KNOSSOS, GYPSADHES - 2014
Antiquity - Bronze Age - Middle Bronze Age - Late Bronze Age - Hellenistic - Roman
Figurine - Lamp - Dress and personal ornament - Plant remains - Domestic space - Find Type - Material Type - Site Type
Type of Operation
Excavation - Research excavation
British School at Athens, 23η ΕΠΚΑ
Knossos, Gypsadhes. I. Serpetsidaki (former 23rd EPCA), E. Hatzaki (Cincinnati/BSA), G. Ayala(Sheffield/BSA), and A. Bogaard (Oxford/BSA) report on the first season of excavation aimed at revealing a Knossian neighborhood and uncovering fine-grained information to help in the reconstruction of the Knossian economy through time. As part of the University of Oxford’s ERC-funded project Agricultural Origins of Urban Civilisation (AGRICURB), the new excavation features large-scale bioarchaeological research.
The remains of two Bronze Age buildings were partly excavated, theupper levels of which had sustained severe plough damage. (Fig. 1) These buildings lie immediately adjacent to Sinclair Hood’s 1958-9 trenches, and he had evidently excavated a very small portion of both. The first building, which continues beyond the excavated area to the westand north, is associated with Middle Minoan IIIA pottery. It may have been destroyed by an earthquake: no evidence for fire damage hasyet been found, but at least one room was probably deliberately backfilled with half-broken pottery. A partially excavated room contained asmall gold pendant, and a narrow space between two walls (packed with broken pottery) produced a fragmentary stone tripod vessel.
The secondbuilding, which continues beyond the excavated area to the east and north, produced architectural and stratigraphical evidence for Late Minoan II and Late Minoan IIIA2-B occupation phases respectively. One space wasmodified into a staircase with two flights of stairs: this (and one further area) yielded unburnt Late Minoan II pottery. In an adjacent small room, three depressions in the bedrock floor along the west and north walls may have held storage vessels. (Fig. 2) This room had also been intentionally filled with broken Late Minoan II pottery and artefacts. By contrast, three other rooms/spaces bore tracesof fire: Late Minoan IIIA2-B pottery was associated with them, although a more precise date (whether LM IIIA1-2,LM IIIA2 or LM IIIB early) requires further excavation and study. Within an ashy grey layer in Space 111, an upside-down pedestalled lamp and a champagne cup were sealed bya layer of collapsed/disintegrated mud-plaster from the walls. Strong traces of fire were found, particularly along the west end of a further room (106): remains either of a collapsed upper floor or re-deposited destruction debris included twocolumn bases and stone slabs, plus pithos and storage jar sherds. Carbonized seeds of pulses (including grass pea, bitter vetch and Celticbean) probably represent stored supplies.
Close to the partly excavated Middle Minoanbuilding, a midden contained Middle Minoan IIIA domestic pottery and ananimal figurine. Elsewhere, a complicated sequence of superimposed episodes of dumping waspartly excavated. These dumps contained large quantities of Late Minoan I sherds, predominantly of conical cups. They do not appear to be normaldomestic refuse, but are rather specialized deposits representing repeated activities overtime but in the same location. In both of these areas, pottery accumulations weredemarcated by single-course walls.
Finally, apoorly preserved building associated with a partially preserved single-course wall and two column bases was partly excavated. Associated with it was a small cluster of Hellenistic sherds. Evidence of burning, including disintegrated mud-brick, was confined to the east end. Superimposed on the Hellenistic structure, but at a different angle, was a later, perhaps Roman, building of which only a single-course rubble foundation survives. No floor surfaces or associated artefacts were preserved.
Unpublished field report, British School at Athens.
Date of creation