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Euboica

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Bruno D'Agostino
, 
Michel Bats

Oropos in the Early Iron Age*

Alexander Mazarakis Ainian

Texte intégral

  • * I wish to thank the organisers of the symposium for their kind invitation and hospitality. Special (...)
  • 1 ArchDelt from 1979 onwards. See also J. Travlos, Bild-lexikon zur Topographie des antiken Attika, (...)
  • 2 M. Pologiorgi, in ArchDelt 42, 1987, Chronika, pp. 103-107; idem, in ArchDelt 44, 1989, Chronika, (...)
  • 3 The absence of evidence for human occupation of the wider area around Oropos during the Geometric (...)
  • 4 ’Οργανισμός Τηλεπιϰοινωνιών ‘Ελλάδος.
  • 5 ’Οργανισμός Σϰολικών Κτιρίων.
  • 6 In general on the ancient city of Oropos and its territory see Petrakos 1968, 6-58; Petrakos 1992, (...)

1The ancient city of Oropos lies beneath the modern town of Skala Oropou, in the borderline between Attica and Boeotia, opposite Eretria (fig. 1). During the past two decades, the 2nd Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical antiquities has conducted more than 50 important rescue excavations in building plots1. The eastern cemetery occupies a narrow strip on either side of an ancient road, at Nea Palatia, while a second rich cemetery has been partly excavated at the western confines of the city, at Skala2. The architectural remains from the walled ancient town, as well as the finds from both town and cemeteries mostly date in the late Classical period through the Old Christian era. For many years, the puzzling feature had been the almost total absence of traces of human occupation of the earlier periods of the historical era3. The gap in the sequence was bridged in the mid 80ies, when Ephor of Antiquities of Attica was Dr. Basil Petrakos. The late Aliki Dragona excavated two areas, a plot of the telephone company at the eastern edge of the town (fig. 2, no. 3, henceforth referred to as the O.T.E. plot4) and the school property some 600 m to the West (fig. 2, nos. 1-2, henceforth Ο.Σ.Κ. property5). In the former plot evidence was recovered that Oropos was inhabited at least from the late 10th c. onwards, while in the later a vast industrial quarter of the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. and other architectural remains and tombs of the LG through Archaic periods were revealed6. Unfortunately, the premature death of the excavator did not allow her neither to complete the excavation nor to publish the results.

  • 7 This study has progressed a lot and the publication will appear soon. On the other hand, the final (...)
  • 8 Four students of the History Dept. of the Ionian University participated in the 1996 excavation se (...)
  • 9 For the first preliminary report see A. Mazarakis Ainian, in B. Petrakos (ed.), Ergon 1996, pp. 27 (...)

2Some years ago, Dr. Petrakos kindly conceded me the right to publish the excavations at the O.T.E. and Ο.Σ.Κ. properties. In the recording of the material from the O.T.E. plot I have been assisted by Dr. I. Lemos, in view of the final publication7. The summer of 1996, under the auspices of the Greek Archaeological Society and with additional funds from the History Department of the Ionian University at Corfu, I conducted a complementary excavation at the School property8. The new excavations aim in understanding better Dragona’s excavation diaries, but also to continue work in those areas which had been left unexcavated9.

Fig. 1. Map of Oropos and surroundings. From Petrakos 1992, fig. 1.

Fig. 2. Map of Oropos in the EIA according to the author (cfr. Mazarakis Ainian 1997, fig. 74).

Fig. 3. O.T E. Metope skyphos of the Thapsos class. Scale 1:2.

O.T.E. plot

  • 10 They were started by L. Kranioti and taken over by A. Dragona in 1984.
  • 11 For the excavation of numerous tombs of the early 5th through Roman times, located on either side (...)

3The excavations at the O.T.E. plot (fig. 2, no. 3) lasted from 1983 to 1986, but the EIA levels were reached in 198510. More than 60 tombs of the Hellenistic to Late Roman periods were excavated. These were arranged on either side of an ancient road which presumably led to one of the gates of the fortification wall11. In the deeper layers an uncontaminated by the later burials level of the Late Protogeometric and Early Geometric periods was detected, and higher up there were significant traces of human occupation of the LG and Early Archaic periods.

4The excavations proved that the first phase of the road, encountered at a depth of 2,20 m beneath the surface, dates back to the LG period (fig. 3). Unfortunately, the occupation level of this period was disturbed by the later graves, and the finds consisted of LG and Subgeometric sherds, which were usually found in disturbed and mixed contexts. There were numerous skyphoi and kotylai with linear decoration, imitations of Corinthian LG and EPC kotylai, as well as several fragments of Thapsos class skyphoi. A substantial portion of the pottery points towards Euboea: often, the lip of skyphoi is decorated with dots and concentric circles or a net of lozenges, while among the finds there were also a few characteristic Eretrian sherds with applied white paint or cream slip. Monochrome one-handled cups are also common. Sherds from larger vessels, such as kraters and dinoi, oenochoes with sets of zigzags, and amphorae were also found. Some fragments decorated with sets of wavy vertical lines are definitely Subgeometric in style.

  • 12 The length of the western foundation is ca. 3 m, that of the southern just 0,80 m. The width of bo (...)
  • 13 From a depth of -2/-2, 10 beneath the unexcavated surface there was a level 0,10 m thick of stones (...)

5Two straight walls meeting at right angles in the southern and central part of the plot presumably belong to a roofed structure of the Geometric period12. Nearby, to the North-East, a deep round pit, ca. 1,05 m in diameter, was found. The interior which was ca. 2 m deep, was filled with alternating layers of earth and gravel, sherds, a few pieces of slag, charcoal and burnt olive pips. Pieces of burnt clay, perhaps from the lining or superstructure of a kiln, were also found13. The pottery inside the pit mostly dates in the LG and Subgeometric periods, though a few pieces belong to the LPG and SPG phases. A metope skyphos decorated with two antithetical birds belongs to the Thapsos class (fig. 4).

  • 14 Dragona, 19, pp. 56-57.
  • 15 See for instance X. Arapoyianni, in ArchDelt 34, 1979, Chronika, pp. 103-104 (Kabaniaris plot); A. (...)
  • 16 Up to the present day 13 properties at Nea Palatia have revealed tombs: X. Arapoyianni, in ArchDel (...)
  • 17 I thank Dr. Agallopoulou for allowing me to mention this find.

6The fragmentary character of the LG level, including that of the pit (non joining and severely worn sherds), and the contents of the pit, suggest that the area was not at that time a burial ground, but perhaps an industrial area. The pit, as Dragona rightly concluded, may be identified as a dump (apothetes)14. The pieces of slag and burnt clay fragments perhaps indicate the presence of a metal workshop in the vicinity. In that respect, it may be interesting to note that numerous pieces of slag were found at various levels of the ancient road. Small quantities of SPG and LG sherds were also encountered in the same subsequent levels. Therefore, it is possible to suggest that a portion of the slag belongs to the EIA levels, which were deeply disturbed by the later tombs. Additionally, in various building plots situated to the West of the O.T.E. plot, various potters’ workshops have been excavated, all, however, dated from Hellenistic times onwards15. On the other hand, it is today well established that the area was at least from the early 5th c. B.C. onwards the eastern necropolis of the town of Oropos16. Moreover, during a rescue excavation by P. Agallopoulou in 1991, in a property some 150 m to the East (Martigopoulos plot, fig. 2, no. 4), an intact Corinthianizing krater of the end of the 8th c. was found. The arduous circumstances of the excavation did not allow the excavator to re- cover information about the surrounding context, though the fact that it is intact suggests that it came from a tomb17.

Fig. 4. Ο.T.E. plot. Section through various street levels and LPG-SPG stratum. Drawing by N. Kalliontzis. See also Dragona, 12, 1985-86, p. 170.

  • 18 Obsidian tools were quite common in the EIA: see for instance C. N. Runnels,’Flaked-stone artefact (...)
  • 19 Lefkandi III, pls. 48. 8, 78. B2, 87. 18, 146c-d, from SPG II and SPG IIIa tomb contexts, respecti (...)

7In the western part of the O.T.E. plot, immediately beneath the LG level, starting from a depth of 2,60/2,70 m and continuing down to 3,40/3,90 m, an earlier homogeneous stratum with numerous smashed vases was encountered. Among the vases there were scattered stones, especially in the deeper layer, where the finds were more numerous. Immediately to the South there was a deep and wide level of sand and gravel with no finds, evidently marking the position of a stream or torrent, ca. 5,50 m wide, which flew from Northeast to Southwest. The fact that several vases were almost intact led Dragona to the tentative conclusion that they represent the contents of cremation (?) tombs which were destroyed by the violent waters of the torrent, and deposited on its right bank. A large proportion of the material consists of non joining sherds, which off course could be explained as the result of the action of the torrent. Yet, the large numbers of fragmentary handmade vases and other household utensils, the shapes of the wheel made vases represented or absent from the group, as well as the presence of numerous amphorae, point towards a domestic context. Moreover, among the finds from this level were a few obsidian tools18 and sea shells. Similar finds were also encountered in various disturbed and unstratified contexts. More unusual is a bronze grater from a disturbed layer, comparable to those, which occur in tombs at Lefkandi19. Thus, until the completion of the study of the material and the assessment of all the available information of the excavation diaries it would be preferable to leave the question of the nature of the LPG-SPG stratum open, though the most likely tentative conclusion is that the context is domestic and represents the contents of one or more houses which were shattered by a sudden and destructive flood of the torrent. This idea would provide an adequate explanation both for the numerous stones which lay in between the smashed vases and the fact that a significant proportion of the material represents broken but almost complete vases.

Fig. 5. O.T.E. 1. Circles skyphos. 2-3. PSC skyphoi. 4. PSC plate. 5-6. Shallow. 7-8. Cups. 9. Atticizing EG cup. Scale 1:2.

The LPG-SPG pottery20

  • 20 Irene Lemos has read a draft of this section and made several useful comments.

8The clay of this early group of vases varies from pinkish to buff. Usually it contains little specs of mica. The clay also contains inclusions of flecks of white chalk. A buff or pale yellowish slip often covers the unglazed parts of the vases.

Open shapes

  • 21 Lefkandi I, p. 300.
  • 22 Lefkandi I, pp. 299 f.; see however now Lefkandi III, pl. 64:1 (T 59), and also the pedestalled sk (...)
  • 23 Tiny specks of mica are often found in the clay of the PSC skyphoi from Lefkandi and Chalcis, but (...)
  • 24 Lefkandi I, p. 300-301. Kearsley 1989, p. 90, Type 2 (b), pp. 126 ff.
  • 25 It appears, however, to have been more popular on the settlement deposits on Xeropolis and in the (...)

9The two most common categories are the circles and pendent semicircles (PSC) skyphos, though from the amount of the recovered material, it would seem that the PSC skyphoi, as at Lefkandi, slightly preponderate in numbers21. The circles skyphoi have two almost tangential sets of concentric circles in the handle zone (fig. 5. 1). The gently outcurving lip is practically always decorated with two bands, with a reserved band inside the lip. They all have a ring base. The circles skyphos is practically absent from tombs at Lefkandi22. The pendent semicircles skyphoi (fig. 5.2-3) have a surface coated with a buff slip and the fabric sometimes contains a few specks of mica23. They too have ring bases. The lip is everted and slightly offset and usually high (1,5-2,2 cm), though in a few examples it is shorter (1,2-1,4 cm). It is always covered with glaze, and a reserved band runs in the interior. The semicircles as a rule intersect. Sometime we observe a reserved circle at the bottom of the vase. The type is consistent with a dating in the SPG I-II phase24. At Lefkandi the type is common in both the settlement deposits and the tombs25.

  • 26 In general see Popham-Calligas-Sackett 1988/89, pp. 119 f., fig. 6c-d; M. Popham,’Precolonization: (...)

10Several joining sherds and a single sherd belong to two deep plates decorated with two sets of pendent semicircles, which do not intersect (fig. 5.4). These are rather clumsy versions of the more elegant and larger plate identified at Lefkandi, Cyprus and other sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. The plates from the Toumba cemetery at Lefkandi, have been dated between ca. 900 and 825 B.C. (transitional LPG/ SPG I through SPG IIIa), a date which fits with the Oropos context. The evolution of this category of vase is not yet well established, but the lower chronological limit must not be later than 800 B.C26.

Fig. 6. O.T.E. 1. Athenian circles skyphos. 2. Athenian EG kantharos. 3. Oenochoe. 4. Jug. Scale 1:2.

  • 27 Lefkandi III, pls. 87 n. 12, 103.

11The closest parallel is from Pyre 14, no 16 from the Toumba cemetery, dated in the SPG IIIa phase, which however is larger and more shallow than ours27.

Fig. 7. Ο.T.E. 1. Krater. 2. Amphora. Scale 1:2.

  • 28 Lefkandi I, pp. 290, note 57 at p. 394, and p. 303, fig. 9C, pls. 28 (nn. 70/P3 and P4), 34.4, 35. (...)
  • 29 Lefkandi I, pp. 289, 295 (Type V), pl. 265c (SPG I-II); Lefkandi III, pls. 38, 52, 53, 60, 62, 74 (...)

12There are also a few shallow bowls with strap handles and a flat base. Some are decorated with rough zigzags in a reserved band between the handles (fig. 5. 5), others with a simple banded panel (one or two horizontal reserved bands between the handles, fig. 5. 6), and exceptionally, with opposed diagonals. The type with flat base first appeared at Lefkandi in the SPG II/III period with examples from both the settlement and the cemeteries28. An interesting detail is that there the shape is almost exclusively confined to the settlement (see however previous note). One handled monochrome cups with a flat base are also fairly common (fig. 5.7-8). They presumably belong to the SPG phase29.

  • 30 Lefkandi I, p. 340, n. 394, pl. 19, nn. 337, 353, 355.

13Some kraters and fewer dinoi, decorated with sets of opposed diagonals on the belly with the multiple brush, in the zone between the handles were also found. Sets of parallel bars decorate the flat upper lip surface. The best preserved vase, here fig. 7.1, must be SPG II-III30. A base of another krater is pierced with a hole, but it has not been established yet whether this was intentional.

  • 31 Desborough 1952, pp. 80 f., pl. 10 (n. 2023) = Type I; idem, The Greek Dark Ages, London 1972, p. (...)
  • 32 Coldstream 1968, pl. 2c; Coldstream 1977, 28 (concerning the ring foot); Lefkandi I, pl. 112 (n. P (...)
  • 33 Cfr. Coldstream 1968, pl. lb; Coldstream 1977, p. 27, fig. 1b.
  • 34 Cfr. N. Verdelis, ‘O Πρωτογεωμετρικός ρυθμός τῆς Θεσσαλίας, Athens 1958, pl. 11, nn. 86-87.

14Imports were rare among the finds. One is a skyphos with only slightly everted lip and decorated with three sets of concentric circles (fig. 6. 1). The zigzag below the lip is a typical feature of the Athenian examples which was introduced in MPG and remained the most popular type of skyphos to the very end of the LPG period31. Two more vases though in a typical Athenian style might be the product of a peripheral Attic workshop or Oropian imitations since their clay has chalk inclusions, typical of the local fabric. One is an EG II cup, decorated with a meander and flanked with warts (fig. 5.9). It has a flat base, while Athenian examples have a ring foot32. The second vase is a kantharos, with a panel decorated with a battlement, barley recognizable, dated in the EG I period (fig. 5.9)33. One or two large cups are decorated with sets of vertical lines in the reserved band, made with the multiple brush. The type, according to I. Lemos, is probably an imitation of analogous Thessalian cups34.

Closed shapes

  • 35 Lefkandi I, p. 319, fig. 15G on p. 317, pls. 179 and 181 (Toumba 22. 1 and 25. 1, respectively).
  • 36 Was this a defected vase, which was fired as an experiment, or did it have some kind of ceremonial (...)

15Only one trefoil oenochoe of the squat globular type was found (fig. 6.3). It is covered all over with brown-orange glaze, with the exception of a horizontal reserved band running around the belly. The handle is barred. The type was introduced at Lefkandi during the PG period but the squat globular type, as our example, appeared at the end of the LPG and the beginning of the SPG I period35. A puzzling detail is that the example from Oropos has been cut horizontally in the middle, before firing36.

  • 37 Lefkandi I, pp. 337f., fig. 19D, pls. 28 and 35. Cfr. also Lefkandi III, pl. 81, n. 47, dated in S (...)

16A neck handled small-medium sized dark ground amphora, is fairly well preserved (fig. 7.2). The zone around the belly is decorated with opposed diagonals with unfilled interstices. The upper part of the vase is missing but the lower part of the neck which is preserved suggests that the rest of the vase was monochrome. The preserved handle is barred. The type at Lefkandi appears in SPG I and remains common through SPG IIIa, both in the cemeteries and the settlement. In Attic terms these vases cannot be dated later than MG I37.

  • 38 Lefkandi I, p. 324, pls. 131. 2, 132.3,4,7. Cfr. also Lefkandi III, pl. 59. 1, dated in SPG I-II.

17There were also a few examples of the small tall one-handled cylindrical jug. These are monochrome with a reserved horizontal band on the belly (fig. 6.4). This type of jug is typical at Lefkandi, probably a product of the local potters, introduced in SPG I38.

18The remaining numerous sherds belong to large and fewer small closed vases, mostly amphorae and possibly hydriae. Those of the dark ground technique are decorated with opposed diagonals with unfilled interstices on the belly, a system of decoration typical in the SPG period. Other fragments belong to vases of the light ground technique and are decorated with concentric circles or semicircles on the shoulder and the belly, while horizontal bands usually decorate the neck. Belly handled and neck handled types are represented. The vertical handles are usually decorated with intersecting diagonals.

Coarse ware

  • 39 Lefkandi III, pls. 38, 108, n. 38.13.
  • 40 Lefkandi II:1, p. 131, pl. 75, nn. 812-823.

