30, A. Koumoundourou and I. Krikela property, formerly Tsirigoti property). (Fig. 1 site 5). E. Zavvou (Ε' ΕΠΚΑ) reports the discovery of Hellenistic to Late Roman building remains and groups of Roman and Late Roman tombs which represent a continuation of the cemetery excavated in the area of the public market and neighbouring Kleombrotou Street (cf. ADelt 24  Chr, 135−37; ADelt 28  Chr, 168−70; ADelt 44−46 [1989−1991] Mel, 335−60).
In the south, tomb group I (tombs 1−3 and 5) consists of brick and cement cists with cover slabs; tombs 1 and 3 were subsequently divided into two compartments (Fig. 2). The northernmost tomb (1), with a tiled floor, contained a child inhumation with a Roman deep plate and large iron nails. Tomb 2 (also with a tiled floor) shared a common wall tomb 1. (Fig. 3). It contained a single inhumation with the head on a tile ‘rest’, plus bones from a second burial; a very few sherds were collected from the fill. Tomb 3, with cover tiles, contained a child burial without goods. Tomb 5, which shared a common wall with tomb 2, was empty (and probably looted). The construction of tomb group I required the partial levelling of an earlier northeast-southwest retaining wall. (Fig. 4). Around this wall a large pit cut into stereo contained a quantity of Hellenistic and Roman pottery, namely miniature vessels, a black-glazed ring-based kernos (Fig. 5), a thilastron (Fig. 6), Hellenistic calyx cups and red-figure sherds, plus part of a bronze pin and figurine fragments. East of tomb 1 was an intact Laconian Late Roman amphora. Further walls found in the area include two probably Early Christian structures north of tomb group I. Tomb 4 is a pit grave (oriented northwest-southeast) cut into stereo south of wall 3, with marble cover slabs in secondary use. It contained the supine inhumation of a youth, head to east, a first-century BC glass unguentarium and iron nails by the head and feet probably from the bier.
Tomb group II (graves 6−10) lies north of wall 3. Most of the graves were brick-built cists, oriented north-south. Tomb 6 contained an inhumation with a tile headrest (plus the remains of an earlier burial), a lamp and a glass unguentarium both dating to the second century AD, and part of a bronze surgical instrument with decorative silver inlay (Fig. 7). Tomb 7, covered with tiles, was robbed, leaving only scattered bones and fragments of gold leaves. Between tombs 6 and 7 was a North African-type lamp depicting a saint on the discus. Tomb 8 contained fragments of bone and iron nails. Tombs 9 (a stone-lined cist) and 10 were both badly damaged.
To the north was an area of burning which included a coin of Valentinian II (AD 375−392). East of tomb group II, a well (1.2m in diameter, over 6.2m deep), cut into bedrock, contained a large quantity of Hellenistic pottery.
Further to the north was part of a Roman bath destroyed by fire: among the debris were fragments of hypocaust column and tegulae mammatae. A stone water channel ran beyond the north side of the building, while to the west and north were further architectural remains (walls, some to the north with marble revetment, and sections of tiled floor).
Two further funerary monuments in the north of the plot had been looted. Tomb group III, to the east, contained cist tombs 11 and 12, oriented east-west. Tomb 11 contained a Roman plate. Tombs 13 and 14, in tomb group IV, both oriented east-west, were looted.
Seven further coins were found in the course of the excavation, including one of Eurykles (31−7 BC) and a Byzantine issue with a very worn depiction of an emperor on the obverse and on the reverse the legend XX CO[N]. Further finds include fragments of bronze and bone pins, part of a bronze stirrer, a glass bead and a piece of obsidian.
ADelt 55 (2000) Chr, 218−222
Date of creation