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Excavations at Sissi II

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Jan Driessen

4. The Excavation of Zone 2

The 2009-2010 Campaigns

Frank Carpentier

Texte intégral

1. Introduction

  • 2 Excavations in Zone 2 were directed by F. Carpentier (2009, 2010), assisted by M. Daeppen (2010), B (...)

1Zone 2 consists of an area located on the relatively large, flat terrace about midway up the northwest slope of Kefali Hill2. It houses several sizeable LM I structures in an otherwise apparently sparsely occupied area, contrasting with the densely built summit. So far, three constructions were identified in the area: Buildings BA, BB and BC, located in grid squares AS-AT 72-75, AU 74, AP-AQ 74-76 and AR 73-75 (figs. 1.3 & 1.4). Building BA was presented in an earlier preliminary report (Sissi I: 96-112), Building BB is yet to be excavated and Building BC is presented here. Built in several phases, the 98.83 m²-large structure comprises seven spaces varying in size, shape and context (fig. 4.1). Building BC was first identified and cleared of vegetation at the end of the 2008 campaign (Sissi I: 107-8). Unlike Building BA, it was left untouched by the soundings carried out in the 1960s (Davaras 1963: 405; 1964: 442) and it became the focus of excavations during the 2009 and 2010 campaigns. In terms of architecture and size, Building BC bears a significant degree of similarity to Building BA, although its plan and context are markedly different. Constructed on a different angle than BA, Building BC follows the curvature of the terrace wall that skims its west and north walls, although those of the southernmost space seem to be in line with the orientation of Building BA. Evidence for different construction phases and changes in function can be recognised (cf. below).

2. Building BC, spaces 2.6 and 2.7

  • 3 Neighbouring Building BA features a bedrock floor and wall (Sissi I: 99-100); the architectural int (...)

2Space 2.6 and subsidiary space 2.7 were delineated by exterior walls to the southeast (B21, 09-02-0289-FE001) and northeast (B22, 09-02-0289-FE002) and interior walls to the south (B27, 09-02-1202-FE001), southwest (B25, 09-02-0296-FE002) and northwest (B23, 09-02-0296-FE001) (fig. 4.1). A small interior wall (B28, 09-02/1229-FE001) separates the two spaces, creating a rectangular subspace of 2.58 m². The walls have all been constructed in similar fashion: large amorphous field stones are generally placed with their longitudinal axis in line with the respective wall trajectory. Two-skin construction using smaller stones occurs mostly for interior walls. One of the large boulders of the south wall, close to the northeast end, has shifted and pivoted about 1 m north-westwards into space 2.6, revealing roughly cut bedrock that seems to have formed the fundament of the exterior walls. Bedrock integration into the architecture has been attested elsewhere in Sissi and Crete3.

  • 4 For an assessment of the pottery, see C. Langohr, this volume, chapter 8.

3A smooth-surfaced grey limestone threshold (09-02-0293-FE001) was integrated into the northeast wall and is situated close to the east corner of the building. Wall B25 appears to include a former entry towards space 2.8, at the abuttal with wall B23. Wall B25 creates a recess which could have served for storage or as an entry to neighbouring space 2.9. The area formed by spaces 2.6 and 2.7 was littered with vast amounts of mostly incomplete, sometimes eroded, LM IA utilitarian pottery4, animal bones – often found in small concentrations –, shell, charcoal, pumice, mudbrick and obsidian, as well as pieces of stalactite, one of which had a naturally formed anthropomorphic shape (09-02-0293-OB003).

Fig. 4.1. ARCHITECTURAL PLAN OF BUILDING BC, INSET SHOWING ZONE 2 (P. HACIGÜZELLER)

4A few complete vessels were retrieved, the most striking being a well-preserved pyxis (10-02-2212-OB001) that contained the remains of a perinate (cf. below) found close to wall B25. Other finds included complete recipients such as conical cups (fig. 4.2k, l), a miniature vase fragment (fig. 4.2a)), six terracotta loomweights (fig. 4.2d, e, i, j, 09-02-0293-OB005, 10-02-1297-OB001) and three stone loomweights (09-02-0296-OB001 (fig. 4.2f, g, 09-02-1219-OB001), a bronze bent needle or hook (fig. 4.2c), lithic tools (fig. 4.2m, 09-02-0291-OB001, 09-02-0296-OB002, 09-02-1222-OB001-002, 10-02-1260-OB001, 10-02-1297-OB005-006), a pierced stone (fig. 4.2b) and a pierced pumice fragment (fig. 4.2h).

