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Excavations at Sissi

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Jan Driessen

5. The Excavation of Zone 2

Frank Carpentier

Texte intégral

1. Introduction

  • 1 Excavations in zone 2 were directed by C. Langohr (2007) and F. Carpentier (2008), assisted by O. (...)

1Presented here are the preliminary results of the 2007 and 2008 excavations carried out in Zone 2 on the Kephali Hill in Sissi1. Zone 2 is situated on the middle terrace of the north-western slope of the hill and the excavated structures are located in squares AR 73-74, AS-AT 72-75, AU 73-75 (cf. fig. 1.16). At ca. 17 metres above sea level and ca. 5.40 metres below the level of the buildings in Zones 3 and 4 on the summit, the structures of Zone 2 occupy an intermediate part of the hill. The area featured surfacing boulder walls, which attracted interest. A small excavation campaign by the epimelete K. Davaras in 1962 touched part of a large, square building (Davaras 1963; 1964). This excavation led to the classification and protection of the hill as an archaeological heritage site. Similar walls were attested nearby. Unlike the occupation on the summit of the hill, construction on the middle terrace appears to have been less dense. A large trench (squares AT 74-76, AU 73-76, AV-AW 73-75) of ca. 10 m by 13 m was opened in 2007, located in between the southeast corner of the building, which we now refer to as the Davaras Building, and a visible standing wall corner about 16.20 m further southeast, part of Building BB. The aim was to explore the existence of possible structures in between the two large constructions. Whereas most of the area appeared largely devoid of construction, architectural remains were discovered close to the southeast corner of Building BA, one of which formed a partly subterranean space (2.1) and the three others small compartments (2.2; 2.3; 2.4) (fig. 5.1).

  • 2 Plans of Zone 2: courtesy of P. Hacıgüzeller, based on site plans by B. Decraene and S. Henne.

Fig. 5.1. ARCHITECTURAL PLAN OF BUILDING BA (P. HACIGÜZELLER)2

2. Building BA, Room 2.5 (‘Davaras Building’)

2Room 2.5 (Fig. 5.1) was positively identified as the building excavated in the sixties for a variety of reasons: the spoil heaps still exist right outside the outer walls, the presence of winter wash and recently disturbed soil within the walls and corresponding dimensions to those mentioned by Davaras (1963, 1964). Building BA is undoubtedly the most apparent structure of the entire zone, rivalling even the more prominent constructions on the hilltop in size (83.22 m²). The large exterior walls of the structure make for a square-shaped construction which was interiorly further subdivided by smaller walls. The annexes to the southeast were constructed against the outer walls of the building to which they were connected through a doorway. Entry to the complex was provided by an entrance (08-02-0274-FE002) at the western end of the south wall. A broken, bluish-grey limestone column base (08-02-0279-FE003) was found standing in the southeast quadrant of the building. Roughly circular in shape, it had a diameter of 0.26 m and a height of 0.31 m. Close to the east wall, two rectangular terracotta slabs (08-020297-FE001) were found in situ, remnants of a floor or installation (fig. 5.2), perhaps fragments of the slab floor found by Davaras (1964). One was nearly complete, measuring 0.40 x 026 x 0.05 m, while the other was only partially preserved. Laid parallel to the nearby east wall, the south tile shifts about 0.05 m to the east in relation to its neighbour. For the outer walls, large boulders were used, which had their longitudinal axis aligned with that of their respective walls. The inside of the walls features backing walls with up to two courses of small stones, a practice attested elsewhere on site, but not preserved everywhere.

Fig. 5.2. TERRACOTTA SLABS FOUND IN SITU (B. DECRAENE)

Fig. 5.3. WALL B15 (DARK) WITH LONGITUDINAL AXIS (RED) (F. CARPENTIER)

3The south exterior wall of Room 2.5 (B13, 08-02-0263-FE001) consists of massive limestone and conglomerate boulders. It has a length of 10.30 m, a width of 0.68 m and a height of 0.39 m. The west part of the wall was constructed using significantly smaller stones than the east part, which features some of the largest stones of the entire building. Some 2.16 m separate the smaller boulders from the southwest, where a packing of small stones is embedded into the floor. Two of those small stones bear smoothed upper surfaces which are the possible remains of an entrance (08-02-0274-FE002).

