KORYTIANI - 2002
Church - Cemetery - Site Type
Type of Operation
Excavation - Rescue excavation
Plain of Riziani-Korytiani. G. Riginos (Η’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports the discovery, south of the Igoumenitsa-Ioannina road, of two buildings (A and B).
In the western part of Building A was a series of three rooms oriented north-south. A paved antechamber (room I) lay by the exceptionally wide (5m-wide) main entrance at the southwest. Room I communicated to the north with the smaller room II (which had an earth floor) and to the east with the long, paved room III. Two openings in the narrow north and south walls of room III presumably communicated with neighbouring rooms which have not been excavated. Three further openings led to the eastern part of Building A, which was only partially investigated as it largely lay beneath Building B. Three parallel rooms were arranged on an east-west axis. The central room was the largest, with a carefully paved floor, and was raised above its smaller, earthen floored neighbours. The walls, of worked stone blocks of varying size (including spolia) in mortar. plus some brick, were coasted in plaster.
Only the outline of the single-nave Byzantine church, Building B, to the south, was exposed. The building was approximately rectangular (11.8 x 6m) with a semicircular apse at the east end, the main entrance at the west and a second smaller opening (probably a window) in the south wall. A thick layer of stones covered the entire interior. A test though it on the west side of the building revealed a destruction deposit over the floor of Building B, which was founded directly on heaped construction material from Building A. The walls of Building B were of worked stone blocks with some spolia, brick inserts, and mortar. To the west of Building B was an antechamber or court with a stone bench along the south wall. Initially this was an open court which re-used the stone paved floor of the central room of the eastern part of Building A. Later, the area was filled in, partially roofed, and a new floor laid. The walling of this structure was cruder, of roughly shaped blocks held in earth. Thirty-five tombs from a larger cemetery (extending further south beneath the modern road) were found to the west of the church. These are mostly simple cists, with a few free burials and a tile grave. Both adults and children are represented: with the exception of six graves which contained a few bronze ornaments and three pendants, no grave goods could be associated with these burials. In the first phase of the cemetery (likely contemporary with the construction of Building B), 22 graves were dug over the walls and floors of Building A. The remaining graves belong to three successive later phases.
Few portable finds were recovered (mostly iron nails and glass vessels and plates). Eleven lentoid coins were recovered from the level of Building A, and a bronze anonymous follis of Basil II (976-1025 AD) and a further as yet unidentified bronze scyphate coin from the level of Building B. A stone architectural member had an engraved cross within a circule, and two further stones bore Greek inscriptions (one with an associated Christogram). A little plain domestic pottery was retrieved, dating to the Christian period, plus parts of a pithos rim with impressed cross decoration. These finds indicate that the construction of Building B predates the end of the tenth century AD. The date of Building A remains problematic because of its poor preservation and paucity of finds. However nothing indicates a date before the Early Christian period. It is tentatively suggested that the ground plan of Building A could be that of a three-aisled basilica (the rooms on the west could be the exonarthex, the narthex and the associated storeroom, and the three rooms on the east would form the western part of the three aisles).
ADelt 56-59 (2001-2004) B5, 261-264.
Date of creation