Fig. 4.2. OBJECTS FROM SPACES 2.6 AND 2.7 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

5Considering the possibility of a passage towards space 2.10 (cf. below), Wall B28 may have acted as a screening wall that would have shielded 2.10 from 2.6, which had a direct access to outside. In any case, if 2.7 should be perceived as a detached, rather than part of a composite space, its dimensions restrict the range of potential functions. Besides storage, a passageway of some sorts would be one of few possibilities. Another remarkable feature is the recess created by the difference in locations of Walls B25 and B27 respectively, while following the same orientation. Such an alcove may have been used for storage (shelved or otherwise). Alternatively, it may have been related to the way space 2.9 (cf. below) was used. The impressive northwest wall of space 2.6, B23, features the typical inner small stone lining only on its northern face, which may be seen as a remnant of the architectural history of Building BC in two phases. The massive wall structure may also refer to a former exterior wall function. In its connections with other walls too, B23 consistently appears to be the earlier one. Provided construction occurred in two phases and that enough time elapsed in between, the screening function of wall B28 may be a relic from the time a major entrance was located here which provided access from outside to space 2.10.

6It would seem that, at least in its last stages of use, the space functioned as a dumping area probably while other parts of the building (notably space 2.8 and possibly spaces 2.10 and 2.11) were still in (intermittent) use. The blocking of the doorway into space 2.8 from the south and another suspected blocking in Wall B23 between space 2.7 and 2.10 may imply that the discontinuation of this part of the building closely preceded or coincided with its use as a refuse pit. Whether or not this cessation should be associated to the perinate burial attested here, is as yet unclear. In any case, space 2.6 contained more dumped material than other spaces in Building BC, with the possible exception of space 2.9 (cf. below). More research is needed to discern what the original function of the spaces was. In any case, the presence of the large threshold suggests that space 2.6 was the location of the primary entrance of Building BC. It may also have been the only room from which space 2.8 could originally be accessed.

7The last verifiable episode to take place in space 2.6 was the burial of a perinate in a large, intact pyxis (10-02-2212-OB001), provided it was preceded rather than followed by blocking up. The ellipsoid vessel had been put on its side, more or less parallel to wall B25 and with the opening towards it (fig. 4.12). Several sherds seem to have been placed on top of the pyxis to seal and protect it. Their presence, combined with the covered mouth facing the wall had been quite effective, as – even though buried by LM I waste – the pyxis itself had not been completely filled with sediment. It is one of two intramural burials attested in Building BC, the other having been found in adjacent space 2.8 (cf. below). An anthropological report of the burials is presented at the end of this chapter.

3. Building BC, space 2.8

8Space 2.8 borders spaces 2.6 and 2.9 (fig. 4.1) and at some point featured a passage (09-02-0296-FE004) towards 2.6, which was later closed by a blocking (09-02-0296-FE003). An additional entrance (09-02-1212-FE001) may have existed to provide outside access through a narrow doorway in the southwest corner. This conflicts with the position of the basin which means the entrance may have been blocked when it was installed or the basin was filled in (cf. below). This wall (B24, 09-02-1201-FE001) continues further southwards, forming the south wall of 2.9. The room is further delimited by B25 to the northeast and B26 (09-02-1201-FE002) to the southeast.

9All over space 2.8 a fill was found consisting of LM IA sherds of utilitarian ware, abundant charcoal, animal bone, shell, ash, obsidian, pumice and stalactite. It also included many fieldstones, increasing in frequency towards the south wall, which they once probably were part of. Many objects were found in the fill: four conical cups (fig. 4.3c, d, 10-02-2205-OB001, 10-02-2207-OB001), a large terracotta spout (10-02-2227-OB001), a lamp fragment (fig. 4.3a), three tripod cooking pots (09-02-1243-OB003, 09-02-1201-OB002-003), four terracotta loomweights (fig. 4.3f, g, h, 09-02-1254-OB001) and two in stone (fig. 4.3e, 10-02-1288-OB001), seven lithic tools (fig. 4.3k, j, 09-02-1201-OB001, 09-02-1255-OB001, 09-02-1206-OB001), including one in pumice (10-02-126-OB001) and a large schist fragment (10-02-1280-OB001), two triton shell fragments (fig. 4.3b, 09-02-1202-OB001), a fragment of stone bird’s nest bowl (09-02-1243-OB001) and a relief appliqué showing a marine (bivalve) shell fig. 4.3j).

