Sparta - 2011
Sparta, Property of the New Archaeological Museum of Sparta. Afroditi Maltezou (Ε ΕΠΚΑ) reports on investigation of the area around the preserved building ΧΥΜΟΦΙΞ on this property. To the W of this building an ancient road was revealed (2.9 m wide and N/NE-S/SW orientation). Its course is from the acropolis of Ancient Sparta to the Eurotas River, in whose bed the remains of an ancient bridge has been located. The road was uncovered for 66.8 m and slopes downwards towards the N. The surface was made from beaten soil, tiles, gravel and was defined by retaining walls. In the layer beneath there was a lot of Hellenistic and Classical pottery. In the S section, a clay pipeline made from cylindrical segments was also found with the same direction as the road.
Six rooms were discovered along the W side of the road. Pithoi were found in one of these rooms. The space may have belonged to a stoa with trade activity. Three graves were also discovered. There were no architectural remains on the E side of the street. Perhaps they were destroyed during the construction of the ΧΥΜΟΦΙΞ building. Three graves were found on this side that were perhaps child graves.
Grave 9: child place in supine position with head to the W and the R hand placed on the breast. In the lower legs, iron nails indicate a coffin or stretcher. Among the small finds there were: a lampstand of the Classical period, part of a flask, and also part of a clay object of burial use (probably).
To the E of the preserved building, 2 trenches were opened. In trench I, building remains were found. Some of the walls that were discovered formed corners of rooms. Also, a hearth was discovered and part of a floor of a channel. Pottery dates the remains to the Roman period. But also layers of Hellenistic and Classical pottery were found.
In trench II, walls forming corners or rooms were also found. In the middle of the trench and towards the S, 2 strong walls that form a corner and that belong in a building of large dimensions were found. In the S part of the trench, a burnt layer in the beaten earth floor was found. Close to the walls, groups of stones or destruction layers from the collapse of the building were discovered. Outside the building remains, 3 graves with varied orientation were found. Finally at the N end of the trench, a layer with a large quantity of fragments of tiles and Hellenistic pottery was found. In general the pottery from trench 2 was dated from the Classical to the early Byzantine periods. Important small finds: stamped fragment of the mouth of a pithos, part of a lamp of “North African” type of the early Christian period.
To the S of the building, trench III was opened with an E-W orientation. Antiquities were found in the E part. Corners of a building were found. Also a small destruction layer of tiles was discovered and fragments of floors of beaten earth. The pottery that was collected is dated mainly to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, while sherds of Geometric, Archaic and Classical periods were found too. Important small finds include: stamped tiles, and a foot of a bronze vessel that imitates the foot of a lion.
To the N of the preserved building, 3 parallel trenches with N-S orientation were opened (Trench IV, V, VI). A brief excavation took place only in Trench 4, the E most one. Five walls were discovered and one pile of unworked stones. The other 2 trenches contained ancient remains, but no excavation took place because the contract ended.
[Entry created by E. Strazdins]
ADelt 66 (2011), Chr., 163-165.