19Handmade vases (one handled jugs, chytrai, lekanai, plates, trays) were also plentiful. There were also a few fragments of coarse tripod stands, presumably from cooking pots similar to the example from Tomb 38 at Toumba, where the type has been assigned to the SPG II-IIIa phase39. However, analogous earlier stands were found in the fill of the Toumba building too40. A handful of sherds have incised decoration. Numerous fragments belong to an unidentified utensil of badly fired clay, perhaps a pithos.

  • 41 A few PSC skyphoi have a low lip, while some other classes of vases, such as the PSC plate or the (...)
  • 42 For the refining of the SPG III phase at Lefkandi into IIIa and IIIb see Lefkandi III, p. vii.
  • 43 See for instance I. S. Lemos - H. Hatcher, ‘Protogeometric Skyros and Euboea’, in OJA 5, 1986, pp. (...)

20In conclusion, it becomes apparent that the earliest pottery from the O.T.E. plot dates from the end of the 10th c. down to at least the middle of the 9th, and belongs to the Euboean koine, of the style known as SPG I-II, though a portion of the material may extend back into the LPG and also into the SPG III phases41. Thus, the first obvious conclusion is that Oropos shows strong connections with Euboea, and Lefkandi in particular, already from the end of the PG period. The effect of the Attic style is minimal and since the fabric is homogeneous it must be the product of a local workshop. It may be interesting to note that the latest SPG material from the O.T.E. plot appears to be contemporary with the SPG IIIa phase at Lefkandi which represents the period immediately before the abandonment of the known cemeteries at the latter site (ca. 825 B.C.)42. At Oropos, as at Lefkandi and Skyros43, we could tentatively argue that there was a disruption towards the end of the 9th c., as inferred by the break in the ceramic sequence. The area was subsequently abandoned and reoccupied in the LG period.

Fig. 8. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. General topographical plan. I: Sector E. II: Main area (industrial quarter) (Plan by N. Kalliontzis).

Fig. 9. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Plan of a portion of Sector E (Plan by N. Kalliontzis).

Fig. 10. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Plan of the main sector (industrial quarter) (Plan by N. Kalliontzis).

Ο.Σ.Κ. (School property)

  • 44 The Arabic numbers of the walls and the letters of the alphabet which were used by Dragona to desi (...)

21Some 600 m West of the O.T.E. plot, Aliki Dragona excavated between 1985 and 1987 a vast area which yielded evidence for occupation from the mid 8th c. down to the Archaic period (fig. 8). The excavation was divided into several sectors. In the westernmost, Sector E (far left on the plan, fig. 8), a street, a house, a long apsidal structure and a large peribolos were unearthed, ranging in date from the Late Geometric to the Late Archaic period. In the East Sector, i. e. the actual School property, a vast industrial quarter and tombs of the Late Geometric through Early Archaic periods was revealed (fig. 8, centre and right)44.

1. Western quarter (sector E) (fig. 9)

Periboloi

  • 45 On the plan it appears to be parallel with the apsidal foundation (wall 34) but it is founded at a (...)
  • 46 Cfr. B. Sparkes - L. Talcott, Black and plain pottery of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., Princeton (...)

22The latest structures in Sector E occupy the Northwest and Southeast sides of the excavated area. In the former area a wall (35) almost 60 m long was partly revealed. The two preserved corners suggest that it was a peribolos enclosing some important public or religious area which extended towards the West. From the sherds which I have been able to examine so far, it appears to date in the late (?) Archaic period45. In the latter area two periboloi were partly investigated (38, 39). Judging by the depth in which they are founded, wall 38 is earlier than 39. Associated with the latter was a lekane with banded decoration of the 6th c. B.C46.

Street (fig. 10)

23A street of the Archaic period bordered on either side by retaining walls (6-7) was revealed to a length of 35 meters. The actual road is 2,30-2,50 m wide and follows a North-South direction. The excavator mentions two LG sherds from the foundation trench of the western retaining wall (6), but these may simply provide a terminus post quem for the date of the first phase of the road. Wall 6 passed out of use earlier than the eastern one (7). To the East of the street several sandy layers point towards the existence of a stream or torrent in the area.

Rectangular house A-Δ (fig. 11)

24Just to the West of the street a rectangular house was found. The street was at a higher level and access from the house was gained via a clay ramp. The house was not entirely preserved but it seems that in its final phase it consisted of three roughly square rooms (Α-Γ) opening towards the South onto a court (A); originally, it seems that it consisted of only two rooms (Β-Γ) and a common courtyard (Δ). The overall dimensions of the original building would have been ca. 9 by 9,20 m. Thus, during both building phases the plan was that of an early pastas house. In the Southwest corner of the eastern room (Γ), resting on the last floor, there was a clay bath tub; in the centre of the room the lower part of a coarse vase which contained ashes was found. In the Northeast corner there was a hearth which appears to have been in use during an earlier phase. In the Southwest corner of the middle room (B), associated with the latest floor, there was a roughly square stone bench. The finds from the building are basically domestic in character: fine and coarse wares were equally represented and among the small clay finds we may note loom weights and spindle whorls, a dice, a spoon, etc. Several iron tools and a stone anvil were also found. On the present evidence it would not be unjustified to identify the complex with the house of a metalworker. The exact date of construction of the house has not been fixed yet, though the excavator was of the opinion that it was built around 700 B.C. The majority of the pottery, according to Dragona, dates in the 7th c. century. Black figure pottery was associated with the destruction layer.

Fig. 11. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Street and pastas house of the Archaic period. View from the East (Photo A. Dragon).

Apsidal structure 34

  • 47 The pottery found in immediate contact with the stone foundation was LG. The fill above the struct (...)

25To the Northeast of the Archaic house the remains of a monumental apsidal structure came to light (wall 34). It is almost 35 meters long and oriented roughly North-South (the apse at the North). By observing the plans and photographs it is clear that the wall, which is 0,45 m wide, has two faces. The West wall, however, was not found, despite the fact that a deep trial trench was dug across the presumed width of the building. Another deep trench was dug at the West extremity of the apse but no traces of its continuation were recovered either. The exact date of the construction of the long apsidal structure, as well as that of its destruction cannot be fixed until the pottery is fully studied. The long wall passes beneath the West retaining wall of the street and therefore is earlier in date. The sherds that I have been able to examine so far seem to support a dating in the LG period47. It is not clear whether the long wall belongs to a building, in which case one would be tempted to identify it with an apsidal hekatompedon. However, the failure to reveal the West side of the structure, as well as the apparent absence of votives, should incite caution. Indeed, no significant finds were collected during the excavation of this structure, but again this is not a safe argument since the interior of the building was practically left unexcavated. Moreover, the ruins of the long apsidal wall were covered by a sandy layer, indicating a destruction by flooding, like the area further to the East. It is thus more prudent at this stage to identify the structure as a peribolos or retaining wall bordering the West side of a river bed or street.

Fig. 12. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. General view of the industrial quarter from the West, as excavated up to 1985 (Photo A. Dragona).

Fig. 13. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Buildings Β-Γ and Δ (Aerial photo A. Dragona).

Fig. 14. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Building A (Aerial photo A. Dragona).

2. East or main sector (School buildings I and IV) (figs. 10; 12)

ARCHITECTURE

  • 48 Cfr. pp. 196, 201-202.

26Approximately 40 meters to the East of Sector E, an extensive industrial quarter of the LG and EA periods was excavated. Buildings of all types (apsidal, oval, circular and rectangular), representing no less than 6 building phases, were identified. Thus, the actual state plan of the ruins may be misleading, since all the buildings did not coexist at the same time. From the pottery it would seem that the earliest were built during the LG period, while the latest buildings were abandoned well into the 7th. As at Eretria, most of the edifices face towards the South, though the circular buildings open towards the West and some of the earlier curvilinear buildings follow an East-West direction. The building technique is impressive, especially from the early 7th c. B.C. onwards, at which time dressed polygonal masonry becomes the norm. The walls consist of a stone socle and a mud brick superstructure. However, the lower part of the stone socle was invisible, i.e. it represents a foundation beneath the floor. The pebbles and small slabs which were used in order to even the surface of the socles for the placement of the mud brick superstructure have been remarkably preserved. The state of preservation of the mud bricks in certain places is also excellent. The entrance of several buildings was provided with a stone threshold. This was presumably due to the need to protect the buildings from flooding. It seems that the floods were becoming more and more destructive during the 7th c. and finally the site had to be abandoned. A remarkable feature of some oval buildings is that they were surrounded by a peristyle of wooden posts48. Various peribolos walls separate the area into quarters, and presumably protected the buildings from the river overflows.

Building A (fig. 14)

  • 49 In the preliminary description of this building (Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 100 f.) I suggested th (...)

27Building A (walls 12-13) was a horseshoe-shaped structure measuring 7 by 4,60 m. The inner face of the foundation is built in the polygonal manner with upright slabs, while the outer face consists of larger roughly dressed stones. The wall, which on the plan seems like a threshold (18) presumably belongs to an earlier building phase. Around the building, at intervals of ca. 3 m, six or seven post holes surrounded by a stone packing were detected. The distance of each post hole regarding the elliptical stone socle varies from 0,80-1 m. These belong to a “stoa” or “peristyle”. In the interior, several round pits where detected at various floor levels. Judging by the discovery inside the pits of smithing bottoms, these may be safely identified as smithing hearths for iron. Numerous pieces of slag were associated with the four successive floors, as well as a few obsidian tools49. The chronology of the building is still uncertain. Among the associated finds there is plenty LG material, but the polygonal masonry cannot be dated earlier than the 7th. Consequently, we may tentatively suggest that the building underwent several modifications during its period of use, which are reflected in its rather asymmetrical plan.

Building Β-Γ (fig. 13)

  • 50 Cfr. also a similar assemblage XXXIV above the apse of Building IA, infra p. 207.

28Immediately to the East lay a large oval structure, Building Β (walls 15, 17) measuring 8,50 by 4,60 m. It was also oriented towards the South and provided with an entrance ca. 2 m wide. Here too at least three building periods were observed: this is inferred by the two or perhaps three successive floor levels but also by the stone socle which presents two different masonry styles, an earlier with smaller rounded stones and a later one with larger roughly dressed blocks. Two post holes similar to those associated with Building A were identified around the edifice, at the Southeast side and North of the apse, at a distance of 60 cm. A third possible post hole was identified almost in contact with the Southwest extremity of the entrance, against wall 15. A stone paving in the central part of the edifice is associated with the first building period. Two hearths were identified, one earlier rectangular lined with mud bricks which was set against the apse, and a later one, circular, approximately in the middle of the North part of the edifice. During the final phase it seems that the building was converted into an apsidal structure which served as an enclosure in the open air in which industrial activities were taking place (Structure Γ). A stone foundation (16), partly overlapping the West wall of the original building belongs to this final phase. It is not established yet whether wall 16 represents a bench, a peribolos or, less likely, the socle of a roofed structure. A double pottery kiln (β), associated with the last period of use of the area, was found in the South half of the building. Among the finds associated with Building Β-Γ were pieces of slag and iron tools, a small bronze disc pierced with two suspension holes, perhaps a balance, a bone tool with traces of lead on it, and a few loom weights, spindle whorls and clay balls. Near the apse, at a slightly higher level, there was a pile of stones and one upright stone (VIII), reminding a sema.50.

Building A (fig. 13, right)

  • 51 If this hypothesis is retained, then the western extremity of wall 19 should be regarded as the we (...)
  • 52 In this eventuality, three sections of straight walls South of Building E and West of the peribolo (...)

29Another curvilinear building, Δ, lay further to the East, but its state of preservation is fragmentary. To this structure belongs a curved wall (24) but it is not clear yet whether we should restore an oval building oriented from North to South51, or an apsidal building turned towards the East52. If the former restoration is retained then the traces of a rough stone paving preserved West of the apse of Building E may represent the floor of the oval building. Since Building Β-Γ appears to have destroyed wall 24, it follows that Building Δ was earlier and no longer standing when Β-Γ was built. Numerous pieces of slag were also associated with the use of this area. The sherds which were collected during the dismantlement of wall 24 were LG.

Building E

  • 53 It continues beneath the rectangular peribolos, and Round Building ΣΤ. It therefore seems that it (...)

30Nearby, there is another oval building, E (wall 22), which, judging by the stratigraphy, must be among the earliest within the industrial quarter, though perhaps later than Δ. This is one of the few buildings which follow an East-West orientation. It measures ca. 6 by 4 m. A portion of the northern wall (21) is later stratigraphically and appears to represent a peribolos contemporary with the eastern part of wall 19 and wall 23. The burnt areas and the pieces of slag found inside Building E tentatively suggest that this too was connected with metalworking53.

Building IB

31A few meters to the Southeast two parallel curved walls (52) were revealed; these may either represent an oval (?) building with a bench, or the traces left by two successive curvilinear buildings which were destroyed by the Southeast corner of the rectangular enclosure wall 27/32.

Rectangular peribolos (walls 23, 26-1, 27, 32, 61) (fig. 17. Cfr. also fig. 15)

  • 54 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, p. 104, fig. 105 (wall 1).
  • 55 The right (?) bank was presumably bordered at the East by another wall (50). Wall 54 which is para (...)

32In the Eastern part of the excavated area a roughly square peribolos wall (walls 27, 32, 23 and 61, max. dim. 14,50x17,50 m) enclosed several buildings. The location of the entrance is not yet ascertained, though the more plausible assumption is that initially it may have been in the Southwest corner. The entrance was subsequently blocked by an oblique wall (26-1). Presumably at the same moment a monumental entrance 5 m wide, consisting of horizontal slabs, was opened in the middle of the West side of the peribolos (cfr. fig. 17, down right). At that stage Building IA was no longer standing. A secondary entrance may have also existed in the middle of the northern side, which has not been fully excavated yet. The North and East sides of the peribolos were lined by a stone packing, presumably to provide protection from the surrounding marsh. The East and South sections of the wall are much thicker (0,70 instead of 0,40 m of the North and West sides). Furthermore, the East side consists of two independent structures separated by a narrow gap, presumably a drain. A similar but wider gap is observed in the Northeast corner of the enclosure (junction of walls 32 and 61). This feature can also be observed in the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephoros at Eretria54. Presumably the river or torrent passed immediately to the East of the peribolos55. Thus the peribolos must have had a double function: it protected the enclosed structures from flooding and delimited the space in which various buildings were arranged.

Building I and Peribolos 60 (fig. 17, right)

  • 56 Cfr. note 54.

33Two curved walls at the Western side of the enclosed area belong to two superimposed oval buildings facing South which were partly excavated in 1996. Building I (wall 55) continues beneath the peribolos wall and therefore is earlier. A curved peribolos (60), with drains at regular intervals, bordered this structure at the north-northeast56. The edifice measures 7,60 by 4,50 m. A post hole surrounded by a stone packing which was detected at a distance of 0,45 m from the western anta perhaps represents all that remains of a peristyle similar to those surrounding Buildings A and Β-Γ; strictly speaking, however, its position does not preclude that it was a vertical post set against the interior face of the peribolos wall (23) which seems to have been provided with a mud brick superstructure up to a certain height. The stone threshold (56) of the entrance, which was 1,60 m wide, appears contemporary with the outer socle. Approximately in the middle of the oval building there was a rectangular stone bordered at the South and West by a pebbled floor. All around, especially towards the centre of the edifice, the clay floor was strewn with clean ashes and charcoal, suggesting the presence of a hearth or metallurgical (?) kiln. Thus, the assemblage could be interpreted as a working area, though we cannot exclude at present that the rectangular stone served as a post base. The function of Building I is not yet ascertained, though one smithing hearth bottom which was found near the entrance and the extensive central area with the ashes hint yet another workshop. The edifice appears to have been used for a rather short period and to have suffered a violent destruction, perhaps due to an inundation. Two almost complete but smashed LG skyphoi were found lying on the clay floor near the back wall.

Building IA (fig. 17, right)

  • 57 The 1997 excavation season confirmed this assumption since a round building (ΙΔ), perhaps a potter (...)
  • 58 The largest part of this hearth remains unexcavated since it lies beneath the two unexcavated bulk (...)

34Building I was replaced by a similar in shape, size and orientation edifice, IA (wall 57). The apse of this edifice destroyed another curvilinear building (wall 68), which seems to represent an intermediate phase between I and IA57. Two flat stone slabs on the outside southern part of the edifice may represent bases for wooden posts. The entrance was 1,80 m wide and closed by a stone threshold (62) which may represent an addition to the original structure. The building was intensively used for several decades, as suggested both by the finds and the numerous floors, which consist of reddish earth alternating with thin layers of clean ash. At places the ash deposits were thicker. The thickest deposit of ash was situated approximately in the middle of the edifice, indicating the existence of a large hearth or kiln(s)58. The interesting feature is the fact that the successive floors were detected in the central part of the building, while on all sides there was a peripheral strip of hard clayish red earth, approximately 0,80 m wide. Among the finds, especially from the peripheral strip where these were more numerous, one can mention loom weights and spindle whorls, clay balls, and a few metal objects. Small pieces of slag and two stone anvils were also found. The latter finds and the successive layers of ash allow the tentative conclusion that this edifice too was primarily associated with metalworking.

Building Θ (fig. 17 left)

  • 59 In a trench which was dug between the East wall of Building Θ and the peribolos, just North of H, (...)
  • 60 See p. 215.