Fig. 4.3. OBJECTS FROM SPACE 2.8 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

10A large and completely preserved basin (10-02-2201-OB003) was found in situ (fig. 4.4a). Located in the west corner of space 2.8, it was resting on a thin layer of decayed bedrock. The basin has a hole at its base, draining out parallel with Wall B24, but no indications could be found as to what the basin drained into. A fragment of a large terracotta spout, found close by, may once have been part of the installation. Such basins are generally related to the processing of liquids (Platon & Kopaka 1993: 71-73).

11In the northwest corner a platform (10-02-1233-FE001) (fig. 4.4b) is located of which the surface consists of pumice. It is lined with medium-sized (0.25-0.50 m) field stones and it may have stood in connection with the container. The platform, 1.24 m by 1.28 m (1.59 m²) in size, roughly takes up about one fourth of the room and the pumice layer would have had insulation, heat-resistant, water absorbent and abrasive qualities

12At some point, the room started to be used for discarding waste. The platform was covered with various refuse materials including brick fragments suggesting building debris. A fragment of a large triton shell in the north corner appeared to be surrounded with more pumice and could perhaps be interpreted as a ritual deposit (fig. 4.4c) which – given its stratigraphical position – preceded most, if not all of the posterior dumping. Large amounts of field stones scattered throughout the fill, but more densely distributed towards Wall B 23 may indicate either more building debris or perhaps gradual collapse, interspersed with refuse.

Fig. 4.4. AERIAL VIEW OF SPACE 2.8, FEATURING THE LARGE BASIN (A), PUMICE-COVERED PLATFORM (B) AND RITUAL DEPOSIT (C). NOTE THE INFANT BURIAL IN THE SOUTH CORNER (N. KRESS/L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)

13Sometime during or after this filling event, of which the duration is difficult to estimate, another pyxis burial was either dug into the fill or got covered by it. No traces of a pit could be identified. The pyxis, of smaller size but otherwise similar to that in space 2.6 (cf. above), was crushed in situ by stones. During a final phase, space 2.8 was used as a food preparation area and yielded a hearth and four large Neopalatial vases including two tripod cooking pots, with much ash around them (fig. 4.5). Two of the vases were lying on their side, one was found slightly tilted while a fourth one stood in upright position. Regardless of their respective positions, all had been cut away at the same, horizontal level, probably by recent agricultural work.

Fig. 4.5. TRIPOD COOKING POTS (TCP), OPEN VASES (V) AND HEARTH (H) IN SPACE 2.8 (N. KRESS/L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)

4. Building BC, space 2.9

14Space 2.9, formed by Walls B27, B21, B24 and B26, is the smallest fully enclosed space of the building and lacks a clear entrance system (fig. 4.1). In the north corner of the room, stands a roughly circular, ammouda trough or mortar (09-02-1235-FE001) (fig. 4.6). It has a flattened upper surface and a hollow (diam.: 0.23 m, depth: 0.13 m) which could have contained 3.64 L. The southeast wall (south part of B21) is less massive and may have been added later to close space 2.9.

15As all other spaces, space 2.9 was found filled to the brink with dumped material including many stones, perhaps wall collapse or debris clearing. As elsewhere, the fill included coarse sherds (mostly Neopalatial), charcoal, shell, bone, pumice, mudbrick and obsidian, as well as three complete cups (09-02-1233-OB001, 09-02-1238-OB001 and 09-02-1241-OB001) and a stand (fig. 4.6). A lithic tool (09-02-1232-OB002), a stone hammer or pestle (09-02-1237-OB001) and a complete pig mandible (09-02-1232-OB001 (fig. 4.6)) were also found.

  • 5 For similar examples, see Soles 1979: 153, 155, 165; MacGillivray et al. 1984: 159; Shaw & Shaw 199 (...)

16Space 2.9 may have been accessible from above either via a ladder or simply via a trap-door. The sandstone trough or mortar suggests an industrial use of the space5.