4Eight limestone and conglomerate boulders form the 8.08 m long and 0.61 m wide east wall (B14, 08-02-0263FE002) of the room. The wall, which has a preserved height of 0.31 m, has also partly been used by the smaller annexes (Spaces 2.2 and 2.3). The stones are all of roughly similar dimensions. Parts of the interior are still covered by what is either tumble or a stone fill. Bordering the northern edge of the southeast cornerstone, a limestone threshold (08-02-0285-FE002), consisting of several smaller, bluish-grey stones with smoothed upper surfaces, intersects the wall for ca. 0.72 m. It provides access from the interior of Room 2.5 to Space 2.2, which contains a work platform.

5The west wall (B15, 08-02-0268-FE002) of Room 2.5 is 8.86 m long, 60 m. wide and 0.41 m high. Stones of different materials and size were used in its construction. About halfway, the wall axis exhibits a small shift, putting the north part 0.44 m inwards (fig. 5.3). The south part lacks the inner lining of small stones attested elsewhere on the inside of the exterior walls. There is no apparent reason for this peculiarity, but it may be noteworthy that the indent occurs at about the same distance as Wall B18’s southern end.

6The north wall (B16, 08-02-0268-FE001) consists of an uninterrupted line of sizeable boulders and sports a length of ca. 9.35 m, a width of ca. 0.63 m and a preserved height of ca. 0.51 m. The inner face of the eastern part is still covered by tumble. Elsewhere, it shows the same lining of small stones although this backing is interrupted where the boulders protrude.

7Several small interior walls were uncovered in Room 2.5. These may served as partitioning walls and may even have supported a light roof construction. It is not at all impossible that more wall lines existed originally or at the time of the first excavation but that these were dislodged in the mean time. A small limestone wall (B17, 08-020274-FE001) was built halfway against B13. It heads north some 1.31 m and has been built with two faces, with a thickness of ca. 0.50 m. For the moment only the upper surface of this wall has been excavated. Further north and aligned with B17 is a wall (B18, 08-02-0271-FE001), 2.14 m long, 0.35 m wide and 0.31 m high. Its construction is similar to that of B17, with two limestone faces. Given these similarities and its alignment, this wall may have been the continuation of B17. On the other hand, the southern end of this wall seems to correspond with the indent of B15 (cf. above). A third small wall (B19, 08-02-0283-FE001) was attested in the northeast part of the room. Parallel to and 1.59 m south of B16, the wall has a length of 1.53 m, a width of 0.36 m and a height of 0.32 m. There is a distance of 1.09 m between B19’s eastern end and B14, to which it is perpendicular. A fourth wall (B20, 08-02-0279-FE002) was traced close to B14, to which it runs parallel at a metre’s distance. It is located at about 2.35 m from B16 and 2.64 m from B13. Different types of stone were used in its construction and it shows only a single wall face. B20 has a length of 1.31 m and a height of 0.25 m. A thick packing of stones still covers the area in between B20 and B14, so its width could not be established. As it seems unlikely that these stones constitute a fill, they probably represent tumble. Although excavation is not entirely finished here, it seems as if two small wall alignments jut out westwards. In between these two alignments, the aforementioned terracotta slabs are located.

8The stratigraphy in the Room 2.5 was less well defined than in the other spaces of the complex and even the topsoil differed markedly from that generally observed elsewhere on site. Disturbed by earlier archaeological activities, the surface was more stony and with sparse vegetation only. In certain areas, the disturbed earth continued up until the bedrock, while in other areas, the archaeological context had survived. The soil properties of the latter seem consistently similar, which may indicate that they form part of the same deposition event.

9The finds of the excavation campaign of 1962 were only scantily published but included large storage vase fragments and a lead weight (Davaras 1964). In 2008, part of the interior of the building was cleared in order to understand its broader context and obtain information on dating and the nature of the building. Only a few finds were made, including some pottery, bone, charcoal, mudbrick, pumice, shell and obsidian. The pottery, however, was few and fragmentary. Although no complete recipient could be restored, a few jar profiles (0802-0263-OB001, 08-02-0263-OB002 and 08-02-0271-OB005) could be mended. Three terracotta loomweights were registered (08-02-0267-OB001, 08-02-0271-OB002, 08-02-0273-OB005). Close to the surface, a sizeable stone weight (08/02/0268/OB001) (fig. 5.4) was collected while a smaller stone weight – possibly a loomweight (08-02-0273-OB004) – appeared close to wall B18. Other discoveries comprised two stone tools (08-020273-OB006, 08-02-0279-OB001), a worked stone (08-02-0274-SA006), a steatite bead or button (08-02-0273OB002) and a pierced schist disc (08-02-0273-OB001) (fig. 5.5). In addition, five bronze tools (fig. 5.21) – three needles (08-02-0271-OB001, 08-02-0271-OB003 and 08-02-0273-OB003), a point (08-02-0271-OB004) and another bronze tool (08-02-0271-SA007) – were collected from a small area, in which most of the stone objects and loomweights had been found as well.