35Building Θ is the largest structure not only inside the rectangular peribolos but also within the entire industrial quarter. The old excavations were suspended when work reached the surface of the walls. In 1996 we continued and almost completed the excavation of the interior. It was initially an oval building, subsequently transformed into apsidal. During a third building period, the plan became oval once more. However, beneath the southern part of the edifice an earlier floor level was encountered, hinting the existence of an earlier structure in the area59. The first oval building (Θ1) measured 9,80 by 4,70 m and had a stone socle half a meter high. The stone threshold at the entrance (63) may belong to this phase, though this has not been ascertained yet. Against the interior face of the wall there appear to have been vertical wooden posts resting on slabs. Unlike the other oval buildings already described, this one was divided into two roughly equal chambers by a cross wall (59) with an entrance 1,40 m wide. The mud bricks of the cross wall were fairly well preserved to a height of five courses. In the back chamber, an impressive stone bench 1 m wide and 0,53 m high ran along the interior face of the foundation. Its unusual shape (the West arm of the bench is shorter) reminds us of the similar bench in the apsidal chamber of a ruler’s house at Lathouriza in Vari, dated around 700 B.C.60. During the second building period (Θ2) a rectangular compartment was added at the South. Thus, the edifice became apsidal and its length was enlarged to 12 m. Three large stone blocks near the SW corner suggest that the entrance was no longer axial but facing West, instead. The position of the entrance may have been conditioned by a rectangular chamber, Z, which was presumably built at the same time just to the South of Building Θ, leaving a narrow corridor in between. During the third and final period (Θ3) the edifice was converted once more into oval. A stone foundation, ranging in width between 0,40-0,45 m and 0,30 m high was placed immediately on top of the base of the first oval structure, a fact which proves that the mud brick superstructure was totally removed and replaced. The bench and the cross wall remained in use during this period as well.

Fig. 15. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Buildings Η and Ζ, and Southeast corner of peribolos (Aerial photo A. Dragona).

Fig. 16. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Buildings Ζ and ΣΤ (Aerial photo A. Dragona).

Fig. 17. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Rectangular peribolos and buildings I-IA (right) and Θ (left). In the background buildings Ε, ΣΤ, Ζ and H. View from the North (Photo A. Mazarakis Ainian, 1997).

36The preliminary study of the pottery indicates that the building was constructed towards the end of the 8th c. and remained in use well into the 7th. Unlike the neighbouring oval buildings, the architectural details and the finds indicate that this one was not directly connected with metalworking activities. Several vases of fine ware were recovered from the three occupation levels: the majority was associated with drinking, including decorated kraters, though some small jugs and lekythoi were also found. On the other hand, coarse household vases for cooking and storage were also plentiful. An interesting feature is the discovery of at least two crude lamps of a very primitive type inside the central room (fig. 29), where there was also evidence for a central pit hearth. These may be classified among the earliest Iron Age lamps which have been found on Greek soil. The same room also yielded two bronze pins, while a bronze Caucasian bell-pendant was found lying on the bench. Such finds, indeed, usually occur in sacred contexts. Building Θ was seemingly the most important building within the industrial complex and its function will be elucidated after the 1997 excavation season and the study of the finds. The idea that it was a religious structure cannot be dismissed, but a ruler’s house or an assembly hall appear at present as better alternatives. One could even suggest that it served as the headquarters of the person who supervised the work in the industrial quarter. Indeed, this edifice must be examined in conjunction with the other contemporary edifices within the square peribolos, that is to say oval Building IA, rectangular chamber Ζ and the two round buildings, ΣΤ and H.

Building Ζ (figs. 15-16)

  • 61 The reason for the presence of so many shells in the bowl has not been established yet. It may be (...)

37The North and East sides of Building Ζ consisted of two walls, 3,80 and 2,50 m long, respectively. The southern side was bordered by peribolos wall 27 and the western by the curved eastern side of Tholos ΣΤ. The location of the entrance is for the time being unknown. A long rectangular dressed stone was set against the outer face of the tholos. The idea that it may represent a step for a doorway which led into the adjacent round building cannot be demonstrated yet. In the alcove of the Southwest corner the lower part of a large handmade lekane, containing numerous sea shells, was found in situ61. The fact that fragments belonging to the same vase were found inside the tholos supports the idea that access to chamber Ζ was gained via the tholos. The layout and the masonry strongly suggest that chamber Ζ was built simultaneously with the second phase of Building Θ. Moreover, the manner in which the North wall butts on the socle of the tholos indicates that Building ΣΤ was already in use when Ζ was erected. The function of the rectangular room has not been established yet, though it is normal to assume that it fulfilled needs in connection with Buildings Θ and ΣΤ. Only one floor was noted, though the excavation of this unit was not completed. Among the small finds we may note loom weights and spindle whorls, clay balls, and a bead of red serpentine engraved with a bird. The excavation of this unit will continue in 1997.

Building ΣΤ (fig. 16)

  • 62 The excavator notes that the surface of the central pit (Pit 2) is level with the floor: Dragona, (...)
  • 63 Photographs of the scarab were forwarded to the two specialists by I. Lemos: according to Dr. H. W (...)

38Building ΣΤ is the earliest of the two round buildings detected as yet and presumably was built at the same time as Buildings Θ and IA. It consists of a circular foundation 3,85 m in diameter. Three large river stones formed a rectangular free-standing bench near the North side. The entrance, which was 0,70 m wide, was situated at the West side. Immediately beneath the clay floor the area was uneven and showed signs of burning. Several cavities full with ashes, charcoal and earth were noted62. One small pit almost in contact with the North face of the wall contained a clay spindlewhorl, a blade and a flake of obsidian, olive pips, pieces of slag, charcoal and animal bones. Thus, it is not clear from the excavation diary whether these pits should be associated with the last period of use of the round building, or with a preceding phase. At least one pit, however, which lay approximately in the centre of the building, must be contemporary with the final phase. It was full of ashes and charcoal and contained a few sherds, fragments of a lead object, and four pyramidal clay loom weights. On the floor, among other finds, were collected a fragment belonging to a crude clay stand, part of a terracotta bird figurine and an Egyptianizing scarab of faience63.

39The exact function of the circular building cannot be determined at present. The pits point towards some sort of industrial activities, perhaps associated with metalworking. These, however, judging by the excavator’s remarks, seem to represent an earlier phase, prior to the construction of the bench. Another puzzling feature is the presence inside the pits of animal bones and finds such as loom weights and spindle whorls/which cannot receive a satisfactory explanation in case we opt for this possibility. On the other hand, the presence on the last floor of finds such as the scarab and the figurine imply a religious function of the edifice. The free-standing bench could be either a working stand or, more likely, a cult bench. One could perhaps suggest that Building ΣΤ was a small shrine within the industrial quarter. However, no final decision can be reached before the completion of the excavation of this area, which has been scheduled for 1997.

Building H (fig. 15)

40Building H consists of a rather flimsy circular foundation, roughly 2,15 m in diameter. The entrance (0,70 m wide) was also situated at the West. The interior has been left practically unexcavated but the fill consisted of ashes and numerous burnt olive pips. This edifice was founded on a stratum which covered the front room of apsidal Building Θ and round Building ΣΤ and therefore should be considered later. The pottery from the floor is not very diagnostic, but some finds definitely date in the early Archaic period (7th c.). We could provisionally suggest that Building Η is contemporary with the final oval phase of Building Θ, or later.

41The function of Building Η is still uncertain, though it seems logical to assume that it served profane uses. The nature of the fill hints that we are dealing with a potter’s (?) kiln. The continuation of the excavation of this building in 1997 will presumably settle this issue too.

Various periboloi and miscellaneous walls (fig. 11)

  • 64 Cfr. p. 194.
  • 65 Supra p. 191.
  • 66 Cfr. p. 195.

42Numerous rectilinear foundations seen on the plan represent peribolos walls. These may be assigned to various building phases which, however, cannot be discussed in the present study. Among the earliest, according to the stratigraphy, are walls 40-44 between Buildings A and Β-Γ. Walls 45-47 may belong to another peribolos of the first building period too. Wall 18 (fig. 14) appears to have been contemporary with the above mentioned64. On the other hand, wall 14 (fig. 14) was presumably built when Building A was no longer standing. Wall 48 may have been related to wall 38 in Sector E65. Wall 25, which is apparently quite early, is curved and could represent the only traces left by a curvilinear building. Wall 51, to the South of Building Δ, may have belonged to a building which extended towards the West. Walls 19 and 21, as noted previously66, present at least two building phases. In the last phase they presumably enclosed the space between Building Β-Γ and the large rectangular peribolos further East. Likewise, wall 26 which follows an indented trace presents at least two building phases. The long oblique wall 20 appears to have bordered the right bank of a torrent. A similar function can be supposed for wall 50 at the eastern edge of the excavated area. Thus, it would seem that the area just to the North of the large rectangular peribolos 23/27/ 32/61 represents the junction of two torrents. Wall 54, however, may represent the entrance of a building, the roofed part of which would have been situated towards the West. The use of wall 53, which was destroyed by the child burial XXII is uncertain.

GENERAL REMARKS ON THE ARCHITECTURE

  • 67 In general Mazarakis Ainian 1987, passim·, idem 1997, figs. 105, 108-119.
  • 68 Lefkandi I, pp. 14f., 23f. ; Mazarakis Ainian 1987, p. 17, fig. 11; 1997, p. 105, fig. 97.
  • 69 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 43 f. (Poseidi), 48-63, 95 f. (Lefkandi Toumba, Eretria), 102-107 (Eret (...)
  • 70 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 46 f. (Paralimni), 86-89 (Areopagus, Tourkovounia), 95 (Aulis), 96 (Ele (...)
  • 71 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 112 f.
  • 72 Lauter 1985; Seller 1986, pp. 7-24; A. Mazarakis Ainian, Άαθούριζα: Συμβολή στη μελέτη ενός οιϰισμ (...)
  • 73 H. Lauter, Der Kultplatz auf dem Turkovuni, (AM 12. Beiheft), 1985.
  • 74 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 114-124.
  • 75 In general see Seiler 1986.
  • 76 Lefkandi I, pp. 15 f., 23, 24 f.
  • 77 Lauter 1985.
  • 78 M. K. Langdon, A sanctuary of Zeus on Mount Hymettos, (Hesperia Suppl. 16), 1976, esp. pp. 1, 51.
  • 79 W. Heider-A. Mallwitz, Das Kahirenheiligtum bei Theben II, Berlin 1978, pp. 44-47 and 38-40. See a (...)
  • 80 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 114-124, with references.
  • 81 In general on round buildings inside sanctuaries see Cooper- Morris 1990, pp. 66-85.
  • 82 During the 1997 excavation season two further round buildings were found in the northern area of t (...)
  • 83 Thorikos: J. Servais, in Thorikos II, 1964, Bruxelles 1967, pp. 25-34; idem, in Thorikos III, 1965 (...)

43The LG-EA buildings at Oropos are quite similar to those from Eretria67 and Xeropolis/Lefkandi68. The oval and apsidal plans, indeed, were deeply rooted in Euboea and the opposite coast, as well as in the areas where Euboean presence was strong69. These plans, however, were also common in Attica and Boeotia during the Geometric period70. The excavations at Oropos have proven that curvilinear buildings, especially oval, were still popular in the 7th c.71, something which had been suspected for Eretria, but also for various Attic sites (Lathouriza,72 Tourkovounia73). The round plan, which is quite rare in the EIA74 is well documented in the neighbouring geographical areas75 such structures dated from Geometric through Archaic times have been excavated at Xeropolis76, Lathouriza,77, Mt. Hymettos78, and the Kabeirion near Thebes79. The function of the round buildings at Oropos is for the time being uncertain, but it is hoped that the closer study of the material and the continuation of the excavation in 1997 will solve this issue. The location of the circular buildings of Oropos also allows a comparison with the enigmatic “Tholos” in Odysseus’ palace (Od. XXII, 442, 459, 466). Round buildings in the EIA are often identified as silos, as for instance the round models from Attica and Ano Mazaraki, the round platforms at Xeropolis / Lefkandi, a round room in the chief’s house at Lathouriza (Room III) and the partly subterranean silos of Old Smyrna80. However, as stated earlier, such a function cannot be easily proposed for our two round buildings. Round structures serving a multitude of functions are also encountered in sanctuaries (Lathouriza VIII, Mt. Hymettos, Kabeirion and other sites)81. Building ΣΤ appears to have served as a shrine, while Building H was presumably a kiln82. An interesting point is the practical absence of rectangular roofed structures in the industrial area (with the exception of chamber Z), whilst in the Western Sector, based on the evidence of Building Α-Δ, houses appear to have been more spacious rectangular buildings, comprising 2 or 3 rooms of diversified functions and a common hall. It is worth noting that the appearance of the rectangular pastas house in the Early Archaic period is also attested in two further Attic sites, Thorikos and Eleusis83.

  • 84 Lauter 1985, p. 16 fig. 2, pls. 3b and 4a.
  • 85 G. Buchner, ‘Pithekoussai, 1965-71’, in AR 1970/71, pp. 65; Klein 1972, p. 38, fig. 3; Ridgway 198 (...)
  • 86 Klein 1972, 39. Cfr. also Coldstream 1994.
  • 87 Gisler 1993/94, pp. 11-95, esp. pp. 49-50, 91-92.
  • 88 Ibidem, p. 92 (from krater V 54, fig. 11 on p. 60).
  • 89 Mazarakis Ainian 1987, p. 21.
  • 90 My idea has gained limited support, but see C. Morgan, Athletes and oracles, Cambridge 1990, p. 13 (...)

44The bench in Building Θ, is comparable to the one inside the contemporary apsidal building at Lathouriza near Vari84. Both are very wide (ca. 1 m) and the left side is shorter than the right one. Moreover, in both places the buildings were distinguished from the surrounding structures. The unit at Lathouriza appears to have been a chief’s house, and the edifice at Oropos may have also belonged to a powerful individual or to have served communal functions. It is perhaps not entirely coincidental that the only building in the industrial quarter at Pithekoussai which did not serve as a metal workshop was also apsidal in plan. This building, destroyed by an earthquake around 720 B.C., yielded numerous almost complete vases, including an impressive krater85. J. Klein regarded the decorated horse panels of the krater as a suitable insignium of Euboean aristocracy86. Therefore, it would not be unjustified to assume that Building Θ at Oropos and Building I at Pithekoussai served analogous functions. In that respect it may be interesting to mention the presence of impressive decorated kraters in the area of the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephoros at Eretria87. The exact find spots of these vases can no longer be determined due to the intense disturbance of the spot. However, one fragment was found in an undisturbed layer very near the so-called Daphnephoreion88. I argued in earlier years that this horseshoe-shaped building may have been a dwelling of an aristocrat too89. Indeed, as at Oropos, we observe a group of oval buildings, separated by enclosure walls and clustered around a more impressive apsidal structure90.

  • 91 For a general discussion of the origins of the peristyle see Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 278 f., wi (...)
  • 92 J. Coulton - H. W. Catling et alii, in M.R. Popham-P. G. Calligas - L.H. Sackett (eds.), Lefkandi (...)
  • 93 P. G. Themelis, in Prakt 1981, p. 143 and fig. 1; Mazarakis Ainian 1987, p. 9; Mazarakis Ainian 19 (...)
  • 94 The best examples are Unit IV-1 at Nichoria, the so-called “Daphnephoreion” at Eretria and a LG ho (...)

45The excavations at Oropos also offer an important new insight of the question of the origins of the peristasis of the Greek temple91. Until fairly recently it was believed that the peristyle was an innovation of the late 8th c. and that its use was confined to religious buildings. The discovery in 1981 of the peripteral apsidal building at Toumba Lefkandi (so-called Heroon) has led to a re-examination of the question92. The same year Themelis also identified a possible veranda of posts around an oval building of the LG period at Eretria, which appears to have been the dwelling or workshop of a goldsmith93. Followinlowing the new discoveries at Oropos it is today possible to argue that from the 10th down to the early 7 th c. a peris tasis was a functional element of a roofed structure and not a symbolic feature restricted to religious architecture. The peristyles at Lefkandi, Eretria and Oropos should perhaps be regarded as a parallel development of the technique which consisted of placing vertical posts along the outer face of the exterior wall of a building, a technique sufficiently documented today in EIA Greece, especially in Macedonia, Euboea and the Peloponnese94. An interesting point is that the peristyles at Eretria and Oropos are associated in one way or another with metalworking, and not with normal dwellings or religious buildings. Was there a specific reason for this association or is it a pure coincidence? One could suggest that metal workshops required steep roofs in order to prevent accidental fires, and in order to achieve this the architects had to find solutions to contain the oblique pressures of the roof beams against the wall. However, by the middle of the 7th c., peristyles seem to have acquired a symbolic significance, since they were presumably exclusively applied in religious architecture, though one cannot exclude that humble huts in remote and backward areas retained this feature throughout antiquity.

METALWORKING AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES

  • 95 The following account derives in large from the preliminary report by Doonan.

46The scientific analysis and study of the metals from the excavation has just started by Dr. R. Doonan. The study of the evidence and its relation to the architecture will undoubtedly provide precious information not only concerning the technology and the kind of work that was taking place at Oropos, but also of the organization of craftsmanship95.

47In various areas of the main excavation sector there was evidence for varied metalworking activities, both inside the buildings and also in the courtyards outside. At present, the evidence suggests that only secondary working, namely casting, fabrication and forging were performed as opposed to primary smelting and refining. In the central part of several oval buildings the floor consisted of successive layers of ashes which were too extensive to be regarded as cleanings of normal hearths. In Building A several small circular pits were found. Judging by the vitrification of the clay and the discovery of smithing hearth bottoms in some of them it is possible to argue that these were metallurgical hearths, i. e. typical furnaces for iron smithing. Several similar smithing bottoms were distributed across the site, perhaps following a process of periodical cleaning out of the buildings. The analysis of one group of slags at the chemistry laboratory of the National Archaeological Museum, and the visual inspection of the material by R. Doonan do not leave place for doubts that iron smithing was certainly taking place here.

  • 96 All the slags, upon visual inspection by Doonan, appear to comprise Iron Silicate but this does no (...)

