Sparta - 2011
Sparta, Leonidas Street (O.T. 123, property of G. Papadakos). Afroditi Maltezou (Ε ΕΠΚΑ) reports on the discovery of antiquities in the E section of the property; if there were remains in the W part, they were destroyed by a modern building (Fig. 1). The property lies close to the acropolis of ancient Sparta. A street with NE-SW orientation runs through the central part of the excavation. Only fragments of this street were exposed and it was made from beaten earth and gravel. Within the width of the street, clay channels with segments of cylindrical pipes or concave tiles placed together to create an open space in the centre to create a channel as well as a lead pipes were found. The discovery of pipes at different levels shows that the street was used over a long period of time. Along the SE of the street there was a drainage channel. Two coins were found in the area of the street, one is Laconian and dated between 43 and 31 BC, the second is from Sikyon and from the Severan period in the name Julia Domna (AD 193-217). There was also another coin of a probable late Roman date.
A section of a second street with NW-SE direction was exposed in the N part of the excavation. It is possible that the 2 streets intersected, but Wall 4 did not allow the intersection to be confirmed or located. This street was made with well-beaten earth, gravel and stones. There were also vestiges of burning on the surface. S of the street there was a clay channel made of tiles with NW-SE direction. To the N of the street, there was a Wall of unworked stones and mud and above it a huge stone block. To the E of this a tile grave of an adult with head to the NW was found with no grave goods. To the S of the stone block and above the street, a destruction layer of tiles and a few stones was revealed. From this layer, a lamp (MS 17773) with an Eros dating in the 4th c. AD was found. This destruction layer belongs to a room defined by Walls 1 and 4. This room is later than the street and belongs to the later building phases of the area. The room was founded on a Hellenistic grave (Grave 1). It is a double-roofed built grave, with NE-SW direction. Collected objects: unguentaria, lagynoi, lamps, a plate, and cups, golden false-coins (δανάκες), a characteristic find of late Hellenistic graves). To the W of Grave 1, 2 tile graves were found. To the SE of these 2 graves, there were decomposed bones and a large number of Hellenistic pots (unguentaria, lagynos, lamps, a Megarian bowl with the face of Medusa in the centre (MS 17772), skyphidioi and a plate).
In the SW part of the property a fragmentary burial monument was found made with ashlar blocks. Its fragmentary nature makes its plan difficult to reconstruct. In a space defined by Wall 2 and 7, to the NE of the burial monument, graves in disturbed layers were found. The graves were without grave goods, except grave 10. This is a tile grave of an adult with head to the NE and with NE-SW direction. The skeleton’s R hand was on his chest and a coin for Charon was found in its mouth dating from 31-7 BC, as well as a glass unguentarium of early Roman period.
In the Hellenistic and Roman periods the area was used as a cemetery and the use of space changed in the late Roman period. In the late building phases the remains at the SE side of the ancient street also belong. Because the walls revealed are fragmentary, it is difficult to establish the plan of the buildings. From the top layers in this area, two bronze coins of the Byzantine period were collected, together with a coin of late Roman period and 1 bronze coin of Laconian issue of the years 48-35 BC.
The pottery collected from the excavation dates mainly to the Roman and Hellenistic as well as late Roman periods. However, sherds of the Byzantine, Classical, and Archaic periods were also found. Small finds: fragment of a lip of a pithos with a stamp (MS 17774) and 2 stamped tiles (MS 17775, 17776), 3 bronze coins of Laconian issue of the years 35-31 BC, 48-35 BC, 31-7 BC, a bronze coin of the Emperor Aurelian (AD 270-275), bronze coin of posthumous Augustan issue (after AD 14), a coin of Emperor Constantius II (AD 337-346).
[Entry created by E. Strazdins]
ADelt 66 (2011), Chr., 171-173.