10It is difficult to state anything with certainty about this room. It is very likely that it was accessible from the southwest, where, like with the much better preserved entrance into Space 2.2, the line of boulders is interrupted. It is at present not clear whether the whole of the structure was roofed or not. The small partition walls could perhaps indicate partial light roofing and the column base and terracotta tiles suggest that at least the southeast quadrant was roofed since these usually occur inside buildings (Shaw 1974: 204-205). Elsewhere, the lack of supporting features renders such a reconstruction unlikely, although a relation between B18 and the inwards shift of B15 may suggest that this part too was originally roofed.

Fig. 5.4. STONE WEIGHT (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

Fig. 5.5. STEATITE BEAD AND PIERCED SCHIST DISC (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

11The discovery of the bronze tools, all found close to one another and at comparable depths, suggests that they once formed a tool kit. Most of the other objects were also found in the vicinity: one stone and two terracotta loomweights, a stone tool, a bead and the perforated schist disc may have had some relation to the bronze tools. The pottery found here was very fragmentary but there are some links to the ceramics found in the annexes (C. Langohr, pers. comm.).

3. Building BA, Space 2.1

12It is clear that Space 2.1 (6.51 m²) was added against the southeast corner of the Building BA and its construction implied great effort since the cellar was dug down to the bedrock (about 0.77 m lower than the work platform in adjacent Space 2.2) and special care was given to its south wall. Space 2.1 is the southernmost of a series of four spaces that served as annexes to Room 2.5. The space is broadly square in shape, but its orientation is off compared to the rest of the complex. The room’s floor is formed by a relatively level platform of bedrock which rises towards the southwest. The south part of this surface is dominated by a natural crack in the bedrock (fig. 5.6). The edge of this fissure runs diagonally from the east wall B3 to the south wall B4, starting 0.34 m north from the southeast corner and meeting B4 again at 1.69 m west from the same corner. Apart from narrowing, the fissure also mounts towards the west. It reaches a maximum depth of 0.43 m and was not cut.

13The four walls of Space 2.1 all exhibit specific traits. The south wall (B4, 07-02-0215-FE001) stands out because of its good construction (fig. 5.6). Stones of varying size form a single-faced but well-stacked wall of 3.03 m long and 0.33 m wide. Its height varies greatly as B4 continues all the way to the bottom of the crack (1.48 m) on the eastern edge, while the bedrock floor rises to 0.19 m from the top of B4 at the western edge. It is remarkable that a wall of such quality was built from the bedrock crack up, especially when one compares to the other walls of Space 2.1. Equally noteworthy is the southward deviation of the wall when compared to the north wall.

Fig. 5.6. SOUTH WALL OF SPACE 2.1, WITH THE NATURAL CUT IN THE BEDROCK IN FRONT (L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)

  • 3 Gournes are rectangular sandstone (ammouda) blocks which feature one or more cut cavities on their (...)

14The 3.05 m-long and 0.59 m-wide east wall (B3, 07-02-0207-FE001) partially makes use of bedrock but it is difficult to tell whether the bedrock was worked or not. Since the bedrock surfaces at about 1 m east of the wall, while the bedrock floor in the room is 1.25 m lower, it may indicate that a large part of bedrock in the wall face was used, tailored or not, to serve as part of B3. The wall has a large stone near its southeast corner, which bridges the bedrock crack located there and meets with B4. Here and in the northern part of the wall face, two courses of stone can be observed. In the northern part, where no bedrock was observed in the wall face, the wall does not extend to the bedrock floor but rests on earth. The west wall (B6, 08-02-0242-FE001) is 3.51 m long, 0.58 m wide and rather than running parallel to B3, is oriented more to the west. B6 has been constructed with limestone, marine rocks and conglomerate stones of varying size. It features a single wall face and consists of one to two courses only. Abutting the westernmost part of the large southeast cornerstone of Room 2.5, B6 reveals that the latter was built before Space 2.1. The height of this wall varies substantially: at its northern edge, it stands at 1.25 m, whereas the south western corner is but 0.27 m high. This difference in height is caused by mounting bedrock. Unlike B4, Wall B6 does not rest on top of bedrock but on earth. It should be noted, however, that the west part of the room was ridden with stones, perhaps the result of a collapse from another wall. The north wall (B5, 08-02-0240-FE001), about 3.98 m long, and 0.67 m wide, consists of three structurally different parts: two wall parts interrupted by a gourna3 (fig. 5.7), related to a work platform (see Space 2.2). The east part of B5 consists of a makeshift wall, 1.87 m long, with tarazza, sandstone, limestone and conglomerate stones of varying size. The uppermost course is formed by two large stones, very similar to those used in the outer walls of Room 2.5. Beneath, two stone courses can be observed, one of which contains a possibly worked block of tarazza. As is the case for B6 and partly B3, the wall rests on earth rather than going down to the bedrock. West of the gourna, 0.88 m long, the wall appears to continue for another 1.27 m formed by a single boulder, which is aligned with the uppermost stones of the eastern part as well as with the south wall of Room 2.5. A part of the southeast cornerstone completes B5. The height of the wall is 1.25 m, bar the part where the gourna is located, which is only 0.77 m high.