48However, from the preliminary examination of the slags by Doonan, we are fairly certain that iron was not the only metal worked at Oropos. There is also evidence for bronze-copper casting which comes in the form of large pieces of scrap from casting or what may even be pieces of broken ingot. The analysis of this specific group of scrap pieces in the Laboratory of the National Museum confirms this view. Moreover, it is possible that many of the slag pieces may relate to copper metallurgy, but a microstructural examination is necessary in order to define with reasonable certainty what technology produced the slag96.

  • 97 As R. Doonan states in his preliminary report: «litharge conglomerates formed at low temperatures (...)

49There is also possible evidence for lead working. Numerous folded strips of lead were found, and Dragona also notes a piece of litharge, but it has not been possible to locate this find yet. The lead strips can be identified as folded lead weights for fishing nets. These were often found in groups and therefore may represent all that remains from the actual nets. Whether the weights formed part of the local production remains to be proven97.

  • 98 Here, I would like to note that I have some doubts whether the tuyère which was found on the acrop (...)
  • 99 For instance XVIIIα, XXIV, and perhaps XXVα (the last not marked on the plan fig. 11) which appear (...)
  • 100 Lefkandi I, pp. 93-97, 279.
  • 101 S. Huber, ‘Un atelier de bronzier dans le sanctuaire d’Apollon à Érétrie?’, in AntK 34, 1991, pp. (...)
  • 102 Themelis 1983, pp. 157-165; idem, in AAA 14, 1981, pp. 185-208; idem, in Prakt 1980, pp. 86-97; id (...)
  • 103 For instance P.G. Themelis, in Αρχαιολογία 42, 1992, pp. 29-30; M. Popham, ‘Reflections on An arch (...)
  • 104 G. Buchner, ‘Pithekoussai, 1965-71’, in AR 1970/71, pp. 63-67; Klein 1972, pp. 34-39; Ridgway 1984 (...)
  • 105 The building, however, dates to the beginning of the 9th c. See J. Bingen, in Thorikos II, 1964, B (...)

50The largest concentration of slag on the site occurs in the area West, North and South of the large rectangular enclosure. Iron minerals in their natural state were also found. However, at present we do not suggest that these minerals were used in primary smelting (for instance they could have served for pigments for the decoration of vases). The question of the provenance of these minerals is one issue that we will try to solve in the near future. Several fragments of tuyères and possibly parts of bellow pots have been found. One tuyère preserves traces of metal slag in the interior98. A mould fragment was also found. Deposits of ash, large quantities of charcoal and burnt olive pips, slags of indeterminate origin, burnt clay masses from the superstructure of kilns, lumps of unfired clay (perhaps used for the periodical repair of the metallurgical installations), pits of all sorts99, a well (γ) just in front of Building Β-Γ, stone and iron tools, as well as querns and anvils of volcanic stone, complete the picture of the metal workshops area. Following analysis at the Agricultural Department of the University of Athens, it was established that the pips are from wild olives; these were presumably used primarily as fuel for kilns. Indeed, two such ceramic kilns with twin firing chambers which contained burnt olive pips were also excavated. The one above Building Β-Γ has been already mentioned (β); the other kiln (α) near Building A also belongs to the last period of use of the area. I have also argued that Building Η may have also been a large ceramic kiln. It therefore seems that in the area there were several potters’workshops too. However, these activities were intensified towards the last period of use of the site, during which the majority of the buildings were no longer standing, or may have served as roofless enclosures. Nevertheless, at present we cannot exclude that the manufacture and mending of vases was a secondary activity within the industrial area from the very beginning. There is no need to emphasize the importance of Euboean metalworking. Already around 900 B.C., at Xeropolis/Lefkandi there is evidence for bronze casting100. Metalworking was an important occupation of the Eretrians too. An oval building near the sanctuary of Apollo was presumably a bronzesmith’s workshop101. Inside another oval building some 150 m to the North102, a goldsmith’s hoard was found, hidden by its owner beneath the floor due to a impending danger which some scholars would be willing to identify with an episode of the Lelantine war103. In the Euboean colony of Pithekoussai metalworking was also a primary activity104. More- overover, the arrangement of the buildings at the Mezzavia hill has several features in common with the industrial quarter of Oropos: here, in the middle of the 8th c., three buildings were erected, each different in shape; one is apsidal (I), another is oval (IV) and the third is rectangular (III). The apsidal building, like Building Θ at Oropos, was the only structure which was not used as a workshop, but presumably as a house of a prominent individual, instead. On the other hand, as at Eretria and Oropos, the oval plan was favoured for workshops, though the rectangular building at Pithekoussai finds its closest parallel at Thorikos105.

Fig. 18. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Tombs XII-XIII (section) (Drawing by N. Kalliontzis, combined with Dragona, 20, 1985, pp. 94, 96).

Fig. 19. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Child enchytrism XXXII (Photo A. Dragona).

Fig. 20. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Cist tomb VI (Photo A. Dragona)

THE TOMBS (figs. 18-23)

51Much work is still required in order to present a coherent account of the burial customs at the Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Therefore, the summary which follows is tentative and will doubtless require revision in the near future. Approximately 30 tombs (indicated on the plan with Latin numerals), mostly belonging to children were found all around the buildings, and in the midst of the working area. The majority is contemporary with the period of use of the industrial quarter. I should note, however, that some of the deep pits which the excavator thought were graves appear to have been connected with metalworking activities.

  • 106 Fairly certain instances: IV, XX2-3, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXXII and perhaps XIII.
  • 107 Tomb XX1, which was lined with mud bricks and covered with stone slabs (for a similar practice in (...)
  • 108 Tombs IX, XII, which may have been either child enchytrisms or adult cremations, and enchytrisms I (...)
  • 109 Pits X1, XX3, XXVI, XXVIII, XXIX contained towards the bottom a medium size hand made vase. Howeve (...)
  • 110 For instance, the bones in the pithos of Tomb IV are characterised as burnt, but judging by a toot (...)
  • 111 Tombs I-V, and Pits Χ, XXVI.
  • 112 Group of six pits, no. X, though their function is still uncertain (tombs or rubbish pits?).
  • 113 Semata were associated with Tombs I, II, V, VI, XXXIII and the possible cenotaphs VIII and XXXIV. (...)

52Children were as a rule buried in coarse jars or pithoi (fig. 19)106, or, more exceptionally, in shaft graves107. A skeleton, presumably of a young (?) person, placed in a contracted position, was found in between Buildings A and Β-Γ (XIα). The curious feature about this tomb is that neither a shaft nor grave offerings were detected during the excavation. The funerary urns of the child burials were usually set on a side and the opening was often sealed with a stone slab or the bottom of a large broken vase (fig. 19). The urns were placed in a shaft, which could be either shallow and roughly ovoid in shape108, or deep (between 1-1,50 m) cylindrical or roughly conical in shape (figs. 18, 23)109. The excavator reported that a few amphorae or large coarse vessels contained carbonized remains (for instance IV, XII, XIII which contained bits of charcoal), including bones: some of these may represent adult cremations, though one should remain cautious until the bones have been examined by specialists110. Some pits were apparently empty and others contained a few small vases but no urn (fig. 21), a fact which could indicate that we are indeed in the presence of child burials, the bones of which were not preserved. Quite often, the tombs were marked by a pile of stones (figs. 22-23)111. Some graves appear to have formed groups of interlocking stone tumuli, or to have shared a common tumulus112. A crude or partly dressed low stone, usually set in an upright position, was occasionally placed as a sema113. Two cist graves were also found (VI, XI): in one of them (VI, fig. 20) a few cups and skyphoi and the neck of an amphora which contained 2-3 calcinated (?) bones were found (fig. 22), the other was unfortunately empty and disturbed.

Fig. 21. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Pit tomb XIX (section) (From Dragona, 22, 1986, p. 102).

Fig. 22. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Tumulus XXVI (Photo A. Dragona).

Fig. 23. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Tumulus and pit of tomb XXVI (section) (From Dragona, 22, 1986, p. 140).

  • 114 Chr. Blinkenberg, Les fibules grecques et orientales, Copenhague 1926, Type XV.
  • 115 Animal bones are specifically mentioned in relation to Tombs III, IV, IX, Χ2, Χ3, XIII, XV. Undete (...)

53The grave goods were rather poor, consisting mainly of a few vases and sometimes including a fewjewels. An ivory spectacle fibula (fig. 24)114 was found inside a hand made pithos (fig. 28) which contained the remains of a small child (Tomb IV) and presumably dates in the first quarter of the 7th c. A terracotta horse figurine was found in Pit XXXIII. It seems that on certain occasions various offerings, such as vases, animal figurines, and other items were smashed intentionally at the grave, while animal bones, usually calcinated, and sea shells which were present either near or inside the burial pits attest to the practice of sacrifices and/or funerary meals near the grave during the burial ceremony115.

  • 116 Cfr. A. Andreiomenou, ‘Αψιδωτά οἰϰοδομήματα ϰαί κεραμειϰή τοῦ 8ου ϰαί 7ου αἰ. π.Χ. έν ’Eρετρίᾳ’, i (...)
  • 117 Bérard 1970, pp. 48-55.
  • 118 Ridgway 1984, pp. 61-70; G. Buchner-D. Ridgway et alii, Pithekoussai I: Tombe 1-723 scavate dal 19 (...)

54The study of the material from the tombs, including the flimsy skeletal remains, will undoubtedly shed more light in the burial customs, since at the present stage it is not always possible to distinguish tombs of children, youths and adults, while the nature of some pits is still uncertain. Despite these limitations, however, one can point out some similarities in the burial customs from Oropos with those of the Euboeans in the LG and Early Archaic periods. Child enchytrisms in between the houses116, as well as burials of children in simple shafts117 are common at Eretria, stone tumuli above the tombs, inhumation in a contracted position without grave goods, and perideipna are attested at Pithekoussai118.

HEROON

  • 119 See p. 195.
  • 120 At Oropos the existence of a sanctuary of Hera Teleia is witnessed by an inscription dated in the (...)
  • 121 d’Agostino 1994-95, pp. 9-108, pls. VIII-XI, XXII-XXIII.
  • 122 In 1997 we discovered nearby a round stone platform, similar to those which R. Hägg associates wit (...)
  • 123 B. Petrakos, ‘’Eϰ τῆς Μυκηναϊϰής Ώρωπίας’, in ArchDelt 29, 1974, A, pp. 98 f., pl. 57α-γ; however, (...)

55In 1996 an interesting assemblage of the 7th c. was partly investigated within the limits of the great peribolos (XXXIV). Based on the stratigraphy it was in use after the destruction of Building IA and contemporary with the period during which a monumental entrance was opened in the middle of the West side (wall 23) of the peribolos119. It consisted of numerous smashed vases (kotylai, cups and skyphoi, small perfume or oil bottles, pouring vessels, etc.), some of which bore signs of burning, and small finds, including a few metal items, ashes, charcoal, calcinated animal bones and sea shells. These were found in contact with a rectangular stone bench-like structure measuring ca. 2 by 0,70 m, and partly overlapping the apse of Building IA. One of the stones of the “bench” was a roughly dressed rectangular block set in an upright position, reminiscent of a sema. However, no traces of human bones were noted. Among the finds there was a fragmentary terracotta boat model. Such models usually turn up in sanctuaries of Hera, and less often in tombs120. It is interesting to note that boat models have also been found in a rather ambiguous religious context in the Pastola locality at Pithekoussai (possibly in a sanctuary of Hera associated with a hero cult), and are dated in the end of the 7th c.121. It is possible that the assemblage from Oropos represents a cenotaph of a sailor who perished at sea and was thereafter granted with unusual honours122. Incidentally, several years ago, B. Petrakos published a clay boat model which was reported to have been found at Oropos and suggested on stylistic grounds that it should be dated in the Geometric period123.

  • 124 Cfr. L. Malten, ‘Das Pferd im Totenglauben’, in JdI 29, 1914, pp. 179-255; C. G. Styrenius, Submyc (...)
  • 125 In general see F. Robert, Thymélè: recherches sur la signification des monuments circulaires de l’ (...)
  • 126 D. Knoepfler discusses in this volume (‘Le héros Narkittos et le système tribal d’Érétrie’) the po (...)

56The discovery in various areas within the rectangular peribolos and in dumps just outside of amputated (?) horse terracotta figurines (fig. 25) underlines the chthonian nature of the religious activities124. Moreover, the round plan of Building ΣΤ, which appears to have served religious functions, is also indicative of chthonian cult practices125. The hypothesis that we are in the presence of a hero cult of the 7th c. which was interrupted by the precipitated abandonment of the area due to the river overflows is tempting but still needs confirmation126.

Fig. 24. Ivory spectacle fibula from Tomb IV.

Fig. 25. Terracotta horse figurines.

Fig. 26. Skyphos.

Fig. 27. Cup from Tomb VI.

Fig. 28. Sherd from Early Protoattic krater near Building Θ. Scale 1:2.

POTTERY AND OTHER FINDS

57At present only a small portion of the material of Dragona’s excavations has been examined, and the selection was random. The general impression that is already emerging, however, is that the pottery points towards Euboea, rather than Attica or Boeotia. However, imitations of Protocorinthian and Corinthianizing pottery forms a significant portion of the body of material and Protoattic is not absent either. Tentatively, it would seem that the material from both sectors extends from the earlier (?) 8th to the late 6th c. B.C., but the most active period, during which the buildings in the industrial area were in use, appears to have been the LG and EA periods (ca. 750-600 B.C.).

  • 127 Cfr. Coldstream 1968, pls. 41a-b; A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEph 1981, pls. 21-23.
  • 128 Ergon 1996, p. 36, fig. 15.
  • 129 Cfr. A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEpb 1975, pl. 59β; idem, in ArchEph 1981, pl. 30.
  • 130 Cfr. Coldstream 1968, p. 193; A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEph 1975, 218; idem, in ArchEph 1977, pl. 40
  • 131 Ergon 1996, p. 36, fig. 16. Cfr. the sherds from Eretria with similar themes published by Andreiom (...)
  • 132 Cfr. Bérard 1970, pls. 71, 74; A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEph 1982, pls. 24-25.
  • 133 A piece of an Early Protoattic krater depicting a charioteer and associated with Building Θ, here (...)
  • 134 The 7th c. lamps from Megara Hyblaia appear of a more developed type: cfr. G. Vallet - F. Villard, (...)
  • 135 Cfr. J. Boardman, ‘Pottery from Eretria’, in BSA 47, 1952, p. 14, fig. 16g.

58Open and closed wheel-made vases are equally represented. Skyphoi and krateriskoi of LG and Subgeometric Euboean types are among the most common classes represented (fig. 26); several specimens have a tall straight lip decorated with vertical stripes, dotted lozenge net, or multiple concentric circles127 and the belly is often decorated with framed lozenges128. Various vases are decorated with thick vertical bars with wavy tangents129. Some sherds are decorated with birds which have raised wings, also typical of the Eretrian workshops130. The decoration of a small hydria reveals an influence by the Cesnola painter since it depicts two antithetical birds on either side of the Oriental tree of life131. A fragment from a krater which preserves part of a horse is also reminiscent of the Cesnola workshop. Cups are often monochrome, but distinctively Euboean examples with multiple brush patterns which run vertically or obliquely are also common (fig. 27)132. Kantharoi decorated with a row of dots on the lip and monochrome body were also found. Imitations of LG Corinthian kotylai of the Aetos 666 class, of EPC to MPC kotylai, as well as of skyphoi of the Thapsos class are fairly popular. Some Protoattic sherds, especially from kraters, were also included among the material (fig. 28)133. Much coarse pottery was recovered from the occupation levels. Noticeable among this class are the lamps from Building Θ, noted previously (fig. 29)134. Moreover, several grave urns of children were rather small one handled jugs but one was a large pithos decorated with incised swastikas on the neck (fig. 30)135.

Fig. 29. Terracotta lamp from Building Θ. Scale 1:2.

Fig. 30. Neck of pithos with incised decoration from Tomb IV.

  • 136 Similar balls of clay or stone have been found in burials (for instance at Lefkandi and Eleusis) a (...)
  • 137 Two similar stone dice were found in a mixed context which also included Archaic pottery, at Xerop (...)

59Some finds, mostly associated with the occupation levels and not with the tombs, denote contacts with the East. Such “Orientalia” include glass beads, sealstones of steatite, the faience scarab mentioned earlier, a scaraboid of red serpentine engraved with a bird, a perfume bottle in the form of a monkey, etc. Fragmentary terracotta figurines, mostly of horses, usually turned up in disturbed contexts (fig. 25), though one was found in a tomb (XXXIII). Loom weights (usually pyramidal, though a few conical too) and spindle whorls, as well as clay balls, with or without a perforation, sometimes with linear painted decoration, come from the various occupation levels136. A clay dice with dots for the numerals 1 to 6, and a clay spoon were both associated with the Early Archaic rectangular house137.

The nature of the site

  • 138 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, passim.
  • 139 See for instance S. Morris, Daidalos and the origins of Greek art, Princeton 1992, pp. 130 ff., es (...)

