TROIZEN - 2003
Material Type - Religious building - Dress and personal ornament - Architectural revetments - Fortifications - Metal - Entertainment venue - Tools/weapons - Production/extraction site - Architectural terracotta - Building Type - Inscription - Temple - Site Type - Sanctuary - Theatre - Sculpture - Find Type - Hearth/Kiln/Oven - Cemetery
Type of Operation
Anc. Troizen. M. Giannopoulou (ΚΣτ’ ΕΠΚΑ) summarises recent research at Troizen.
Rescue excavation in the sanctuary of Zeus Soter in the northwest sector of the town revealed a low terrace on which the limestone foundation of a temple was preserved. Only the east part was explored, revealing a structure 8.6m wide. A Corinthian cover tile of the first half of the sixth century was found, along with further remains of the initial tiled roof of the building. A finial from a Hellenistic cover-tile belongs to a later phase of roofing. The previous nearby surface find of a stone stele inscribed ΔΙΟΣ confirms the identity of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated. The terrace is supported on the north side by two strong isodomic retaining walls: two roads ran along the south and east sides. South of the east-west road was a building insula: trial excavation within that revealed a large quantity of transport amphorae with stamped handles, suggesting that these buildings were perhaps shops.
The sanctuary of Pan Lyterios, located by Welter near the eastern fortification of the acropolis, should probably be placed on the west slope of the hill, noting the chance find of a Roman marble head of Pan near the so-called Devil’s Bridge.
The sanctuary of Apollo Platanistios is identified with a Hellenistic building on the Lampousa hill (Aderes ridge). Limited rescue excavation here revealed the foundations of the structure. Finds include miniature lamps and skyphoi, and a lead weight (0.622g or one mna) inscribed ΙΑΡΟ.
The position of the theatre is indicated by the discovery of a Corinthian capital decorated with a theatrical mask in relief, near the eastern fortification wall, higher up the slope (below the temple of Aphrodite Akraia). This had originally formed part of a curved wall.
Rescue excavation in the extensive east and west cemeteries revealed burials of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. No Geometric or Archaic tombs were excavated, but Late Geometric sherds collected in the course of drainage work outside the modern village add to previous Late Geometric finds in the area. Complementing the previous discovery of an extensive Archaic cemetery along the west bank of the Chrysoroa stream, part of a sixth-century funerary stele with an incised depiction of a hoplite (perhaps part of a hoplitodromos) was found close to the findspot of the funerary column of Damotimos. A second stele was found in secondary use covering a cist tomb on the west bank of the Chrysoroa. This bore an inscription of the second half of the sixth century: ΛΑΙΑΡΧΟ/ΠΑΙΔΟΣ/ΤΟΔΕΣΑΜΑ/ΘΑΝΟΝΤΟΣ. The first line, with the name of the deceased, is not preserved.
Groups of Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman tombs were excavated in both the west and east cemeteries. Graves, generally oriented east-west, are mostly limestone cists with some tile graves, with rare sarcophagi. One monolithic sarcophagus of the mid fifth century contained three burials and rich grave goods, including part of a Melian relief, an alabaster exaleiptron, nine Attic lekythoi, bronze vessels (a kylix, krateriskos and arytaina), three mirrors and a strigil, plus terracottas and various items of personal ornament. Two cist graves of the third quarter of the fourth century, found on the west bank of the Koumoundourou stream, also had rich bronze offerings. One contained an omphalos phiale and the other an omphalos phiale with relief decoration and a krateriskos with panther heads on the junction of the handles and rim. Attic and Corinthian pottery was also found.
A number of tombs in the west cemetery contained rich goods. Two cist tombs of the first half of the fourth century, set in parallel, contained, among other items, a bronze strainer, arytaina and strigil (in one grave), with a ladle, arytaina, and a small bell, as well as an Attic red-figure kylix of the YZ Group in the other. Another tile grave of the second half of the fourth century contained a hammered bronze phiale, the disc of a mirror and a little Attic and Corinthian pottery. In general, there is a notable quantity of bronze items in graves of the Classical period, suggesting the existence of local metalworkers’ shops (a hypothesis strengthened by the chance find of a mass of bronze from foundry activity in the Asklepieion area). By contrast, pottery was generally rare. Bronze shapes are linked to wine serving and consumption, and appear only in adult burials. One or two strigils consistently appear in Classical burials.
A representative picture of Hellenistic burials, not previously known, has now been obtained. A limestone cist tomb in the east cemetery contained three gold leaves from a wreath, three lagynoi, and many lachrymateria. Finds in a disturbed tomb included a lead pyxis and a glass alabastron.
Further Roman funerary monuments were discovered in various rescue excavations, although in no case was the part above ground preserved.
Three new forts from the defensive system of the city were found: one on the hill of Vigliza (southeast of Ano Fanari) and two at the coastal sites of Megali Magoula and Limanakia (both overlooking the sea route to the ancient harbour of Pogon, modern Vidi). The Late Classical fort of Megali Magoula was built in the ruins of the Middle Helladic settlement and incorporated the remains of the prehistoric fortification wall.
M. Giannoupoulou, ‘Τα αποτελέσματα των νέων ερευνών στην αρχαία Τροιζήνα’, in V. Vasilopoulou and S. Katsarou-Tzeveleki (eds), From Mesogeia to Argosaronikos (Markopoulo 2009), 519-536.
Date of creation