Fig. 4.6. FINDS FROM SPACE 2.9; LEFT TO RIGHT: MORTAR OR TROUGH (B. DECRAENE), BOTTOM VIEW OF OVAL STAND (CHR. PAPA-NIKOLOPOULOS), PIG MANDIBLE (F. CARPENTIER)

17The pig mandible occurred at a level which corresponds with the level used for cooking in adjacent space 2.8, but there is no further evidence to relate the two. The continued filling eventually obscured the wall separating spaces 2.6 and 2.9

5. Building BC, space 2.10

18Space 2.10 (fig. 4.1) has only been partially preserved, and the northeast (B32, 09-021246-FE001) and northwest (B31, 09-02-1247-FE001) exterior walls are no longer complete. The surfacing bedrock bears traces of rough trimming, also observed for wall B21 (cf. above), and this may indicate where the northwest wall once stood. The inner lining of smaller stones that characterises exterior walls in Zone 2 continues for 0.11 m after the larger stones of wall B31 cease to do so, indicating its original course. The larger stones may have been removed by the Italian occupation forces when they constructed a shelter immediately to the north. To the southwest, a partitioning wall (B29, 09-02-1245-FE002) separates 2.10 from adjacent space 2.11. The north part of this wall may be interpreted as a wall end for a doorway, 0.85 m wide, since the opposing bedrock shows a parallel cutting. Wall B23 forms the southeast limit of the space and may originally have been an exterior wall (cf. above).

19Likely to have been largely square in shape, 2.10 was connected to space 2.11 and possibly to 2.7, before a later blocking closed off the latter passage. Space 2.10 comprised several permanent furnishings: a rectangular ammouda bench (09-02-1248-FE001) (fig. 4.7) was installed approximately in the middle against wall B23. The bench measures 1.41 by 0.43 m by 0.20 m, slightly lower than the wall it adjoins. Two terracotta tiles (fig. 4.7) were placed in front of and aligned to the bench, forming a rectangular platform (09-02-1248-FE002) of 0.71 x 0.46 x 0.04 m. The dimensions of the two tiles are roughly identical and are reminiscent of those attested in Building BA (Sissi I: 96, 98), although, their configuration differs considerably. The purpose of this installation is, as yet, unclear. Finally, a smoothly surfaced limestone base, perhaps used to support a column (09-02-1251-FE001), is located almost equidistantly to walls B29 and B31. It is, however, very close to where the original wall B32 would have stood. Similar bases were found in spaces 2.11 and 2.12 and the three are roughly aligned (cf. below).

Fig. 4.7. SPACE 2.10 WITH BENCH AND TWO-TILE INSTALLATION IN FRONT (M. DEVOLDER)

20The absence of an exterior northwest wall is probably the reason why little earth cover was preserved here. Nevertheless, quite a number of LM I sherds were collected, as was charcoal, bone, shell, pumice, mudbrick, stalactite and obsidian. On or near the floor level were also found a few remarkable objects. These included a cut piece of stone, perhaps an architectural fragment (09-02-1248-OB002), three lithic tools (09-02-1250-OB002-003, 09-02-1252-OB002), a terracotta loomweight fragment (09-02-1251-OB001), cooking pot fragments (10-02-2217-OB001), an ogival cup (09-02-1248-OB001), a conical cup (09-02-1252-OB001) and a small marble or highly crystalline limestone figurine (09-02-1250-OB001 (fig. 4.8)), 5.6 cm long, 3.3 wide and 1.7 cm thick. Preserved is a finely carved and polished upper torso and a conically shaped head. The bottom part shows an old and weathered fracture line, implying a long use life prior to deposition. Through its material, stylised shape and facelessness, the figurine shares some properties with that of the Cycladic or ‘cycladicizing’ corpus (cf. below).

Fig. 4.8. FIGURINE FROM SPACE 2.10 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

  • 6 Q. Letesson, this volume, chapter 5.

21The figurine, found on the floor level, dated to LM I. It is one of two figurines found in Building BC, since the nearby space 2.11 yielded another example. A third, much simpler limestone figurine was found on top of the hill6.

6. Building BC, space 2.11

22Space 2.11 (fig. 4.1), to the south of the previous space, was probably accessible from it. Its northwest wall B32 is in all probability missing (cf. above). It is delimited further by wall B29, separating it from 2.10, wall B23 which may originally have been an exterior wall and southwest wall B30. The latter was originally built as an exterior wall, hence the inner stone lining but at some point, the space to the south (2.12) became enclosed. A flat roughly rectangular stone sits on the floor on a line with the northwest end of B29 and halfway in between walls B29 and B30. This too is probably a column base (09-02-1252-FE001), similarly aligned as those attested in 2.10 and 2.12.