60The previous account has made clear that the site was an extensive industrial quarter, where metal objects as well as vases were manufactured. Yet, the buildings excavated so far appear to have served a variety of functions. It is possible that they were not used exclusively as workshops but also as dwellings. This is made out by the variety of the household finds contained inside the buildings, which otherwise cannot receive an adequate explanation. The substantial numbers of loom weights and spindle whorls which have turned up inside several buildings may even suggest that spinning and weaving was also systematically exercised here. Even the presence of murex shells could hint purple-production. Thus, Buildings Α, Β-Γ, Δ, E, I, IA were presumably dwellings and workshops at the same time, while Building H appears to have been a kiln. The idea that the area served also for habitation is further strengthened by the fact that children were buried in the surroundings, as was the usual practice during the EIA. Yet, the existing evidence also indicates parallel cult activities, specifically within the area enclosed by the impressive rectangular peribolos. Building Θ may have been a communal building or a dwelling of a prominent individual which was presumably also a focal point of religious gatherings and feasts. Building ΣΤ (and perhaps its dependency Z) was presumably also associated with cult practices. However, the exact nature of the religious activities cannot be easily assessed at present. The loom weights inside the central hearth of Building ΣΤ, for instance, is suggestive of a cult of a female divinity, such as Hera or Athena. The connections between workshops and sanctuaries is not an unusual phenomenon in LBA-EIA Greece and Cyprus, but the profane element is more pronounced in our complex. On the other hand, structure XXXIV was presumably the focus of a hero cult, while both the round plan of building ΣΤ and the terracotta horse figurines which have been found within the enclosed area and just outside also point towards a chthonian cult. Smashed small vases, including a perfume bottle in the shape of a squatting monkey, one or two bird figurines, calcinated animal bones and sea shells were also found Southwest of Building IA, in contact with the interior face of the peribolos wall 23. The finds as a whole denote relative wealth and the care with which all the buildings were constructed suggest that the persons living and perhaps working here may have been members of the élite. Thus, Building Θ could be regarded as yet another case of a “ruler’s dwelling” where household and religious activities would have been held138. As for the “Orientalia” recovered at the site, as well as the primitive lamps discovered inside Building Θ, these may not only denote contacts with the East, but perhaps a more close co-operation between Oropians and Phoenicians as well139. The site, therefore, is unique since it combines industrial, household, religious and funerary activities. It is hoped that we will soon be able to define better the interrelations of these activities.

Tentative historical conclusions

  • 140 Thucydides II, 23, 3 (cfr. St. of Byz. s. v.‘’Ωρωπός’ where Πεφαϊϰὴν is correctly quoted Γραϊϰήν). (...)
  • 141 In general on the identification of Graia see RE VII2, 1912 (J. Miller). Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 91-1 (...)
  • 142 Wilamowitz 1886, p. 100; Petrakos 1968; 1992.
  • 143 See, however, Beister 1985, pp. 131-136, who argues that the Homeric Catalogue, including the refe (...)
  • 144 See for instance J. K. Anderson, ‘The Geometric Catalogue of Ships’, in J. B. Carter-S. P. Morris (...)
  • 145 Α. Mazarakis Ainian, ‘Όμηρος ϰαι αρχαιολογία: Η συμβολή των Ευβοέων στη διαμόρφωση του έπους’, in (...)
  • 146 Petrakos 1968, p. 12, 17; B. Petrakos, ‘Έϰ τῆς Μυϰηναϊϰής Ώρωπίας’, in ArchDelt 29, 1974, A, pp. 9 (...)
  • 147 A. Onasoglou, in ArchDelt 44, 1989, Chronika, pp. 78-79 (Voutsas and Lechouritis plots).
  • 148 J. Fossey, ‘The identification of Graia’, in Papers in Boiotian topography and history, Amsterdam (...)
  • 149 Petrakos 1968, p. 23 and n. 4; Petrakos 1992, p. 8. Cfr. X. Arapoyianni, in ArchDelt 34, 1979, Chr (...)
  • 150 The earliest tombs in the West Cemetery date in the late 5th or early 4th c. B.C.: M. Pologiorgi, (...)
  • 151 However, the earliest tombs of the East Cemetery date in the early 5th c. B.C. (L. Kranioti, in Ar (...)
  • 152 ‘’Ωρωπός’, in ’Αθηνᾶ 41, 1929, pp. 200 f.
  • 153 Petrakos 1968, p. 20 suggests that Oropos had received its historical name by the time of its occu (...)
  • 154 Knoepfler 1985, p. 52. In general see L. del Barrio, ‘Παρατηρὴσεις στη γλώσσα των επιγραφών του Ωρ (...)
  • 155 Cfr. M.-R. Higgins, A geological companion to Greece and the Aegean, London 1996, p. 75, map. 8.1.
  • 156 Petrakos 1968, p. 19, n. 1.

61The excavations at Oropos have thus opened several important new perspectives in Euboean and EIA studies in general, but they have also reopened a well known old debate. According to several ancient authors, such as Thucydides, Aristotle, and Strabo, Oropos and its surroundings was once called Γραῖα140. It seems that Homer too located Graia in the Eastern coast of Boeotia (Il. B, 498). These testimonia were often regarded as dubious or incorrect, based on later authors, such as Callimachus (St. Byzantium, s. v. Tanagra), Pausanias (IX, 20, 1-2) and St. of Byzantium (s. v. Tanagra), who identified Graia with Tanagra141. Some scholars have argued that Graia must be identified with pre-Classical Oropos142, and the recent discoveries provide additional arguments in this direction. One could object that we should seek for a Mycenaean settlement near Oropos in order to prove this claim, since the first mention of Graia is in the Catalogue of Ships of the Iliad143. However, some modern scholars argue today that the Geography of the Catalogue reflects the EIA rather than the LBA144. I myself believe that the Homeric World reflects the conditions of the EIA145. Nevertheless, even if one assumes that the Catalogue was shaped in the Mycenaean period, this would not invalidate the theory that Oropos was Graia. Prehistoric sherds, including Mycenaean, have been noted by Petrakos only a few hundred meters to the East of the O.T.E. property146, while scant and badly worn Mycenaean sherds were included in the material from the O.T.E. plot; these may have been washed there by the torrent. On the other hand, a substantial Bronze Age settlement (MH, LH I, LH IIIB) is being excavated the past years at the village of Palios Oropos, a few km to the Southwest of Skala (cfr. fig. I)147. Thus, despite a long gap in the present sequence (LH UIC through LPG), the excavations have proven that the area of Skala and Nea Palatia was occupied during the Middle Helladic, Mycenaean, LPG, Geometric and Archaic periods. Other arguments, however, have been adduced against the equation of Oropos with Graia. Fossey, for instance, has stated that «if Graia is to be identified with a site still occupied in classical and later times, it would be most difficult to explain how it ever lost its identity»148. Yet, towards the late 7th or early 6th c. a substantial part of Oropos was abandoned and very quickly covered by river sediments. The area further West (Sector E) appears to have continued to be occupied until at least the end of the Archaic period. In 402 B. C. the Thebans captured the town and moved the inhabitants to a distance of 7 stades from the shore (Diod. XIV 17ff.), perhaps on the hill called Lavovouni, where tombs of the late 5 th - early 4th c. have been excavated149. A few years later, in 387/6, the Oropians were allowed to return to their homes, but the new town was apparently re-established further to the East, in the central area of the modern town of Skala, while the previously inhabited area was thereafter used only for burials150. Indeed, having studied the material from most rescue excavations at Oropos, I can confirm that finds antedating the 4th c. B.C. are extremely rare in this sector151. In addition to this, the orderly town planning implies a new foundation. These shifts in the occupation history of the site provide an adequate explanation for the confusion which arose already in antiquity (presumably from the Hellenistic period onwards) about the identity and location of Graia. Now, already in 1929, Ant. Chatzis, based on the unusual male denomination of the town, argued that Oropos took its name from a homonymous river152. Thus, if the river or dangerous torrent which finally flooded the workshops area was indeed called Oropos, one could suggest that its name was subsequently given to the city. This change of name would have been introduced at the latest during the Archaic period153. Indeed, the first mention of Oropos is by Herodotus, around 450 B.C., who refers to an episode of the Persian wars (490 B.C.). D. Knoepfler, on the other hand, who accepts that Oropos was founded by Eretria, has suggested that the name is a local variant of the name of the Boeotian river Asopos. He bases his conclusion on linguistic arguments, such as the Eretrian rotacismos which is found in the inscriptions of Oropos, i. e. the transformation of s to r between vowels: thus Asopos becomes Aropos and finally Oropos154. However, if this was so, one would have expected the river Asopos to have passed through or very close to the site. On the maps (cfr. fig. 1) and aerial photographs, one observes that this river changes its course towards the Northwest before flowing approximately 3 km to the West of modern Skala. Based on the topography of the area one could indeed imagine that one branch of the river continued once in a straight direction, thus forming a delta (the coastal plain from Skala to the mouth of the Asopos consists of river sediments155), in which case the right arm of this delta would have passed close by the EIA industrial quarter. A point favouring this idea is the discovery by Dragona, in the western part of the industrial quarter, of the course of an important ancient river approximately 10 m wide, which follows a direction from Southwest to Northeast (parallel and alongside peribolos wall 20). This river was no longer active in the LG period, though it may have turned into a violent torrent from time to time. In addition to all the above it may be interesting to note that in some publications of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Asopos is named Oropos156. Thus, even if Chatzis’opinion appears at present more credible, we should not dismiss Knoepfler’s theory until we obtain the results of the geological studies which have been planned for the near future in the area.

  • 157 G. Busolt, Griechische Geschichte bis zur Schlacht bei Chaironeia 1, Gotha 1885, pp. 43-45, though (...)
  • 158 For other, less likely, theories see K.J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte I, Strassburg 1885, p. 17 (...)
  • 159 See most recently J. P. Crielaard,’How the West was won: Euboeans vs. Phoenicians’, in HBA 19/20, (...)
  • 160 See for instance G. Buchner, ‘Early Orientalizing: aspects of the Euboean connection’, in D. and F (...)
  • 161 See in that respect the earlier remarks by Sakellariou 1978, p. 26, who found credible the hypothe (...)

62If the identification of pre-Classical Oropos with Graia is correct, we can make some additional remarks. According to an old and well known opinion157, the Graioi would have participated in the earliest colonisation movement of South Italy and would have joined the Euboeans in the foundation of Cyme. It is these Graians that the indigenous Italian people first met, presumably because the former were making contacts for trade which included the supply of metals, and consequently all the newcomers became known to the local people as Grai(c)i158. The metalworking quarter of Oropos is the more extensive so far to have been found, both in Greece and the West, and leaves no doubts about the primary occupation of these people. Since it is today accepted that one of the main objectives of the Greeks who established themselves in the West, and on Pithekoussai in particular, was trade159 and the search for metals160, one suspects that the Graioi, i.e. the Oropians, followed the Eretrians to the West161. The hint that the people of Oropos were seafarers is provided, among others, by the presence of various items of eastern origin, as well as the two ship models, mentioned previously. All these facts, in addition to the synchronism with the earliest pottery in the metalworking quarter at the Mezzavia hill on Pithekoussai suggest a strong connection between the two sites, and give rise to the assumption that a group of Graioi (i.e. Oropians) had also settled on the island.

  • 162 S. v. ‘Graia’. S. C. Bakhuizen considers this testimony incorrect because it was thought that St. (...)
  • 163 FGrH 376 F1.
  • 164 Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 91-115, esp. 107.
  • 165 Petrakos 1968, pp. 19-20; Petrakos 1992, pp. 5 f. Petrakos, however, suggests that the Eretrians o (...)
  • 166 Knoepfler 1985, pp. 50-55. See also his article in MusHelv 1991, pp. 279 ff.
  • 167 See for instance R. J. Buck, A history of Boeotia, Edonton 1979, p. 100 who believes in an allianc (...)
  • 168 For a bibliographical index of the MG II/SPG III material from Eretria see A. Andreiomenou, ‘Γεωμε (...)
  • 169 E. Touloupa, in ArchDelt 35, 1980, Chronika, p. 22, mentions a possible PG burial to the South of (...)
  • 170 J. Boardman, ‘Pottery from Eretria’, in BSA 47, 1952, p. 8, fig. 13b, pl. la, 18; P. G. Themelis, (...)

63One problem, however, cannot be fully resolved at present. Who precisely were the inhabitants of pre-Classical Oropos? According to Stephanus of Byzantium Γραία was a πόλις Έρετρίας162, while on the papyrus of Nikokrates, Oropos is characterised as a ’Eρε]τριέων ϰτί[σμα163. The theory that Oropos was a foundation of Eretria was also developed by modern scholars, from Wilamowitz’s article in 1886, based mainly on linguistic arguments164, to recent studies by B. Petrakos165, D. Knoepfler166, and others167. If this is correct, how can we explain the fact that the earliest material from Oropos antedates that from Eretria, where evidence for stable human occupation becomes plentiful only from MG II onwards168, while LPG is altogether lacking169, and EG-MG I is confined to a handful of isolated finds?170 The explanation of this situation could be the following.

  • 171 Krause 1982, pp. 137-144; idem, ‘Remarques sur la structure et l’évolution de l’espace urbain d’Ér (...)
  • 172 Cfr. also A. W. Gomme, A historical commentary on Thucydides II, Oxford 1956, p. 81 who argued tha (...)
  • 173 Chatzis 1953, pp. 274-282, esp. p. 280.
  • 174 Bakhuizen argues that the meaning of the word Graia is «the other world», i.e. the unknown world, (...)
  • 175 See in general L. H. Jeffery, Archaic Greece: the City-States c. 700-500 B. C., London 1976, pp. 6 (...)
  • 176 Wilamowitz (1886, p. 107) argued that Oropos belonged to Eretria during the 8th and 7th c., but th (...)

64We have seen that the excavations of Oropos have so far revealed two main nuclei of habitation in the EIA which are some 600 meters apart. Scant LG sherds have turned up in various excavated areas in between (fig. 2, nos. 5-12). These could represent a loose occupation between the two sites, but since they are so few (each dot on the map, as a rule, represents just one or two sherds), it would be preferable to accept for the time being that they represent chance finds. The earlier group of material from the O.T.E. plot dates from the late 10th to the third quarter of the 9th c. (LPG-SPG IIIa). Human presence in the same area is again attested in the LG period. Roughly at the same time we witness intense building activities several hundred meters to the West, at the school property. Thus, the preliminary conclusion is that since the areas where human occupation in the EIA is attested are widely separated, we may be dealing with two separate communities; one earlier at the O.T.E. plot, presumably autochthonous but already culturally oriented towards Euboea and Lefkandi in particular, and another, at the school property, which was a later foundation. The close connections between the industrial area of Oropos and Eretria have been, I believe, amply demonstrated (cfr. the uniformity of the pottery styles and the architectural layout in both sites). Even the setting of the site at the delta – so it seems – of a river or torrent(s), at the foot of the acropolis, finds an exact counterpart in Eretria171. If then we accept the statements of Nikokrates and Stephanus of Byzantium as being correct, it would not be unjustified to accept that the group which founded the industrial quarter at Oropos, perhaps early in the 8th c., came from the opposite coast. These Eretrians would have been in good terms with the autochthonous Graioi and eventually, if not immediately, the two communities would have merged172. One may quote as additional confirmation the opinion of D. Chatzis who argued in 1953 that Graius (Γραῖος) was an epithet denoting an autochthonous person173, while S. C. Bakhuizen argued in 1985 that it was the Euboeans themselves who gave the name of Graia to the territory of Boeotia opposite Euboea (though the latter author ascribes a different meaning to the word)174. It would not be unjustified to suggest that Oropos received an influx of refugees (?) as a consequence of the Lelantine war, especially since it seems that Eretria was the party which suffered most by this war175. The question for how long did Oropos remain under Eretrian control is a complex issue which cannot be treated here, though I tentatively adhere to the opinion of those who argue that the Eretrian dominance lasted long, perhaps until the end of the Archaic period176.

  • 177 This was the opinion of Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 104-107. Following P. G. Themelis (‘’Eρετριαϰά’, in A (...)
  • 178 An important discovery of the 1997 excavation season, not included in this study, is a graffito of (...)

65Alternatively, if one wishes to consider the material from the O.T.E. plot as proof that the Eretrians founded Oropos at the latest towards the end of the 10th c., this would inevitably mean that the “colony” preceded the “mother city”, which is impossible. One could of course argue that we have not yet been lucky in locating the PG nucleus of habitation of Eretria, but the intense investigations at the latter site the past years weaken this assumption. One should also consider the possibility that Oropos was a foundation of Strabo’s “Old Eretria”, but since not only the location but also the chronology of the latter is still a matter of debate, this would lead to a lengthy and perhaps circular discussion which cannot be presented here177. Lastly, a frustrating detail is that there exists a gap in the ceramic sequence in the O.T.E. plot, between the late 9th and the mid 8th c. B.C. On the other hand, I have detected recently some MG sherds among the material from the school property, something which could mean that the occupation of Oropos was continuous. Thus, the foundation of the industrial quarter may have roughly coincided with the decline of Lefkandi and the foundation of Eretria. These events can hardly be regarded as entirely coincidental phenomena. At this stage, however, while the excavations and the study of the finds are in progress, it would be preferable to simply underline the strong connections between the three sites and reserve the historical implications of this remark to the near future178. In conclusion, the excavations at Oropos have enriched our knowledge and have provided much new data which, when fully studied and evaluated, will certainly contribute towards a better understanding of various important historical, archaeological and technological issues.

Annexes

Additional abbreviations

Bakhuizen 1985 = S.C. Bakhuizen, ‘Graia, Grées, Grès, Grecs: une exploration dans le champ de l’onomastique’, in La Béotie antique, Paris 1985, pp. 181-191.

Beister 1985 = H. Beister, ‘Probleme bei der Lokalisierung des homerischen Graia in Böotien’, in La Béotie antique, Paris 1985, pp. 131-136.

Bérard 1970 = C. Bérard, L’hérôon à la porte de l’ouest, Eretria III, Bern 1970.

Chatris 1953 = D.K. Chatzis, ‘Γραῖα, Γρααῖοι, Γραῖος, Γραιϰός’, in Γέρας ’Αντωνίου Κεραμόπουλλου, Athens 1953, pp. 274-282.

Coldstream 1968 = J.N. Coldstream, Greek Geometric pottery, London 1968.

Coldstream 1977 = J.N. Coldstream, Geometric Greece, London 1977.

