SALAMIS - 2012
Type of Operation
University of Ioannina
Salamis, Kanakia. Y. Lolos (Ioannina) reports on the 2012 season of excavation on the Mycenaean acropolis above the head of the Gulf of Kanakia (with further details supplied by C. Marbea [Ioannina]) and on the neighbouring plateau of Pyrgiakoni. Limited surface survey was carried out in the eastern part of the valley of Kanakia.
Acropolis. In the north wing of building Γ, removal of the final remaining fill over the floor revealed a quantity of pottery and a biconical black steatite bead. Excavation focused in building Δ which extended between the large eastern complex and the central building Γ (with which it connects). A row of three approximately rectangular, interconnecting rooms of different sizes (7-9) were excavated, room 7 being the largest: these constitute the northern edge of the building. Following the natural slope, rooms 5 and 7 in particular are on a lower level. Their floors were formed of the largely unworked (and often very uneven) bedrock with traces of burning and degradation. Remains of clay plaster (especially in room 9) indicate the treatment of the walls. There was a rectangular built structure (0.8 x 1.3m, 0.45m high) in the southeast corner of room 7, and a basin cut into the bedrock in the northwest. These were likely storage and preparation rooms (similar to those in building IA of the eastern complex and to building Γ 2-3. 107 stone tools and other objects on the floor included percussion, hammer, grinding and cutting tools as well as whetstones and spindle whorls. Pottery from the floors included fine and coarsewares of a variety of shapes, plus part of a bathtub next to the basin in room 7. As previously reported in other buildings too, a large quantity of Aeginetan cooking pottery was recovered (chytres, lekanes, a pithoid vessel with two horizontal handles, and a complete jug), although no potters’ marks were found in building Δ. A one-handled vessel in cooking fabric shows evidence of building in sections and finishing on the wheel. Three small lids from transport stirrup jars were found in rooms 8-9 (the jars themselves were not found). Other pottery shapes represented are amphorae, hydriae, prochoes, kylikes, bowls and basins, kalathoi, a conical rhyton, and various jars. The rooms were abandoned at the start of LHIIIC Early and were burnt (the near absence of metal items may indicate that valuable contents were first cleared). Other finds include a bronze eyelet, four small terracotta items, two human figurines, shells of various types (from food waste and from tools and ornaments), and two bowls of worked shell. Building Δ as a whole seems to have been a storage/adjunct service complex for foodstuffs and equipment.
At Pyrgiakoni, Y. Lolos reports on further excavation in both the central area (the Classical-Hellenistic shrine) and the Mycenaean cult area. In the Mycenaean cult place, the south exterior wall of the building was fully exposed (with the exception of one section which had been entirely destroyed, perhaps being washed away). The course of a further, probable boundary wall, in contact with the exterior face of the eastern part of the south wall, was traced to the east. It continued up to the western part of the peribolos wall of the Mycenaean tumulus/cenotaph, thus isolating the building from the south. Cleaning of the building’s large (ca. 60m2) columned hall was completed: the room had a central hearth and an antechamber to the west. Finds from the destruction/abandonment layer include LHIIIB-C Early pottery (notably two Aeginetan chytras with potters’ marks), four stone tools, a Neolithic-type stone axe, bone and shell.
Excavation in the Classical-early Hellenistic shrine focused on the limestone ‘exedra’. The natural hollow at the west end which received offerings was cleared of remaining fill, revealing a deep central depression. The fill (associated with the abandonment of the shrine early in the third century BC) contained much pottery (Attic black-glaze, plainware, coarse and semi-coarseware, as well as tile and beehive). A small built rectangular ‘altar’ or offering table lay close to the offering pit to the northwest, inside the main cult area, on the topmost level of the rock. This is bounded to the north and east by a well-built wall. A large fourth-century black-glaze phiale with stamped palmette decoration was found fallen next to it, on the west (a joining piece was found in 2010 to the south). Much of the top surface of the exedra was exposed, plus the remains of steps up to it at the centre of the north side. Part of a small votive relief plaque was found to the north of the exedra.
A survey was made of the eastern part of the building valley of Kanakia, within range of the east-west series of five or six tumulus-like structures (T.E. I-VI) immediately to the west of which was a Π-shaped peribolos. Still further west, a 26.5m-long north-south wall defined the flat area on which the tumuli stood. No ancient pottery was observed in this area. Four of these tumuli were round (diameters ranging from 6.9-9.3m), while T.E. V was oval and had a krepis built of fieldstones. No date for these structures can yet be proposed.
The Neolithic site recognized in 2011, east of the main bend in the public road by the entrance to Kanakia village (at the modern refuse dump or ‘skoupidia’), was revisited. The site lies on the south slope of a rocky height on the east side of the Kanakia valley (in the southeast of which lies the Stephilouko spring). Almost all sherds are Neolithic-Final Neolithic, and it is the most significant site of this period yet known on the island. Sixty-four sherds of red- and grey/black-polished wares and undecorated coarse and semi-coarsewares were recovered, along with stone tools and small finds including a greenstone axe (0.045m long), and two Spondylus gaederopus shells.
Akamas 7 (2013), 4-17.
Date of creation