ARGOS - 2004
Figurine - Hearth/Kiln/Oven - Numismatics - Tools/weapons - Dress and personal ornament - Cemetery - Production/extraction site - Road system/waterway
Type of Operation
Argos, 11 Makariou Street (property of Γ.Ι.Η. ‘Οσία Μακρίνα’). E. Sarri (Δ’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports the discovery of burials, workshop installations and a road.
A Hellenistic cobbled and paved street, 3.9-4.15m wide, ran east-west, continuing beyond the plot in both directions. It had retaining walls on both sides and in the narrower eastern part was flanked by Hellenistic house walls. A child burial in a tile grave (XV) with a terracotta female figurine was in contact with the paved section of the street. Two Roman tombs were found above the southeast part of the street: an enchytrismos in a transport amphora (XII) and the tile grave of a youth (XIII) damaged by modern building but containing two first-century AD bulbous lachrymateria. In this period the road was abandoned, and the southern part given over to a cemetery containing tile-covered pit and stone-built cist graves. During the second and third centuries workshops and potter’s kilns producing pots and Lakonian and Corinthian type roof tiles came into operation, cutting into the earlier road and houses. Specific details are reported as follows:
Tile-covered pit graves formed the majority in the cemetery, containing single inhumations with few goods (although in most cases iron nails). Contents are noted as follows:
Tomb I: a plain Argive oinochoe and two bronze coins;
Tomb III: infra-cranial bones with a bronze coin;
Tomb VI: an iron vessel lid;
Tomb VII: extended female burial with the skull of a second individual between her femoral bones, with a glass lachrymaterion and an oinochoe;
Tomb VIII: set parallel and very close to VII, no grave goods;
Tomb IX: exactly beneath I, contained a small spatula, and the bones of an earlier burial gathered at the feet of the second inhumation.
Cist graves V and XIV were cut into the road, while II and X lay to the south of it. All were formed from and covered by limestone slabs (augmented by tile and cement in the case of tomb II). All contained extended inhumations (on the same orientation as the pit graves), with multiple burials in II, V and X.
Tomb II: a plain Argive oinochoe, bronze coin and iron nails were placed outside the tomb. The final burial had as offerings three lachrymateria and a biconical oinchoe not in situ: at the east end of the tomb was a built headrest.
Tomb V: the north end of the tomb was disturbed by the construction of kiln 3. The upper body of the second inhumation was preserved in situ, with that of the first (a youth) beneath it.
Tomb X: the second inhumation in situ, with the bones of previous burials (including three crania) moved outside the grave (with a glass lachrymaterium).
Tomb XIV: a single inhumation with a plate, a biconical oinochoe and an iron strigil. Outside the tomb was an Argive oinochoe.
A workshop with three brick-built kilns extended along the north of the excavation area, cutting into the road fabric. A fourth kiln also cut into the road and tomb V. The southern part of the workshop building was revealed, containing large quantities of pottery, fragments of eschara, various forms of kiln prop, and misfired Laconian tiles. The cement and cobble floor bore strong traces of burning. A pit contained Archaic pottery. The southeast corner of the building was in contact with the small round kiln 1 which preserved the north part of the tile-lined firing chamber, the furnace chamber, and the clay eschara. To the south and east of the workshop entrance, two wells/refuse dumps contained Roman sherds, carbon flecks, kiln supports, many burnt or vitrified clay masses, and Corinthian and Laconian tiles (the latter including kiln wasters). Kiln 2 was almost rectangular and preserved the brick, clay and tile lower walls of the firing chamber and the south part of the furnace chamber, along with some column supports and the ledge which held the eschara. The arched chamber entrance in the east wall was partially preserved, with a layer of burnt clay within the entrance passage. Kiln 3, also rectangular, preserved only the furnace chamber and the brick supports for the eschara: the floor was made of clay and pebbles, and the stoking tunnel opened in the west wall. The brick walls of a fourth possible kiln lay to the east of kiln 3: largely destroyed, these were founded on the stone walls of a Hellenistic house.
Deeper excavation in the area between kilns 1 and 2 revealed a Classical wall; a Geometric cist grave containing a little bone, a krater and a skyphos; and a Submycenaean pit grave containing a single inhumation, a skyphos and a lekythos. Two further Geometric graves are reported:
Tomb IV: a pithos burial below the north retaining wall of the road. The pithos contained a strongly contracted burial with two bronze pins and 14 Argive pots: it was closed with a stone slab, west of which an amphora was set as a grave marker. South of the pithos mouth lay 14 pots, with a cup also to the north.
Tomb XI: a shallow pit which extended beneath kiln 3 contained the extended inhumation of a woman with two bronze rings, a bronze spiral and two iron pins.
Excavation for the foundations of a new building by the east edge of the plot revealed two parallel cist graves (XVIII and XIX) built of stone slabs, which belonged to the Early Roman cemetery identified in the centre and south parts of the plot. Both were used for two successive burials: tomb XVIII also contained seven bulbous lachrymateria, three glass vessels and lead fragments probably from a pyxis.
ADelt 56-59 (2001-2004) B4, 35-38.
Date of creation