Coldstream 1994 = J.N. Coldstream, ‘Pithekoussai, Cyprus and the Cesnola painter’, in B. d’Agostino - D. Ridgway (eds.), ΑΠΟΙΚΙΑ. Scritti in onore di Giorgio Buchner, AIONArchStAnt 1 (N.S.), 1994, pp. 77-86.

Cooper-Morris = F. Cooper - S. Morris, ‘Dining in round buildings’, in O. Murray (ed.), Sympotika, Oxford 1990, pp. 66-85.

d’Agostino 1994-95 = B. d’Agostino, ‘La ‘Stipe dei cavalli’ di Pitecusa’, in AttiMGrecia, III (Terza Serie), 1994-95, pp. 9-108.

Desborough 1952 = V.R. d’A. Desborough, Protogeometric pottery, Oxford 1952.

Dragona= A. Dragona, Oropos diary XXIII.

Gisler 1993/94 = J.R. Gisler, ‘Érétrie et le peintre de Cesnola’, in Archaiognosia 8, 1993/94, pp. 11-95.

Kearsley 1989 = R. Kearsley, The pendent semi-circle skyphos (BICS Suppl. 44), London 1989.

Klein 1972 = J. Klein, ‘A Greek metalworking quarter’, in Expedition 14:2, 1972, pp. 34-39.

Knoepfler 1985 = D. Knoepfler, ‘Oropos, colonie d’Érétrie’, in Histoire et archéologie. Les Dossiers 94, 1985, pp. 50-55.

Krause 1982 = C. Krause, ‘Zur stadtebaulichen Entwicklung Eretrias’, in AntK 25, 1982, pp. 137-144.

Lauter 1985 = H. Lauter, Lathuresa. Beiträge zur Architektur und Siedlungsgeschichte in spät-geometrischer Zeit, Mainz 1985.

Lefkandi I = M.R. Popham - L.H. Sackett - P. G. Themelis (eds.), Lefkandi I. The Iron Age Settlement. The cemeteries, London 1980.

Lefkandi II:1 = R. Catling - I.S. Lemos, Lefkandi II, The Protogeometric building at Toumba. Part 1. The pottery, London 1990.

Lefkandi III = M. Popham - I.S. Lemos, Lefkandi III. The Early Iron Age cemetery at Toumba. The excavations of 1981 to 1994, Plates, London 1996.

Mazarakis Ainian 1987 = A. Mazarakis Ainian, ‘Geometric Eretria’, in AntK 30, 1987, pp. 3-24.

Mazarakis Ainian 1997 = A. Mazarakis Ainian, From rulers’ dwellings to temples. Architecture, religion and society in Early Iron Age Greece (c. 1100-700 B.C.) (SIMA 121), Jonsered 1997.

Mazarakis-Petrakos 1997 = A. Mazarakis Ainian, in B. Petrakos (ed.), Ergon 1997, pp. 24-34.

Petrakos 1968 = B. Petrakos, Ό’Ωρωπός χαί τό ’Ιερόν τοῦ Άμφιαράου, Athens 1968.

Petrakos 1992 = Β. Petrakos, Τό ‘Aμφιάρειο τοῦ ‘Ωρωποῦ, Athens 1992 (cfr. also the English translation, 1995).

Popham - Calligas - Sackett 1988/89 = M.R. Popham - P. G. Calligas - L. H. Sackett, ‘Further excavations of the Toumba cemetery at Lefkandi, 1984 and 1986’, in AR 1988/89, pp. 117-129.

Ridgway 1984 = D. Ridgway, L’alba della Magna Grecia, Milano 1984.

Sakellariou 1978 = M. Sakellariou, ‘Quelques questions relatives à la colonisation Eubéenne en Occident’, in Gli Eubei in Occidente, Taranto 1978, pp. 9-36.

Seiler 1986 = F. Seiler, Die griechische Tholos, Mainz 1986.

Themelis 1983 = P.G. Themelis, ‘An 8th century goldsmith’s workshop at Eretria’, in R. Hägg (ed.), The Greek renaissance of the eighth century B. C., Stockholm 1983, pp. 157-165.

Wilamowitz 1886 = U. von Wilamowitz-Möllendorf,’Oropos und die Gräer’, in Hermes 21, 1886, pp. 91-115.

Notes

1 ArchDelt from 1979 onwards. See also J. Travlos, Bild-lexikon zur Topographie des antiken Attika, Tübingen 1988, p. 304, fig. 378 and Petrakos 1992, fig. 2.

2 M. Pologiorgi, in ArchDelt 42, 1987, Chronika, pp. 103-107; idem, in ArchDelt 44, 1989, Chronika, p. 83.

3 The absence of evidence for human occupation of the wider area around Oropos during the Geometric period was also noted by M. Kosmopoulos, ‘’Αρχαιολογιϰή ἔρευνά στήν περιοχή τοῦ ‘Ωρωποῦ’, in ArchEph 1989, pp. 163-175, esp. p. 170.

4 ’Οργανισμός Τηλεπιϰοινωνιών ‘Ελλάδος.

5 ’Οργανισμός Σϰολικών Κτιρίων.

6 In general on the ancient city of Oropos and its territory see Petrakos 1968, 6-58; Petrakos 1992, pp. 5-11; J. M. Fossey, Topography and population of ancient Boiotia I, Chicago 1988, pp. 28-42.

7 This study has progressed a lot and the publication will appear soon. On the other hand, the final publication of the results from the School plot will be delayed due to the extent of the excavation, the complexity of the stratigraphy and the huge amount of material that was recovered.

8 Four students of the History Dept. of the Ionian University participated in the 1996 excavation season: Ch. Gordiou, A. Triantou, S. Kaziani and L. Papayiannopoulou. A second excavation season has been scheduled for 1997.

9 For the first preliminary report see A. Mazarakis Ainian, in B. Petrakos (ed.), Ergon 1996, pp. 27-38. See also my report in AR 1996/97, pp. 14-16. Now see A. Dragona, ‘H ἀρχαιότατη τοπογραφία τοῦ ’Ωρωποῦ’, in ArchEph 1994, pp. 43-45.

10 They were started by L. Kranioti and taken over by A. Dragona in 1984.

11 For the excavation of numerous tombs of the early 5th through Roman times, located on either side of the continuation of the same road further to the East, see L. Kranioti, in Arch-Delt 36, 1981, Chronika, pp. 59-64 (Davaki Sq. at Nea Palatia).

12 The length of the western foundation is ca. 3 m, that of the southern just 0,80 m. The width of both foundations attains 0,40 m, the height was ca. 0,30 m. The wall was founded at a depth of 2,75 m and was associated basically with coarse ware. Its date, in absolute terms, cannot be fixed yet.

13 From a depth of -2/-2, 10 beneath the unexcavated surface there was a level 0,10 m thick of stones resting on an earth fill. The upper part of the pit was full of gravel (down to -2,60 m) and apart from sherds it contained pieces of slag. From -2,60 m, the earth inside the pit was black, with a few pieces of charcoal and burnt olive pips, and pieces of burnt clay (kiln lining?). At a depth of -3 m there was again a stratum of gravel 0,15 m thick, and then followed another layer of black earth 0,30 m thick (down to -3,45 m). This picture continued down to -4,10 m.

14 Dragona, 19, pp. 56-57.

15 See for instance X. Arapoyianni, in ArchDelt 34, 1979, Chronika, pp. 103-104 (Kabaniaris plot); A. Dragona, in ArchDelt 40, 1985, Chronika, pp. 69-71 (Varsos plot); J. Kraounaki, in ArchDelt 44, 1989, Chronika, pp. 81-82 (Chatziyiannis plot).

16 Up to the present day 13 properties at Nea Palatia have revealed tombs: X. Arapoyianni, in ArchDelt 34, 1979, Chronika, pp. 104-105 (Pontidou, Theodoridou and Andrias plots); L. Kranioti, in ArchDelt 36, 1981, Chronika, pp. 59-64 (Davaki Sq.); A. Onasoglou, in ArchDelt 44, 1989, Chronika, p. 81 (Tzoumis plot).

17 I thank Dr. Agallopoulou for allowing me to mention this find.

18 Obsidian tools were quite common in the EIA: see for instance C. N. Runnels,’Flaked-stone artefacts in Greece during the historical period’, in JFA 9, 1982, pp. 363-374. C. N. Runnels, in A. Cambitoglou et alii, Zagora 2, Athens 1988, pp. 245-249. D. Schilardi, in Prakt 1985, p. 117.

19 Lefkandi III, pls. 48. 8, 78. B2, 87. 18, 146c-d, from SPG II and SPG IIIa tomb contexts, respectively. See also M. R. Popham - E. Touloupa - L. H. Sackett, ‘Further excavation of the Toumba cemetery at Lefkandi, 1981’, in BSA 77, 1982, p. 240, pl. 33g; Popham - Calligas - Sackett 1988/89, p. 118, fig. 2; M. R. Popham - I. S. Lemos, Ά Euboean warrior trader’, in OJA 14, 1995, p. 154, fig. 6.

20 Irene Lemos has read a draft of this section and made several useful comments.

21 Lefkandi I, p. 300.

22 Lefkandi I, pp. 299 f.; see however now Lefkandi III, pl. 64:1 (T 59), and also the pedestalled skyphoi in ibidem pls. 72, 81, 82.

23 Tiny specks of mica are often found in the clay of the PSC skyphoi from Lefkandi and Chalcis, but it is absent from Eretria. The Lefkandi material, as at Oropos, is always slipped, unlike that from Chalcis and Eretria: see Lefkandi II:1, 9-11.

24 Lefkandi I, p. 300-301. Kearsley 1989, p. 90, Type 2 (b), pp. 126 ff.

25 It appears, however, to have been more popular on the settlement deposits on Xeropolis and in the fill of the Toumba building. See Lefkandi I, p. 299; Lefkandi III, pls. 46. 6. 50. 26, 54. 1, 58. 9-10, 63. 1, 64. 2, 70. 1, 82. 9-12, and Pyres (pls. 49, 86); Lefkandi II:1, 21-22.

26 In general see Popham-Calligas-Sackett 1988/89, pp. 119 f., fig. 6c-d; M. Popham,’Precolonization: early Greek contact with the East’, in The Archeology of Greek colonisation. Essays dedicated to Sir John Boardman, Oxford 1994; G.R. Tsetskhladze - F. De Angelis (eds.), p. 26 and fig. 2. 12; Lefkandi III, pls. 102, 114. Earlier, this type was dated by Desborough in SPG III (Desborough 1952, p. 118, pl. 12, n. 590 and Lefkandi I, pp. 293, 341). Cfr. also R. Osborne, Greece in the making, London 1996, p. 46, fig. 12.

27 Lefkandi III, pls. 87 n. 12, 103.

28 Lefkandi I, pp. 290, note 57 at p. 394, and p. 303, fig. 9C, pls. 28 (nn. 70/P3 and P4), 34.4, 35.2. See also Lefkandi III, pl. 38. 12 (from Toumba Tomb 38) and another example which was associated with a possible pyre, 21, also at Toumba (ibidem, pl. 101), both dated in SPG II/IIIa. I. Lemos observed that the type occurs in a handmade version too, from where it is likely to have been copied.

29 Lefkandi I, pp. 289, 295 (Type V), pl. 265c (SPG I-II); Lefkandi III, pls. 38, 52, 53, 60, 62, 74 and 89, from LPG through SPG II/IIIa contexts.

30 Lefkandi I, p. 340, n. 394, pl. 19, nn. 337, 353, 355.

31 Desborough 1952, pp. 80 f., pl. 10 (n. 2023) = Type I; idem, The Greek Dark Ages, London 1972, p. 46, fig. 9G and p. 152.

32 Coldstream 1968, pl. 2c; Coldstream 1977, 28 (concerning the ring foot); Lefkandi I, pl. 112 (n. P41 from Skoubris, with a ring foot). Cfr. also a slightly different version with a flat base illustrated in Lefkandi III, pl. 109 (n. Sq. XVI,5 from (?) Pyre 21), dated in EG II/MG I.

33 Cfr. Coldstream 1968, pl. lb; Coldstream 1977, p. 27, fig. 1b.

34 Cfr. N. Verdelis, ‘O Πρωτογεωμετρικός ρυθμός τῆς Θεσσαλίας, Athens 1958, pl. 11, nn. 86-87.

35 Lefkandi I, p. 319, fig. 15G on p. 317, pls. 179 and 181 (Toumba 22. 1 and 25. 1, respectively).

36 Was this a defected vase, which was fired as an experiment, or did it have some kind of ceremonial function?

37 Lefkandi I, pp. 337f., fig. 19D, pls. 28 and 35. Cfr. also Lefkandi III, pl. 81, n. 47, dated in SPG II/IIIa.

38 Lefkandi I, p. 324, pls. 131. 2, 132.3,4,7. Cfr. also Lefkandi III, pl. 59. 1, dated in SPG I-II.

39 Lefkandi III, pls. 38, 108, n. 38.13.

40 Lefkandi II:1, p. 131, pl. 75, nn. 812-823.

41 A few PSC skyphoi have a low lip, while some other classes of vases, such as the PSC plate or the shallow bowl with strap handles, are all possible indications that the material extends into SPG III, though these features need not take us far into this phase.

42 For the refining of the SPG III phase at Lefkandi into IIIa and IIIb see Lefkandi III, p. vii.

43 See for instance I. S. Lemos - H. Hatcher, ‘Protogeometric Skyros and Euboea’, in OJA 5, 1986, pp. 323-337, esp. 336 f.

44 The Arabic numbers of the walls and the letters of the alphabet which were used by Dragona to designate the architectural remains, as well as the Latin numerals which mark pits and tombs were retained in order to avoid confusion while compiling the data from the numerous excavation diaries (cfr. Ergon 1996, pp. 30-32, figs. 11-12). Nevertheless, for the sake of clarity, a few minor changes have been introduced.

45 On the plan it appears to be parallel with the apsidal foundation (wall 34) but it is founded at a much higher level. This wall rests upon the abandonment fill which covered the apsidal structure. Among the sherds which were collected beneath wall was one from a lamp of the late 6th c. or early 5th c.: cfr. R.H. Howland, Greek lamps and their survivals, Princeton 1958 (Agora IV), nn. 49, 79.

46 Cfr. B. Sparkes - L. Talcott, Black and plain pottery of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., Princeton 1970 (Agora XII), p. 212, pl. 82, n. 1750.

47 The pottery found in immediate contact with the stone foundation was LG. The fill above the structure contained LG and later material (basically Archaic).

48 Cfr. pp. 196, 201-202.

49 In the preliminary description of this building (Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 100 f.) I suggested that it was perhaps originally an apsidal structure which was subsequently transformed into oval. This hypothesis is still valid, though it will only be confirmed when the fill which today covers the building is removed. See Mazarakis-Petrakos 1997.

50 Cfr. also a similar assemblage XXXIV above the apse of Building IA, infra p. 207.

51 If this hypothesis is retained, then the western extremity of wall 19 should be regarded as the western half of the apse of the building.

52 In this eventuality, three sections of straight walls South of Building E and West of the peribolos 26-2, may represent the facade of the edifice. These walls had not been numbered by Dragona, with the exception of the southern one which was given the number 55. Yet, since the same number was also given to a stone wall in front of Building IA (cfr. Ergon 1996, p. 31, fig. 11), it was decided to renumber all three walls (64-66 on fig. 11).

53 It continues beneath the rectangular peribolos, and Round Building ΣΤ. It therefore seems that it was in a state of ruins when “Tholos” ΣΤ, and the peribolos were built.

54 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, p. 104, fig. 105 (wall 1).

55 The right (?) bank was presumably bordered at the East by another wall (50). Wall 54 which is parallel to wall 50 is earlier stratigraphically and appears to represent an entrance of some sort, but it is not clear whether this was a roofed structure.

56 Cfr. note 54.

57 The 1997 excavation season confirmed this assumption since a round building (ΙΔ), perhaps a potter’s kiln, was discovered in the area: see Mazarakis-Petrakos 1997, p. 30, fig. 20, and fig. 26, down right.

58 The largest part of this hearth remains unexcavated since it lies beneath the two unexcavated bulks.

59 In a trench which was dug between the East wall of Building Θ and the peribolos, just North of H, traces of an earlier structure came to light in 1985. Continuation of the work in this area in 1997 revealed a curved foundation of a building beneath Θ (IE): Mazarakis-Petrakos 1997, figs. 15, 19.

60 See p. 215.

61 The reason for the presence of so many shells in the bowl has not been established yet. It may be interesting to note that shells were sometimes used as moulds for precious metals: see for instance the shape of the gold “talents” from the goldsmith’s hoard of the late 8th c. at Eretria: Themelis 1983, pp. 161, 163, fig. 9.

62 The excavator notes that the surface of the central pit (Pit 2) is level with the floor: Dragona, 14, p. 123.

63 Photographs of the scarab were forwarded to the two specialists by I. Lemos: according to Dr. H. Whitehouse «the style is Egyptianizing rather than Egyptian» (letter of Febr. 4, 1995). Professor G. Hölbl also agrees that the scarab is either Egyptian or, more probably, Asiatic in origin (letter of July 14, 1995). For a close parallel see E. Newberry, Scarab-shaped seals, London 1907, pl. XVI, no. 36888 (19th Dynasty or later).

64 Cfr. p. 194.

65 Supra p. 191.

66 Cfr. p. 195.

67 In general Mazarakis Ainian 1987, passim·, idem 1997, figs. 105, 108-119.

68 Lefkandi I, pp. 14f., 23f. ; Mazarakis Ainian 1987, p. 17, fig. 11; 1997, p. 105, fig. 97.

69 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 43 f. (Poseidi), 48-63, 95 f. (Lefkandi Toumba, Eretria), 102-107 (Eretria, Xeropolis/Lefkandi, Chalcis, Pithekoussai) and Addendum (Kyme).

