ARACHAMITAI, Agia Paraskevi - 2012
Type of Operation
Arachamitai, Agia Paraskevi. B. Forsén (Finnish Institute) reports on continued excavation at the sanctuary of Artemis Lykoatis.
The Late Hellenistic rectangular building (RB I) was shown to measure ca. 45 x 11m, and (with the exception of the westernmost room) to have two rows of rooms running along its length, separated by a longitudinal, east-west wall (Fig. 1). Work concentrated on Rooms 5, 9 and 10 (Fig. 1). Room 5 (inner dimensions 2.6 x 3.3m) was entered from the north via a corridor that leads west into Room 2. Below the collapsed roof lay pottery of the late third or first half of the second century BC, including parts of large amphorae, a lagynos, jugs, plates and kantharoi. The earliest phase of Room 5 dates between the late fourth and mid-third century on the basis of a one-handler and a small bowl with projecting rim decorated with grooves and stamped ovuli (Fig. 3). The room had two doors (to the west into Room 2 and to the east), a bench in the southwest corner, and a fireplace in the south-centre connected by a terracotta channel to the southeast corner of the room. A crucible found next to the channel may indicate some kind of production (Fig. 2).
Room 9 (inner dimensions ca. 5 x 4.5 m) was entered through a north door. It was entirely covered by the collapsed roof, on top of which lay a small Doric capital in secondary disposition. A Laconian coin of 48 - 35 BC was found between the roof tiles, thus verifying the destruction date in the late first century. In the centre of the room a fireplace of stone slabs was covered with a layer of burned clay. The floor consisted of small stones in beaten earth. Between the floor and the collapsed roof were a little pottery, four loom-weights, and 16 coins (late third- and late first-century BC, with one Megalopolitan coin of ca. 363-350 BC). The pottery ranges from the late fourth until the late first century BC, and includes two small black-glazed gutti with stamped decoration (late fourth- to early third-century), an unguentarium, a couple of early Megarian bowls and terra sigillata sherds.
Below the floor of Room 9 lay a stratum dating between the mid-sixth and mid-fourth century, containing pottery such as kraters and different types of jugs and drinking cups. This layer, which was only partly excavated, also produced one miniature vessel, two loomweights, two miniature lead votive wreaths (Fig. 4) and the bezel of a bronze finger ring decorated with a flying bird.
Room 10, at the east short end of RB I, was partially excavated. Parallel with, and partly superimposed on, the south wall of this room is the long western wall of the entrance to the Roman courtyard building. This wall had collapsed towards the west, partly covering the roof tile layer of RB I. Some larger stones had at a later stage been added to this cairn, including a cut limestone block probably from the foundation of a monumental building. Under the roof of Room 10, an area of hard burned red clay may indicate a fireplace. Close to the eastern wall, the foot of a Hellenistic limestone perirrhanterion stood up-side-down on top of the beaten earth and gravel floor. The layer between the collapsed roof and the floor contained 14 coins (dating from the mid fourth century until 48-35 BC), five loom-weights, five third- or second-century lamps and three unguentaria.
Ca. 9m north of RB I lay the wall of another building – the rectangular building RB II (ca. 32-34 x 12-13m) revealed in earlier magnetometer survey. RB II lies parallel to RB I and is presumed to be of same date. Along the south side of RB II ran an open water channel ca. 0.3m wide, coming from the east. It then turned 90 degrees southwards, entering RB I to the east of Room 5. The water may have been delivered to the unexcavated Room 6, next to the bath in Rooms 1 and 4 (Fig. 1).
Ca. 2 m to the south of, and parallel with, RB I a ditch drew rainwater off towards the west. This ditch was filled with pottery (including large quantities of Megarian bowls), other finds and food remains. At the time of the construction of RB I the ditch was ca. 1m deep and 0.5 wide at the bottom broadening to 1.5m at the ancient surface. Detailed study of the pottery may reveal the full history of the re-fill, which apparently took place during the late second - early first century BC.
Next to RB I and probably extending beneath it, a floor ca. 1.6 m below the present surface belongs to an earlier building. Just above this floor and next to the lowermost part of the foundations of RB I lay the foot of a Late Archaic- Classical stemmed cup with a small complete terracotta figurine of a pigeon next to it.
Unpublished field report
Date of creation