23Again, the relatively shallow sediments explain the low number of finds. Most material here consisted of pottery fragments and small bits of charcoal, shell, bone and pumice. Objects were few too, with a fragment of a terracotta loomweight (09-02-1245-OB001), a lithic tool (09-02-1252-OB002), a miniature stand 09-02-1253-OB001) and a highly crystalline limestone or marble figurine (09-02-1252-OB003 (fig. 4.9)).

Fig. 4.9. FIGURINE FROM SPACE 2.11 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

24The figurine, which is quite weathered, differs from its counterpart found in 2.10 in that it is slightly smaller, at 4.6 cm long, 2.8 cm wide and 1.4 cm thick. It has a tapered upper torso and head which seems to include some rough facial features (i. e. a protruding mouth; especially visible in profile) but is overall more rudimentary and less balanced in shape than the figurine from 2.10. Its head, attached to the torso by a massive neck, appears to tilt slightly backwards and does not have the conical form observed in the other figurine. The tapered bottom part and indicated mouth are stylistic features that have been noted for the indigenous Cretan varieties of the Cycladic corpus (Branigan 1971: 65, 68) to which it may be related.

25The occurrence of such figurines is atypical but not unheard of for Neopalatial contexts on Crete (Pieler 2004: 82; Branigan 1971: 60-1, 67, 69). Similar figurines have been found at Malia (Detournay et al. 1980: 101). A possible explanation for their deposition in a LM I domestic context in Sissi may perhaps be looked for in a household ritual use (Carpentier, in prep.). In any case, as was the fate for all other spaces of Building BC, space 2.11 fell into disuse and was consequently used as dumping grounds for discard and debris.

7. Building BC, space 2.12

26Although excavation is as yet unfinished, space 2.12 (fig. 4.1) seems to have been a later addition to Building BC. In terms of construction and solidity, its walls rank among the best in Zone 2. Only B30, which it shares with space 2.11, retains the typical building style on account of its earlier construction. The southeast wall (B33, 10-02-1268-FE001) has a slightly different orientation than that of wall B23, which – intentionally or not – aligns space 2.12 with the overall topography of the area as dictated by the nearby terrace wall and therefore also with Building BA (see fig. 4.1). Perpendicular to the latter, the southwest wall (B34, 10-02-2215-FE001) of space 2.12 was built in the same manner as B33 and it too exhibited the same deviation to the alignments set by walls B22, B25, B29, B30 and B31, making it correspond with the curvature of the terrace wall and the main orientation of the walls of Building BA. No northwest wall was found, either because there was none or because it had suffered the hypothetical fate that saw the rest of the northwest wall (B32) of Building BC being recycled. Yet, given the observation that all walls of space 2.12 have been built in a different fashion, one could wonder as to why the larger and closer rocks of for instance walls B23, B29 and B31 have not been taken instead.

27The solid construction of the walls of space 2.12 would have allowed for a roof or perhaps a second storey even without a northeast wall. A flat-topped, limestone column base (10-02-2211-FE001) located midway between the ends of walls B30 and B34 would have provided the support. A longitudinal concentration of charcoal stretched for about 1.50 m southwards from the column base and this may represent either the remains of a column or perhaps a fallen beam. A small square niche (0.47 by 0.48 m) was left there where walls B30, B33 and B23 meet. Filled with large sherds, it may have served as a storage space or closet. A patch of a floor of small and medium-sized pebbles (10-02-2234-FE001) was found close to the northwest end of wall B30.

  • 7 The remains of the burnt column/beam, a vitrified cup and the presence of salvageable, undamaged ob (...)

28In contrast to the other rooms, space 2.12 preserved a thick fire destruction deposit7 (fig. 4.10).

Fig. 4.10. DESTRUCTION DEPOSIT IN SPACE 2.12 (N. KRESS & L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)

29This comprised also a dense scatter of LM I sherds, (burnt) bone, pumice, shell, stalactite and charcoal. The objects found here are abundant, amongst which a large number of diagnostic pottery fragments, including several cup rhyta, and – pending further study – a vitrified cup (10-02-2234-OB002), two terracotta loomweights (fig. 4.11b, 10-02-2234-OB001), a stone loomweight (fig. 4.11a), a stone vase fragment (fig. 4.11), two stone axes (fig. 4.11e, 10-02-1271-OB001), a small stone with drilled hole (fig. 4.11c) and a completely preserved stone “blossom bowl” (fig. 4.11g) (Warren 1969: 14-17) of which the lid (fig. 4.11f) may have partially survived.