70 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 46 f. (Paralimni), 86-89 (Areopagus, Tourkovounia), 95 (Aulis), 96 (Eleusis), 106 and 235-239 (Lathouriza), 245 (Olympieion) and map 6.

71 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 112 f.

72 Lauter 1985; Seller 1986, pp. 7-24; A. Mazarakis Ainian, Άαθούριζα: Συμβολή στη μελέτη ενός οιϰισμού των πρώιμων ιστοριϰών χρόνων’, in Ε Επιστημονιϰή Συνάντηση Νοτιοανατολικής Αττιϰής, 5-8 Δεϰεμβρίου 1991, Paiania 1994, pp. 237-244; idem, ‘Λαθούριζα: Μια αγροτική εγκατάσταση των πρώιμων ιστορικών ϰρόνων στη Βάρη Αττιϰής’, in P. Doukellis - L. Mendoni (eds.), Structures Rurales et Societés antiques. ‘Actes du Colloque de Corfu, 14-16 mai 1992’, Paris 1994, pp. 65-80; idem, ‘New evidence for the study of the Late Geometric-Archaic settlement at Lathouriza in Attica’, in Ch. Morris (ed.), Klados. Essays in honour of J.N. Coldstream (BICS Suppl. 63), 1995, pp. 146-153.

73 H. Lauter, Der Kultplatz auf dem Turkovuni, (AM 12. Beiheft), 1985.

74 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 114-124.

75 In general see Seiler 1986.

76 Lefkandi I, pp. 15 f., 23, 24 f.

77 Lauter 1985.

78 M. K. Langdon, A sanctuary of Zeus on Mount Hymettos, (Hesperia Suppl. 16), 1976, esp. pp. 1, 51.

79 W. Heider-A. Mallwitz, Das Kahirenheiligtum bei Theben II, Berlin 1978, pp. 44-47 and 38-40. See also Seller 1986, pp. 25-39; Cooper-Morris 1990, pp. 66-85.

80 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 114-124, with references.

81 In general on round buildings inside sanctuaries see Cooper- Morris 1990, pp. 66-85.

82 During the 1997 excavation season two further round buildings were found in the northern area of the rectangular peribolos (ΙΓ-ΙΔ). See Mazarakis-Petrakos 1997, pp. 30 f., and fig. 26, foreground.

83 Thorikos: J. Servais, in Thorikos II, 1964, Bruxelles 1967, pp. 25-34; idem, in Thorikos III, 1965, Bruxelles 1967, pp. 1-42. Eleusis: Κ. Kourouniotes - J. Travlos, in Prakt 1937, pp. 42-50; 1938, p. 35; K. Kourouniotes,’La’Maison Sacrée’d’Éleusis’, in RA 11, 1938, pp. 94-97. In general see C. Krause, ‘Grundformen des griechischen Pastashäuses’, in AA, 1977, pp. 164-179 and Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 150-153, 254, figs. 159, 173.

84 Lauter 1985, p. 16 fig. 2, pls. 3b and 4a.

85 G. Buchner, ‘Pithekoussai, 1965-71’, in AR 1970/71, pp. 65; Klein 1972, p. 38, fig. 3; Ridgway 1984, p. 106; Coldstream 1994, p. 79, fig. 2.

86 Klein 1972, 39. Cfr. also Coldstream 1994.

87 Gisler 1993/94, pp. 11-95, esp. pp. 49-50, 91-92.

88 Ibidem, p. 92 (from krater V 54, fig. 11 on p. 60).

89 Mazarakis Ainian 1987, p. 21.

90 My idea has gained limited support, but see C. Morgan, Athletes and oracles, Cambridge 1990, p. 132 and A. Schachter,’Polity, cult, and the placing of Greek sanctuaries’, in Le sanctuaire grec, Genève 1992, p. 37. See also Gisler 1993/94, p. 50, n. 186, p. 92, n. 310, who does not appear to reject my hypothesis, though does not support it either. Now see also C. Bérard, ‘Délimitation des espaces construits: zones d’habitat et zones religieuses aux époques géométriques et archaïques à Érétrie’in this volume and M.C.V. Vink,’Urbanization in Late and Sub-Geometric Greece’, in Urbanization in the Mediterranean (Acta Hyperborea 7), Copenhagen 1997, p. 123.

91 For a general discussion of the origins of the peristyle see Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 278 f., with further references.

92 J. Coulton - H. W. Catling et alii, in M.R. Popham-P. G. Calligas - L.H. Sackett (eds.), Lefkandi II. The Protogeometric building at Toumba. Part 2. The excavation, architecture and finds, London 1993.

93 P. G. Themelis, in Prakt 1981, p. 143 and fig. 1; Mazarakis Ainian 1987, p. 9; Mazarakis Ainian 1997, p. 104, graphic restoration fig. 119 (cfr. also Mazarakis Ainian 1987, pp. 6-10, figs. 7 and 8 at p. 13).

94 The best examples are Unit IV-1 at Nichoria, the so-called “Daphnephoreion” at Eretria and a LG house at Xeropolis/Lef-kandi: Nichoria: W. A. McDonald - W. D. E Coulson - J. Rosser (eds.), Excavations at Nichoria in southwest Greece III: Dark Age and Byzantine occupation, Minneapolis 1983, figs. 2. 22 and 2. 23; A. Mazarakis Ainian,’Nichoria in the South-West Peloponnese: Units IV-1 and IV-5 reconsidered’, in OpAth 19, 1992, pp. 75-84. Eretria: C. Bérard, ‘Architecture érétrienne et mythologie delphique’, in AntK 14, 1971, pp. 59-73; H. Drerup, ‘Das so-genannte Daphnephoreion in Eretria’, in K. Braun - A. Furtwängler (eds.), Studien zur klassischen Archdologie. Festschrift F. Hiller, Saarbrücken 1986, pp. 3-21; Xeropolis/Lefkandi: Lefkandi I, pp. 14-15, 23-24, pl. 8a. See also Mazarakis Ainian, 1987, pp. 10 f., 17; idem 1997, pp. 58-62, fig. 105, pp. 74-79, figs. 261, 265, p. 105, fig. 97. For Kastanas see ibidem, pp. 124 f., figs. 14-24.

95 The following account derives in large from the preliminary report by Doonan.

96 All the slags, upon visual inspection by Doonan, appear to comprise Iron Silicate but this does not necessarily mean that these were related only to ironworking. Indeed, waste material from copper smelting or refining is often very high in iron and may contain only very small amounts of non-ferrous metal.

97 As R. Doonan states in his preliminary report: «litharge conglomerates formed at low temperatures such as those encountered in lead melting are not resilient like those produced in cupellation and would probably not be recovered under normal excavation procedure». A few finished clamps, some of which are still in place on the vases, were also found. For parallels of lead fishing weights see J. Powell, Fish, Fishing and Fishermen of the prehistoric Aegean world, Ph. D. thesis. Univ. of Queensland 1993, pp. 203-205 (now published as Fishing in the prehistoric Aegean, Jonsered 1996).

98 Here, I would like to note that I have some doubts whether the tuyère which was found on the acropolis deposit at Pithekoussai is actually one (Ridgway 1984, p. 103, fig. 23). Indeed, I have found several similar clay objects during a survey I am directing at the ancient city of Kythnos in the Cyclades, but these were undoubtedly pot stands (cfr. Prakt 1995, forthcoming, pl. 91a). For other parallels see J. Papadopoulos, ‘Λάσανα, tuyères, and kiln firing supports’, in Hesperia 61, 1992, pp. 203-221 and fig. 1, p. 205. However, not having examined the item from Pithekoussai, I leave the question of its function open.

99 For instance XVIIIα, XXIV, and perhaps XXVα (the last not marked on the plan fig. 11) which appear to have been industrial refuse pits or metallurgical installations. The exact use of a few more pits is obscure too.

100 Lefkandi I, pp. 93-97, 279.

101 S. Huber, ‘Un atelier de bronzier dans le sanctuaire d’Apollon à Érétrie?’, in AntK 34, 1991, pp. 137-154.

102 Themelis 1983, pp. 157-165; idem, in AAA 14, 1981, pp. 185-208; idem, in Prakt 1980, pp. 86-97; idem, in Αρχαιολογία 42, 1992, pp. 29-38.

103 For instance P.G. Themelis, in Αρχαιολογία 42, 1992, pp. 29-30; M. Popham, ‘Reflections on An archaeology of Greece, in ΟJA 9, 1990, p. 31.

104 G. Buchner, ‘Pithekoussai, 1965-71’, in AR 1970/71, pp. 63-67; Klein 1972, pp. 34-39; Ridgway 1984, p. 105 ff.

105 The building, however, dates to the beginning of the 9th c. See J. Bingen, in Thorikos II, 1964, Bruxelles 1967, pp. 25-34; idem, in Thorikos III, 1965, Bruxelles 1967, pp. 31-49; idem, in Thorikos IV, 1966/67, Bruxelles 1969, pp. 102-109; idem, in Thorikos VIII, 1972/1976, Gent 1984, pp. 144-146; H. F. Mussche, Thorikos: A guide to the excavations, Brussels 1974, pp. 25-29. For a new restoration of the edifice see Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 146 f., fig. 161.

106 Fairly certain instances: IV, XX2-3, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXXII and perhaps XIII.

107 Tomb XX1, which was lined with mud bricks and covered with stone slabs (for a similar practice in the cemetery by the West Gate at Eretria see the contribution of B. Blandin in this volume), XXIII, which was a simple ovoid shaft, and perhaps XXVII and XXXI.

108 Tombs IX, XII, which may have been either child enchytrisms or adult cremations, and enchytrisms IV, XXI, XXII, XXXII. No pit was detected in relation to a handmade vase XXIV and the upper part of an amphora which was sealed by a stone slab (XXV).

109 Pits X1, XX3, XXVI, XXVIII, XXIX contained towards the bottom a medium size hand made vase. However, several pits yielded only sherds (for instance Χ2, Χ4-6, XIV, XV, XVIII, XXX, ΧΧΧα, XXXIII, XXXV). Pit XIX contained a small oenochoe and a cup. Pit XII is exceptional since the vase, a LG amphora, was set on a side in the upper part of the pit. It cannot be excluded at present that the sherds mentioned in the excavation diaries may form entire vases after mending, though the probabilities are few.

110 For instance, the bones in the pithos of Tomb IV are characterised as burnt, but judging by a tooth the deceased would have been a very small child. Likewise, the few traces of bones in a handmade jug in Tomb XX2 gave the impression that they were burnt but they belonged to a very small child. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to locate yet the bones from the tombs in the storerooms of the Museum of the Peiraeus. The bones from Tomb V are characterised as «calcinated human bones» (Dragona, 9, p. 333).

111 Tombs I-V, and Pits Χ, XXVI.

112 Group of six pits, no. X, though their function is still uncertain (tombs or rubbish pits?).

113 Semata were associated with Tombs I, II, V, VI, XXXIII and the possible cenotaphs VIII and XXXIV. A large river stone set approximately in the middle of the stone tumulus which covered pit n. XXVI (fig. 22) may have been a marker too. A grey sandstone inscribed with the name (?) Τίμα, evidently an Archaic sema, was reused as a cover slab of a later tomb in the nearby East Cemetery: M. Pologiorgi, in ArchDelt 42, 1987, Chronika, p. 105.

114 Chr. Blinkenberg, Les fibules grecques et orientales, Copenhague 1926, Type XV.

115 Animal bones are specifically mentioned in relation to Tombs III, IV, IX, Χ2, Χ3, XIII, XV. Undetermined “bones” (animal or human?) are also noted in connection with Χ1, X4, XIX, XXVIII. Sea shells were associated with V, XXVII and XXXIII. Animal bones and sea shells were found around structure XXXIV which may have been a cenotaph.

116 Cfr. A. Andreiomenou, ‘Αψιδωτά οἰϰοδομήματα ϰαί κεραμειϰή τοῦ 8ου ϰαί 7ου αἰ. π.Χ. έν ’Eρετρίᾳ’, in ASAtene 43, 1981, pp. 209 ff., figs. 47-51, pp. 219-222 and n. 106; Mazarakis Ainian 1987, pp. 4-10, 16, fig. 12 at p. 19.

117 Bérard 1970, pp. 48-55.

118 Ridgway 1984, pp. 61-70; G. Buchner-D. Ridgway et alii, Pithekoussai I: Tombe 1-723 scavate dal 1952 al 1961, Roma 1993.

119 See p. 195.

120 At Oropos the existence of a sanctuary of Hera Teleia is witnessed by an inscription dated in the 4th c. B. C., found at Skala: B. Petrakos, ’Επιγραφιϰά τοῦ ’Ωρωποῦ, Athens 1980, p. 24. For the connection between the sanctuaries of Hera and the Euboean expansion see the contribution of F. de Polignac,’Navigations et fondations: Héra et les Eubéens de l’Égée’, in this volume.

121 d’Agostino 1994-95, pp. 9-108, pls. VIII-XI, XXII-XXIII.

122 In 1997 we discovered nearby a round stone platform, similar to those which R. Hägg associates with hero or ancestral cults (‘Funerary meals in the Geometric necropolis at Asine?’, in R. Hägg (ed.), The Greek renaissance of the eighth century B. C., Stockholm 1983, pp. 189-194). For a full list of similar structures see Mazarakis Ainian 1997, pp. 122 f.

123 B. Petrakos, ‘’Eϰ τῆς Μυκηναϊϰής Ώρωπίας’, in ArchDelt 29, 1974, A, pp. 98 f., pl. 57α-γ; however, S. Iakovides does not exclude that it may date in LH III (ibidem, p. 99, n. 21, followed by P.F. Johnston, Ship and boat models in ancient Greece, Annapolis 1985, pp. 32-33).

124 Cfr. L. Malten, ‘Das Pferd im Totenglauben’, in JdI 29, 1914, pp. 179-255; C. G. Styrenius, Submycenaean studies, Lund 1967, pp. 113 f. Cfr. also d’Agostino 1994-95, pp. 14-15, pls. II-III (Pithekoussai); P.G. Themelis, in Prakt 1981, p. 148, pl. 110α (Eretria); R. Hägg, ‘Gifts to the heroes’, in T. Linders - G. Nordquist (eds.), Gifts to the Gods. ‘Proceedings of the Uppsala Symposium 1985’, Uppsala 1987, pp. 95 f. (Menidi).

125 In general see F. Robert, Thymélè: recherches sur la signification des monuments circulaires de l’architecture religieuse grecque, Paris 1939, pp. 423 ff. ; Mazarakis Ainian 1997, p. 388.

126 D. Knoepfler discusses in this volume (‘Le héros Narkittos et le système tribal d’Érétrie’) the possibility that the hero cult of Eretrian Narkissos (Strabo IX, II, 10: «τό Ναρκίσσου τοῦ ’Eρετριέως μνῆμα») was established in the 8th c. Our “heroon”, though presumably unrelated, proves that hero cults where popular not only at Eretria (cfr. Bérard 1970) but at Oropos too.

127 Cfr. Coldstream 1968, pls. 41a-b; A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEph 1981, pls. 21-23.

128 Ergon 1996, p. 36, fig. 15.

129 Cfr. A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEpb 1975, pl. 59β; idem, in ArchEph 1981, pl. 30.

130 Cfr. Coldstream 1968, p. 193; A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEph 1975, 218; idem, in ArchEph 1977, pl. 40.

131 Ergon 1996, p. 36, fig. 16. Cfr. the sherds from Eretria with similar themes published by Andreiomenou (ArchEph 1975, pl. 57β, ArchEph 1981, pl. 35, n. 298) and a skyphos from Ki-tion discussed by Coldstream 1994, pp. 83-84, fig. 5b. Cfr. also V. Lambrinoudakis, in ASAtene 61, 1983, p. 116, fig. 14.

132 Cfr. Bérard 1970, pls. 71, 74; A. Andreiomenou, in ArchEph 1982, pls. 24-25.

133 A piece of an Early Protoattic krater depicting a charioteer and associated with Building Θ, here fig. 28, is similar to a fragment from the Athenian Agora. Cfr., E. Brann, Late Geometric and Protoattic pottery, Agora VIII, Princeton 1962, n. 301, pls. 17 and 43.

134 The 7th c. lamps from Megara Hyblaia appear of a more developed type: cfr. G. Vallet - F. Villard, ‘Mégara Hyblaea V. Lampes du VIIe s. et chronologie des coupes ioniennes’, in MEFRA 65, 1955, pp. 7-27, fig. 1.

135 Cfr. J. Boardman, ‘Pottery from Eretria’, in BSA 47, 1952, p. 14, fig. 16g.

136 Similar balls of clay or stone have been found in burials (for instance at Lefkandi and Eleusis) and have been explained as pieces for some game. The Oropos examples come from the occupation levels: Lefkandi: Lefkandi I, 82, pl. 237e (of stone). Eleusis: G. Mylonas, Τό Δυτιϰόν νεϰροταφεῖον της ’Eλευσῖνος, Athens 1975, pl. 246, nn. 193, 193a, 179 (Tomb Γ18). Cfr. a similar ball with a graffito εὔFαθλος from Eretria: A. Andreiomenou, in ASAtene 43, 1981, p. 234, fig. 101.

137 Two similar stone dice were found in a mixed context which also included Archaic pottery, at Xeropolis/Lefkandi: Lefkandi I, 82, pl. 66q-r.

