Sparta - 2010
Sparta, unopened cul-de-sac of ALKMANOS STREET (O.T. 127, property of Al. Rigou). Maria Florou (5th EBA) reports on the completion of excavations on the site that began in 2008. In 2009, from all six excavation sectors, fills were removed to a depth from 1 to 2 m, while in the 2010 excavation period, from 0.50 to 1.50 m, and all the baulks were removed.
The fills contained antiquities dating to the Byzantine era. A large amount of glazed ceramics, with roughly incised, finely incised and champlevé (επιπεδόγλυφη) decoration, handles of ‘Laconian’ type amphorae and a gold coin of the second half of the 10th century. The architectural remains of the period include fragmentary surviving remnants of walls of poorly executed masonry, a cist grave and two storage cisterns. The cisterns occupy the central part of the property. These are two consecutive vaulted spaces of particularly strong and elaborate construction. Their longitudinal axis is oriented SE-NW. The arch of the eastern cistern has collapsed, while in contrast the arch of the western cistern remains almost intact, with minor damage to its central and northern parts.
The bottom of the cisterns consists of hydraulic plaster and in its middle it retains a circular depression for the purpose of their cleaning. Part of the eastern cistern was founded on earlier remains of late Roman times. The cisterns are constructed of rubble masonry and brick fragments at the joints with lime-mortar bonding. On their inner walls two layers of coating are preserved, probably owing to repair. The cisterns should be associated with the installation of a Byzantine olive press that was discovered on the neighbouring Philippopoulos property to the east and with the temple located on the property directly to the north.
The majority of the architectural remains on the site date to late Roman times. Walls of this period form a room rectangular in plan, with NE to SW orientation, a door opening on its NE side and an internal division on an EW axis that occupies the SE section of the site and is maintained at the level of the foundations. The moveable finds indicate it was in use during Byzantine times.
In the NE part of the site, there were fragmented remains of walls which, according to the moveable finds, should be dated to the Hellenistic period. The walls have a NW to SE orientation, extend north and east into the open space and are founded on the natural terrain. On these walls, architectural remains of later Roman times have been subsequently established (sections of pipelines). In the middle of the site, a deposit (Deposit I), which had been dug into the natural ground, was discovered and investigated. Fills were removed from inside it containing brown-red soil, tile fragments, unworked stones, pieces of plaster, as well as pottery of Roman, early Byzantine, and middle Byzantine times.
In total 140 groups of pottery were collected that include fragments of undecorated functional vessels, glazed vessels of the Byzantine period (with roughly incised, finely incised and champlevé (επιπεδόγλυφη) decoration), red-slip and black-slip vessels of the Roman and Hellenistic periods respectively, glass and terracotta objects (loom weights, bread stamps, hypocaust tiles), metal objects (mainly nails of varying sizes, amorphous masses of metals and copper scrapings), 8 bronze coins, and 1 gold coin of the second half of the 10th century.
[Entry created by E. Strazdins]
ADelt (2010) Chr., 624-626