Fig. 4.11. OBJECTS FROM SPACE 2.12 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

8. The Intramural burials by I. Crevecoeur8, A. Schmitt9 and A. Civetta10

8.1. The Inhumation in space 2.6

30On the last day of the 2009 field campaign, a pyxis lying on its side was found in space 2.6. Two thirds of it was filled with sediments (fig. 4.12). Large sherds had shielded the opening from the fills that covered the container entirely. The exceptional preservation of the vessel enabled it to be moved to the laboratory in toto where the excavation of its contents was carried out under ideal circumstances. The extraordinarily well-preserved perinatal remains were located at the bottom of the sedimentary fill and the presence of strict anatomical connections (tibiafibula) suggests primary deposition although it has been subject to some minor perturbation. With the anatomical logic preserved, it was clear that the perinate had been put on its belly, with the lower limbs bent against the pyxis wall and oriented upwards. The left upper limb was bent and rested parallel to the base while the head was oriented downwards. An exception could be formed by the grouping of small, light bones on the surface of the soil that had gathered inside the pyxis and the position of the right upper limb. Two main hypotheses exist as to why these bones were dislodged:

  1. The presence of water inside the pyxis at different stages of sedimentation. This would have caused the small bones to float and redeposit upon the retreat of the water. Concretions visible on the parts of the pyxis that were left uncovered by infill suggest this process.

  2. The presence and activity of necrophageous animals or insects. During the excavation of the vessel contents, cavities and channels with diameters of up to 1 cm were observed, littered with tiny excrement nodules. These seem to be associated with an ant nest.

31The estimated age at which this immature individual passed away is 3 (+/-3) months, based on the development stage of the deciduous tooth buds.

Fig. 4.12. LEFT: PYXIS BURIAL IN SITU (B. DECRAENE), RIGHT: THIRD STAGE OF CONTENT EXCAVATION (I. CREVECOEUR)

8.2. Inhumation in space 2.8

32The human remains were those of an infant whose age at the time of death is estimated to be somewhere in between 3.5 and 6.5 years old (Moorrees et al. 1963). The corps was oriented northwest-southeast and was positioned on its right side, turned slightly on its belly and with the lower limbs hyperflexed (fig. 4.13). The upper left limb, wedged in between both lower limbs, was in extended position with the forearm pronounced. The right upper limb was bent; the right hand rested to the south of the individual’s head, its palm oriented towards the face. Preservation of the osseous remains is mediocre; in fact the epiphyses of the long bones, elements of the vertebrae, the phalanges, carpal and tarsal bones have not been preserved. On the other hand, the surviving bone material is well conserved, apart from that of the right hemi-thorax and left scapula. The skull had its left lateral side facing upwards. The temporomandibular articulation was maintained, but with the cervical vertebrae missing, it proved impossible to ascertain whether the skull was still in primary position. The configuration of the bones is complete, and the connections of the lower limbs are generally preserved except for the left shoulder and elbow which are both dislocated. The left humerus, initially in postero-lateral position, had turned onto its anterior side, following the configuration of the right part of the body on which it rested. The left forearm has undergone slight movement to the west, a result of the decomposition of the lower left limb. A void is situated where the softer parts have perished. The right humerus, left in an unstable position after decomposition, has pivoted on its anterior side due to the pressure of the corps lying on top of it. All observed movements have taken place within the original body volume. The hyperflexion of the lower limbs could be related to the form and size of the container. Decomposition of the corpse occurred when the pyxis was in the same position it was found in (on its side). This is strikingly similar to the perinatal burial found in space 2.6, where the container was of the same type and set in a similar fashion. It is highly likely that the pyxis and its contents were in their original position. On the other hand, the lack of significant movement of the osseous remains beyond the initial volume taken up by the corpse, suggests that the infant had been either partly or completely wrapped or inserted in a perishable cover such as textile (bag, cloth) or that the burial pit was filled in rapidly.