138 Mazarakis Ainian 1997, passim.

139 See for instance S. Morris, Daidalos and the origins of Greek art, Princeton 1992, pp. 130 ff., esp. 139-143.

140 Thucydides II, 23, 3 (cfr. St. of Byz. s. v.‘’Ωρωπός’ where Πεφαϊϰὴν is correctly quoted Γραϊϰήν). Aristotle: ’Αριστοτέλης δὲ Γραῖαν τὴν νῦν ’Ωρωπόν. ἐστι δέ τόπος τῆς τῶν Ώρωπίων πόλεως πρòς τῇ θαλάττῃ, (St. of Byz., s. v. ‘Τανάγρα’) and ’Αριστοτέλης γοῦν τòν Ώρωπòν Γραίαν φησι λέγεσθαι ή δέ Γραῖα τόπος τῆς Ώρωπίας πρòς τῇ θαλάσσῃ ϰατ ’Έρέτριαν τῆς Εύβοίας ϰειμένη’... οὕτως γὰρ ώς αὐτός ἐν νεῶν ϰαταλόγου πρώτῃ ‘ἔστι δ’ή Γραῖα τόπος τῶν Ώρωπέων πόλις (St. of Byz., s. v. ‘’Ωρωπός’). According to Strabo, Graia was a place near Oropos: ή Γραῖα δ’ἐστὶ τόπος Ώρωποῦ πλησίον (IX, 404).

141 In general on the identification of Graia see RE VII2, 1912 (J. Miller). Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 91-115 (Graia = Oropos); J. Fossey,’The identification of Graia’, in Euphrosyne 4, 1970, pp. 3-22 (also included in Papers in Boiotian topography and history, Amsterdam 1990, pp. 27-51), where all the ancient testimonies have been assembled (Graia = hill of Ay. Paraskevi near Vathy); Sakellariou 1978, pp. 21-26 (Graia = a city in eastern Boeotia which was under the control of Eretria); P. Wallace, Straho’s decription of Boiotia. A commentary, Heidelberg 1979, pp. 42 f., 106 (Graia = Tanagra); Beister 1985, pp. 131-136 (Graia = W of Oropos, opposite Eretria). In general see Ba-khuizen 1985, pp. 181-191.

142 Wilamowitz 1886, p. 100; Petrakos 1968; 1992.

143 See, however, Beister 1985, pp. 131-136, who argues that the Homeric Catalogue, including the reference to Graia, reflect the Archaic period.

144 See for instance J. K. Anderson, ‘The Geometric Catalogue of Ships’, in J. B. Carter-S. P. Morris (eds.), The ages of Homer. A tribute to Emily Townsend Vermeule, Austin 1995, pp. 181-191; A. Gounaris, ‘H απουσία των Κυκλάδων από τον Νηών Κατάλογον. Ερμηνευτική προσέγγιση βάσει του μύθου’, in ‘Β’ Κυϰλαδολογιϰό Συνέδριο, Θήρα, 31 Αυγ.-3 Σεπτ. 1995’, proceedings forthcoming.

145 Α. Mazarakis Ainian, ‘Όμηρος ϰαι αρχαιολογία: Η συμβολή των Ευβοέων στη διαμόρφωση του έπους’, in S. Dimoulitsas et alii (eds.), Συνάντηση με τον Όμηρο ϰαι την Οδύσσεια στο Ιόνιο, Κέρϰυρα 13-15 Οκτ. 1995, Athens 1996, pp. 39-77; Mazarakis Ainian 1997, p. 360, n. 823.

146 Petrakos 1968, p. 12, 17; B. Petrakos, ‘Έϰ τῆς Μυϰηναϊϰής Ώρωπίας’, in ArchDelt 29, 1974, A, pp. 95, 97, pl. 56; Petrakos 1992, p. 5; R. Hope Simpson, A gazetteer and atlas of Mycenaean sites (BICS Suppl. 16), 1965, p. 126; R. Hope Simpson - O.T.P.K. Dickinson, A gazetteer of Aegean civilisation in the Bronze Age I: the mainland and islands (SIMA 52), Göteborg 1979, p. 221, Site F57. The sherds of this site include EH III, MH, LH III.

147 A. Onasoglou, in ArchDelt 44, 1989, Chronika, pp. 78-79 (Voutsas and Lechouritis plots).

148 J. Fossey, ‘The identification of Graia’, in Papers in Boiotian topography and history, Amsterdam 1990, p. 30, and also p. 37.

149 Petrakos 1968, p. 23 and n. 4; Petrakos 1992, p. 8. Cfr. X. Arapoyianni, in ArchDelt 34, 1979, Chronika, pp. 92-97.

150 The earliest tombs in the West Cemetery date in the late 5th or early 4th c. B.C.: M. Pologiorgi, in ArchDelt 42, 1987, Chronika, p. 103. If the latter date is correct, one could argue that the use of the eastern cemetery coincides with the return of the Oropians to their town. However, we must await the publication of the excavator (in press), in order to test this assumption.

151 However, the earliest tombs of the East Cemetery date in the early 5th c. B.C. (L. Kranioti, in ArchDelt 36, 1981, Chronika, p. 59), while Athenian white lekythoi of ca. 430 B.C. were also found in tombs (Petrakos 1992, p. 7), something which suggests that the site of the historical town of Oropos was already partly occupied before the events of 402 B. C.

152 ‘’Ωρωπός’, in ’Αθηνᾶ 41, 1929, pp. 200 f.

153 Petrakos 1968, p. 20 suggests that Oropos had received its historical name by the time of its occupation by Eretria, while Knoepfler wonders whether Oropos could have received it in the Late Archaic period (1985, p. 52).

154 Knoepfler 1985, p. 52. In general see L. del Barrio, ‘Παρατηρὴσεις στη γλώσσα των επιγραφών του Ωρωπού’, in Έπετηρίς τῆς ‘Εταιρείας Βοιωτιϰῶν Μελετῶν, Β, α, 1995, pp. 319-324. In general see Β. Petrakos, Οί ἐπιγραφές τοῦ ’Ωρωποῦ, Athens 1997.

155 Cfr. M.-R. Higgins, A geological companion to Greece and the Aegean, London 1996, p. 75, map. 8.1.

156 Petrakos 1968, p. 19, n. 1.

157 G. Busolt, Griechische Geschichte bis zur Schlacht bei Chaironeia 1, Gotha 1885, pp. 43-45, though he abandoned this idea in the second edition of 1893, pp. 198-200; cfr. also B. Niese, ‘Über den Volkstamn der Gräker’, in Hermes 12, 1877, pp. 409-420, esp. p. 420; J.B. Bury, ‘The history of the names Hellas, Hellenes’, in JHS 15, 1895, pp. 217-238, esp. 236 f. ; Petrakos 1968, p. 20; 1992, 5; J. B. Bury - R. Meiggs, A history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great, London 19754, pp. 74 f.

158 For other, less likely, theories see K.J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte I, Strassburg 1885, p. 174; Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 91-115; P. Kretschmer, in Glotta 30, 1943, pp. 156-161; V. Bérard, ‘Le nom des Grecs en Latin’, in REA 54, 1952, pp. 5-12, esp. p. 9; Chatzis 1953, pp. 274-282.

159 See most recently J. P. Crielaard,’How the West was won: Euboeans vs. Phoenicians’, in HBA 19/20, 1992/93, pp. 235-260.

160 See for instance G. Buchner, ‘Early Orientalizing: aspects of the Euboean connection’, in D. and F. R. Ridgway (eds.), Italy before the Romans, London 1979, pp. 129-144. Sakellariou 1978, pp. 27 f.

161 See in that respect the earlier remarks by Sakellariou 1978, p. 26, who found credible the hypothesis that the Grai(k)oi participated in the foundation of Cumae «en tant que ressortissants de l’état érétrien» and consequently their name was not recorded in the literary record because they were officially called “Eretrians”.

162 S. v. ‘Graia’. S. C. Bakhuizen considers this testimony incorrect because it was thought that St. of Byzantium had in mind a town in Euboea (Bakhuizen 1985, p. 184, note 18). However, what the ancient author meant was that Graia was a town which was founded or under the control of Eretria.

163 FGrH 376 F1.

164 Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 91-115, esp. 107.

165 Petrakos 1968, pp. 19-20; Petrakos 1992, pp. 5 f. Petrakos, however, suggests that the Eretrians occupied very early Oropos, which was already inhabited.

166 Knoepfler 1985, pp. 50-55. See also his article in MusHelv 1991, pp. 279 ff.

167 See for instance R. J. Buck, A history of Boeotia, Edonton 1979, p. 100 who believes in an alliance between Eretria and Oropos; C. Bearzot, ‘Il ruolo di Eretria nella contesa Attico - Beotica per Oropo’, in H. Beister - J. Buckler (eds.), Boiotika. ‘Vorträge vom 5. Internationalen Böotien - Kolloquium. 13.-17. Juni 1986’, München 1989, pp. 113-122, esp. pp. 114 f. who agrees that Oropos was «per buona parte dell’età arcaica, un avanposto euboico nella Grecia centrale». Cfr. also M. Kosmopoulos, ‘’Αρχαιολογιϰή ἔρευνά στήν περιοχή του Ώρωποῦ’, in ArchEph 1989, p. 170, who follows Wilamowitz.

168 For a bibliographical index of the MG II/SPG III material from Eretria see A. Andreiomenou, ‘Γεωμετριϰή ϰαί ύπογεωμετριϰή ϰεραμειϰή έξ Έρετρίας V’, in ArchEph 1983, p. 187.

169 E. Touloupa, in ArchDelt 35, 1980, Chronika, p. 22, mentions a possible PG burial to the South of the sanctuary, which, however, could be SPG. A few PG (or SPG?) sherds come from the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephoros, while some PG graves have been excavated 2 km E of Eretria: see J. Boardman,’Early Eu-boean pottery and history’, in BSA 52, 1957, p. 14. See also P. G. Themelis, ‘ΠΓ ἀγγεῖα ἀπό τό Μαλαϰόντα τῆς ’Ερέτριας’, in AAA 17, 1984, pp. 115-117 (LPG-SPG vases 4 km NW of Eretria).

170 J. Boardman, ‘Pottery from Eretria’, in BSA 47, 1952, p. 8, fig. 13b, pl. la, 18; P. G. Themelis, ‘Πρωτογεωμετριϰή ’Ερέτρια’, AAA 3, 1970, pp. 314-319; Kearsley 1989, pp. 30 f. A EG II/ MG I amphoriskos was found in Building Plot 740: P. G. Themelis, in Prakt 1976, pp. 75 f., pl. 39a and Prakt 1982, p. 168. The discovery of a mid 9th warrior burial has been reported from the vicinity of the sanctuary of Apollo: J. Touchais, in BCH 104, 1980, p. 657; Krause 1982, p. 139; L. Kahil, in ASAtene 59, 1981, p. 167; A. Altherr-Charon, in AntK 24, 1981, p. 83.

171 Krause 1982, pp. 137-144; idem, ‘Remarques sur la structure et l’évolution de l’espace urbain d’Érétrie’, in Architecture et société de l’archaïsme grec à la fin de la république romaine. ‘Actes du colloque international organisé par le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et l’École Française de Rome, Rome, 2-4 Dec., 1980’, Paris-Rome 1983, pp. 64-73.

172 Cfr. also A. W. Gomme, A historical commentary on Thucydides II, Oxford 1956, p. 81 who argued that the first inhabitants of Oropos may have been the Graians, who subsequently came under the control of the Eretrians.

173 Chatzis 1953, pp. 274-282, esp. p. 280.

174 Bakhuizen argues that the meaning of the word Graia is «the other world», i.e. the unknown world, the world of the opposite coast (an eschatia). Bakhuizen 1985, esp. pp. 183, 189.

175 See in general L. H. Jeffery, Archaic Greece: the City-States c. 700-500 B. C., London 1976, pp. 63-70.

176 Wilamowitz (1886, p. 107) argued that Oropos belonged to Eretria during the 8th and 7th c., but that she lost its control in favour of the Thebans after the Lelantine war (see also L. Chandler, ‘The North-West frontier of Attica’, in JHS 46, 1926, pp. 2 f.). Petrakos (1968, pp. 20 f.) argued that it came under Athenian control in the late 6th (506 B. C.), but more recently appears more indecisive (1992, pp. 6-7, where he does not exclude that this shift occurred after the Persian wars) while Knoepfler (1985, pp. 50-52) is of the opinion that Eretria lost control of Oropos only in 470 B. C.

177 This was the opinion of Wilamowitz 1886, pp. 104-107. Following P. G. Themelis (‘’Eρετριαϰά’, in ArchEph 1969, pp. 157-161), I have argued that “Old Eretria” was presumably located at the same spot of the town of the Classical era: see Mazarakis Ainian 1987, pp. 21-22. Nevertheless, it cannot be excluded that refugees from Lefkandi joined an already established small community there and thus “New Eretria” was founded. Alternatively, we could even imagine that some refugees from Lefkandi settled at Oropos.

178 An important discovery of the 1997 excavation season, not included in this study, is a graffito of the second half of the 8th c. which was discovered in situ on the threshold of Building I. This find will certainly contribute in the discussion of the identity of the Oropians. Cfr. Mazarakis-Petrakos 1997, pp. 33 f., fig. 23. The inscription has been be included in the Corpus of inscriptions from Oropos by B. Petrakos, Oἱ ἐπιγραφές τοῦ Ώρωποῦ, Athens 1977, 486, no. 769. Another interesting point has been made by M. Peters, who argued recently that Homer was originary of Oropos: ‘Zur Frage einer ' archäischen’ Phase des griechischen Epos’, in A. Atter (ed.), O-o-pe-ro-si. Festschrift für Ernst Risch zum 75. Gehurstag, Berlin - New York 1986, pp. 303-319 (non vidi). See also A.C. Cassio, ‘La cultura euboica e lo sviluppo dell'epica greca’, in this volume.

Notes de fin

* I wish to thank the organisers of the symposium for their kind invitation and hospitality. Special thanks are due to Professors B. d'Agostino and M. Bats. I also express my gratitude to Dr. B. Petrakos, former Ephor of Antiquities of Attica and Secretary General of the Greek Archaeological Society, who conceded me the publication rights of the old excavation. I am also grateful to the Board of the Greek Archaeological Society and the Department of History of the Ionian University for supporting the new excavation program. I have received invaluable assistance by the Ephor of Antiquities of Attica Dr. G. Stainhauer, Dr. P. Agallopoulou, Curator of Antiquities of the Oropos region, Mr. N. Kalliontzis and N. Mastronikolas, architects of the Ephoreia. The present contribution is a preliminary account of the 1985-87 and 1996 excavations.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1. Map of Oropos and surroundings. From Petrakos 1992, fig. 1.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-1.jpg
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Légende Fig. 2. Map of Oropos in the EIA according to the author (cfr. Mazarakis Ainian 1997, fig. 74).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-2.jpg
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Légende Fig. 3. O.T E. Metope skyphos of the Thapsos class. Scale 1:2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 759k
Légende Fig. 4. Ο.T.E. plot. Section through various street levels and LPG-SPG stratum. Drawing by N. Kalliontzis. See also Dragona, 12, 1985-86, p. 170.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-4.jpg
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Légende Fig. 5. O.T.E. 1. Circles skyphos. 2-3. PSC skyphoi. 4. PSC plate. 5-6. Shallow. 7-8. Cups. 9. Atticizing EG cup. Scale 1:2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 4,8M
Légende Fig. 6. O.T.E. 1. Athenian circles skyphos. 2. Athenian EG kantharos. 3. Oenochoe. 4. Jug. Scale 1:2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 814k
Légende Fig. 7. Ο.T.E. 1. Krater. 2. Amphora. Scale 1:2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 130k
Légende Fig. 8. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. General topographical plan. I: Sector E. II: Main area (industrial quarter) (Plan by N. Kalliontzis).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-8.jpg
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Légende Fig. 9. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Plan of a portion of Sector E (Plan by N. Kalliontzis).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-9.jpg
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Légende Fig. 10. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Plan of the main sector (industrial quarter) (Plan by N. Kalliontzis).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 5,9M
Légende Fig. 11. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Street and pastas house of the Archaic period. View from the East (Photo A. Dragon).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Légende Fig. 12. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. General view of the industrial quarter from the West, as excavated up to 1985 (Photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 613k
Légende Fig. 13. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Buildings Β-Γ and Δ (Aerial photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 767k
Légende Fig. 14. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Building A (Aerial photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 594k
Légende Fig. 15. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Buildings Η and Ζ, and Southeast corner of peribolos (Aerial photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-15.jpg
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Légende Fig. 16. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Buildings Ζ and ΣΤ (Aerial photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,7M
Légende Fig. 17. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Rectangular peribolos and buildings I-IA (right) and Θ (left). In the background buildings Ε, ΣΤ, Ζ and H. View from the North (Photo A. Mazarakis Ainian, 1997).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-17.jpg
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Légende Fig. 18. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Tombs XII-XIII (section) (Drawing by N. Kalliontzis, combined with Dragona, 20, 1985, pp. 94, 96).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 264k
Légende Fig. 19. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Child enchytrism XXXII (Photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-19.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 598k
Légende Fig. 20. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Cist tomb VI (Photo A. Dragona)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 555k
Légende Fig. 21. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Pit tomb XIX (section) (From Dragona, 22, 1986, p. 102).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-21.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
Légende Fig. 22. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Tumulus XXVI (Photo A. Dragona).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-22.jpg
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Légende Fig. 23. Ο.Σ.Κ. property. Tumulus and pit of tomb XXVI (section) (From Dragona, 22, 1986, p. 140).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-23.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 123k
Légende Fig. 24. Ivory spectacle fibula from Tomb IV.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-24.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 932k
Légende Fig. 25. Terracotta horse figurines.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-25.jpg
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Légende Fig. 26. Skyphos.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-26.jpg
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Légende Fig. 27. Cup from Tomb VI.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-27.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 93k
Légende Fig. 28. Sherd from Early Protoattic krater near Building Θ. Scale 1:2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-28.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 55k
Légende Fig. 29. Terracotta lamp from Building Θ. Scale 1:2.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-29.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 72k
Légende Fig. 30. Neck of pithos with incised decoration from Tomb IV.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pcjb/docannexe/image/654/img-30.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 236k

© Publications du Centre Jean Bérard, 1998

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540