ARACHAMITAI - Ag. Paraskevi - 2008
Public building - Residence - Stoa - Figurine - Numismatics - Domestic space - Building Type - Find Type - Site Type
Type of Operation
Finnish Institute at Athens
Agia Paraskevi Arachamitai. B. Forsén (Finnish Institute) reports on work conducted in 2008.
Further trial trenches were opened around the large courtyard structure and Hel stoa reported in 2007, in order to define the date and function of the courtyard structure, to gain information about the relationship between these buildings, which are differently aligned and thus perhaps of different date, and to obtain data on the pre-Hel activities currently known only through the few finds made in 2007.
The plan of the monumental courtyard structure obtained from the 2007 magnetometer survey (Fig. 1) shows a series of 5m x 6m rooms around all sides of the courtyard. The survey suggested the presence of a round pit in the centre of the court, and 2 entrances in the middle of the E and W sides respectively. A trial trench (E) at the location of the possible central pit produced insufficient information to confirm the existence of a man-made feature here. A 2nd trial (F) revealed the exact location of 3 of the walls of one of the rooms flanking the courtyard. These walls are built of small unworked stones with no mortar, are ca. 0.6m w. and stand ca. 0.6-0.7m h. beneath ca. 0.2m of top soil. The room interior was covered by a 0.1-0.2m d. layer of roof tile mixed with a burned mass of red clay, possibly the remains of sun-dried bricks from the upper part of the walls. Very few finds were recorded in the layer below the collapsed roof - only some iron nails and a few non-diagnostic sherds mixed with charcoal and ash - and so the date and function of the courtyard structure remain unresolved. However, many of the roof tiles were decorated with finger strokes in the typical MRom or LRom manner, thus giving an approximate indication of date which is further supported by a C14 sample taken below the collapsed roof, which gives a date of the 3rd or 4th Ct AD.
A further objective of 2008 was to determine the borders of the shallow pit filled with dark soil, large quantities of pottery and other small finds revealed in 2007. The 2007 trench (A) was extended to the S and W, revealing across its area a 0.3-0.5m d. dark layer mixed with fragments of roof tiles, large amounts of pottery (including miniature vessels), fragmentary terracotta figurines, various small finds, charcoal and ash. The layer is thicker and slightly deeper in the N towards the stoa-like structure. Sterile soil lay below this dark layer except in a small area in the N of the trench, where more dark soil mixed with large quantities of pottery, various small finds and ash continues at least to 1.7m below surface. This dark soil, most likely from a pit, differs in that it contains some large stones instead of fragmentary roof tiles. The earliest finds, made in the S part of the trench, include parts of a M5th Ct local rf vase and bg pottery of the 4th-3rd Ct BC. Most finds date to the 3rd and 2nd Cts BC, and include Megarian bowls and bronze coins. Several coins were found in the pit, including one of Kassandros, recovered at a d. of 1.55m. The composition of the finds is thus rather similar to that presented in the 2007 excavations, although with more evidence for the early phases of cult activity as well as providing a better picture of the stratigraphy of the dark soil layer.
Unpublished field report, Finnish Institute at Athens
Date of creation