Fig. 4.13. PICTURE AND RECONSTITUTION DRAWING OF INFANT BURIAL, CORPSE PARTLY INSERTED INTO A PYXIS (A. CIVETTA)

9. Conclusion

33On present evidence, Building BC presents itself as a Neopalatial domestic structure which underwent different structural changes. Although similar in size to neighbouring Building BA, its internal spatial configuration is very different. The building seems originally to have consisted only of the northwest spaces, with or without 2.12, which could have been a later addition, and 2.7, which may originally have screened an entrance. Depending on whether or not space 2.6 was roofed, this function for 2.7 may have been retained in a second phase, when the east spaces were added (2.6-2.9). In a later phase, a doorway leading south from 2.8 seems to have been blocked, whereas even later, a doorway between rooms 2.6 and 2.8 may have been abandoned. In a final phase, only the west part may have been used while the east part was used as a dumping ground. On present evidence, all phases happened within the Neopalatial period. The ogival cup and cup rhyta found in the west part may suggest a final destruction date in LM IB. The northwest exterior wall (B32) was not found although remains of a pebble floor in space 2.12 and surfacing bedrock may indicate its former foundation. It is, however, not entirely impossible that no west wall ever existed because of the almost identical position of the column bases in rooms 2.10, 2.11 and 2.11. The three potential columns seemingly on an axis, may indicate a (seasonally) open structure (fig. 4.14).

Fig. 4.14. ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESES FOR WALL B32 (F. CARPENTIER)

34Although generally domestic in character, Building BC includes some exceptional features. The pumice-covered platform in space 2.8 must have served specific types of activities, possibly related to the large basin with drainage hole. The area seems to have been abandoned over a longer period of time, with intermittent reuse attested. The more important part of the building seems to have been the northwest set of rooms, particularly space 2.10, which was outfitted with a bench and a terracotta tile installation. Two figurines found on the floor level of 2.10 and 2.11 may bear testimony to a (regional) household cult.

35With its domestic character, (semi) permanent additions for specialised activities and overall size, Building BC bears several similarities with its contemporaneous neighbour Building BA both of which exhibit features witnessed at the house-workshops as witnessed at Malia (Poursat 1996).

Bibliographie

10. References

▪ Branigan 1971 = K. Branigan, Cycladic Figurines and Their Derivatives in Crete, BSA 66 (1971), 57-78.

▪ Carpentier, in prep. = F. Carpentier, Lost in a Reduced and Corrupted Factual Record. ‘Cycladicizing’ Figurines in an LM I Domestic Context in Sissi. In preparation.

▪ Davaras 1963 = K. Davaras, in Κρητηκα Χρονικα 17 (1963), 405.

▪ Davaras 1964 = K. Davaras, in Αρχαιολογικων Δελτιων 19, II (1964), 442.

▪ Detournay et al. 1980 = B. Detournay, J.-C. Poursat & F. Vandenabeele, Fouilles exécutées à Mallia. Le Quartier Mu II (Études crétoises 26), Paris, 1980.

▪ MacGillivray et al. 1984 = J. A. MacGillivray et al., An Archaeological Survey at Roussolakkos Area at Palaikastro, BSA 79 (1984), 129-159.

▪ Moorrees et al. 1963 = C. F. A. Moorrees, A. Fanning & E. E. Hunt, Age variation of formation stages for ten permanent teeth, Journal of Dental Research 42 (1963), 1490-1502.

▪ Pieler 2004 = E. C. Pieler, Kykladische und ‘kykladisierende’ Idole auf Kreta und im Helladischen Raum in der Frühbronzezeit. Eine Klassifizierung, SMEA 46 No. 1 (2004), 79-119.

▪ Platon & Kopaka 1993 = E. Platon L. & C. Kopaka, Ληνοí Μινωικοí. Installations minoennes de traitement des produits liquids, BCH 117 (1993), 35-101.

▪ Poursat 1996 = J.-C. Poursat, Artisans Minoens: les Maisons-Ateliers du Quartier Mu, (Études Crétoises 32), Paris, 1996.

▪ Schiffer 1987 = M. B. Schiffer, Formation Processes of the Archaeological Record, Salt Lake City, 1987.

▪ Shaw & Shaw 1993 = J. W. Shaw & M. Shaw, Excavations at Kommos (Crete) during 1986-1992, Hesperia 62, No. 2 (1993), 129-190.

Sissi I = J. Driessen et al., Excavations at Sissi. Preliminary Report on the 2007-2008 Campaigns (Aegis I), Presses Universitaires Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, 2009.

▪ Soles 1979 = J. S. Soles, The Early Gournia Town, AJA 83, No. 2 (1979), 149-167.

▪ Soles 1992 = J. S. Soles, The Prepalatial Cemeteries at Mochlos and Gournia and the House Tombs of Bronze Age Crete, (Hesperia Supplement 24), Princeton, 1992.

▪ Soles & Davaras 1994 = J. S. Soles & C. Davaras, Excavations at Mochlos, 1990-1991, Hesperia 63, No. 4 (1994), 391-436.

▪ Soles & Davaras 1996 = J. S. Soles & C. Davaras, Excavations at Mochlos, 1992-1993, Hesperia 65, No. 2 (1996), 175-230.

▪ Wallace 2005 = S. Wallace, Last Chance to See? Karfi (Crete) in the Twenty-First Century: Presentation of New Architectural Data and Their Analysis in the Current Context of Research, BSA 100 (2005), 215-74.

▪ Warren 1969 = P. Warren, Minoan Stone Vases, Cambridge, 1969.

Notes

2 Excavations in Zone 2 were directed by F. Carpentier (2009, 2010), assisted by M. Daeppen (2010), B. Decraene (2009), P. Gheorghiade (2010), M. Hanquart (2009), J. Lorang (2009), G. McGuire (2010), Y. Milathianakis (2009, 2010) and J. Monnaie (2010).

3 Neighbouring Building BA features a bedrock floor and wall (Sissi I: 99-100); the architectural integration of bedrock has been reported in Zone 1 (Sissi I: 53-4, 59-62, 70-1, 77, 85) and to a much larger extent in Zone 5 (Sissi I: 139-146, 148-9, 151, 153); the use of bedrock in Minoan architecture has been attested elsewhere (Wallace 2005: 239; Poursat 1996: 36; Soles 1992: 211).

4 For an assessment of the pottery, see C. Langohr, this volume, chapter 8.

5 For similar examples, see Soles 1979: 153, 155, 165; MacGillivray et al. 1984: 159; Shaw & Shaw 1993: 143; Soles & Davaras 1994: 399-400, 417, 419, 423, 425-6; 1996: 191-2, 201-2, 206.

6 Q. Letesson, this volume, chapter 5.

7 The remains of the burnt column/beam, a vitrified cup and the presence of salvageable, undamaged objects (Schiffer 1987: 95) favour an in situ destruction event.

8 Chargé de Recherche au CNRS, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Populations du Passé, Université Bordeaux 1.

9 Chargé de Recherche au CNRS, UMR 6578- Anthropologie bioculturelle, Faculté de Médecine Nord, Université de la Méditerranée (Marseille).

10 UMR 6578- Anthropologie bioculturelle, Faculté de Médecine Nord, Université de la Méditerranée (Marseille).

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 4.1. ARCHITECTURAL PLAN OF BUILDING BC, INSET SHOWING ZONE 2 (P. HACIGÜZELLER)
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Légende Fig. 4.2. OBJECTS FROM SPACES 2.6 AND 2.7 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
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Légende Fig. 4.3. OBJECTS FROM SPACE 2.8 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
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Légende Fig. 4.4. AERIAL VIEW OF SPACE 2.8, FEATURING THE LARGE BASIN (A), PUMICE-COVERED PLATFORM (B) AND RITUAL DEPOSIT (C). NOTE THE INFANT BURIAL IN THE SOUTH CORNER (N. KRESS/L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-4.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.5. TRIPOD COOKING POTS (TCP), OPEN VASES (V) AND HEARTH (H) IN SPACE 2.8 (N. KRESS/L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-5.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.6. FINDS FROM SPACE 2.9; LEFT TO RIGHT: MORTAR OR TROUGH (B. DECRAENE), BOTTOM VIEW OF OVAL STAND (CHR. PAPA-NIKOLOPOULOS), PIG MANDIBLE (F. CARPENTIER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-6.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.7. SPACE 2.10 WITH BENCH AND TWO-TILE INSTALLATION IN FRONT (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-7.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.8. FIGURINE FROM SPACE 2.10 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
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Légende Fig. 4.9. FIGURINE FROM SPACE 2.11 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
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Légende Fig. 4.10. DESTRUCTION DEPOSIT IN SPACE 2.12 (N. KRESS & L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-10.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.11. OBJECTS FROM SPACE 2.12 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-11.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.12. LEFT: PYXIS BURIAL IN SITU (B. DECRAENE), RIGHT: THIRD STAGE OF CONTENT EXCAVATION (I. CREVECOEUR)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-12.jpg
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Légende Fig. 4.13. PICTURE AND RECONSTITUTION DRAWING OF INFANT BURIAL, CORPSE PARTLY INSERTED INTO A PYXIS (A. CIVETTA)
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Légende Fig. 4.14. ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESES FOR WALL B32 (F. CARPENTIER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/3125/img-14.jpg
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Auteur

KULeuven Research Fund PhD candidate

© Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2011

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