  • 4 The excavations in 2007 were directed by C. Langohr whom I tank for the permission to use her note (...)

15Space 2.1 was partially excavated in 2007 and excavation continued in 20084. A threefold stratigraphical structure was identified. The higher levels comprised a mostly solid layer of yellowish-brown, coarse sand, with a large number of stones and lumps of Sissi earth as well as some inclusions of pebbles and rare charcoal specks. A second layer beneath was slightly less compact, brownish sand with inclusions of charcoal, mudbrick and pebbles. Larger charcoal and mudbrick fragments were also observed, as was an amorphous surfacing of light yellow-brown, compact earth in which shells were found. The third, lowermost layer was markedly different. Its soil was dark brown in colour, very loosely compacted and the sand it consisted of was relatively coarse. This layer, which appeared to retain moisture better than the preceding one, had inclusions of charcoal (which were larger than in the previous layer), mudbrick, small pebbles and so-called Sissi earth. It also included sherds, bones, charcoal, mudbrick, ash, shell, fragments of sea-urchins and crustaceans. This fill continued into the small cutting near B4. Preliminary study of the bone material yielded sheep or goat remains. Shells were predominantly those of cockles, although whelks and scallops were also retrieved. Sea urchin remains were ubiquitously present, with both needles and the fragile main exoskeletons present (fig. 5.8). Crustacean remains consisted mainly of the dactyl parts of claws.

  • 5 See C. Langohr, this volume, chapter 9, for a preliminary assessment.

16The pottery found in Room 2.1 was mostly fragmentary5. There does not seem to be much difference in period, quality, type or provenance between that found in the compacted upper layers and those of the loose layers near the floor. A large number of cup bases were collected, with a concentration of a few dozen in the crevice close to the south wall. Some of the cup bases were pierced to form cup rhytons. Among the restorable vessels were the possible fragment of a tripod table (07-02-0215-OB001), nine conical cups (07-02-0218-OB001, 08-02-0240-OB002, 08-02-0241-OB001, 08-02-0242-OB003 and 08-02-0242-OB004, 08-02-0245-OB003, 08-02-0249-OB002, 0802-0270-OB001 and 08-02-0270-OB002), a painted, fragmentary cup (07-02-0221-OB010), a lamp with hollow, concave foot (07-02-0221-OB003), a small, tripod bowl (08-02-0240-OB001), bowls (08-02-0240-OB003, 0802-0242-OB005), a closed vase (08-02-0240-OB005), another vase (08-02-0250-OB002) and jugs (08-02-0242OB002, 08-02-0245-OB002, 08-02-0249-OB004).

Fig. 5.7. GOURNA DIVIDING WALL B5 (L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)

Fig. 5.8. SEA URCHIN REMAINS EMBEDDED IN PROFILE ( J. DRIESSEN)

17Two vessels found in the northeast corner of the room were in situ: an open vase (08-02-0258-OB003) which though cracked was complete. Onto it, an oval-mouthed amphora (08-02-0258-OB002) had fallen, crushed on its rim (Fig. 5.9). From this space further came a fragment of the torso of a clay figurine (07-02-0211-OB002) and five loomweights (07-02-0209-OB001, 07-02-0228-OB002, 07-02-0234-OB001, 08-02-0245-OB001, 08-020249-OB003).

Fig. 5.9. LARGELY INTACT OPEN VASE AND CRUSHED OVAL MOUTHED AMPHORA IN THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF SPACE 2.1 (L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)

18Stone objects include two worked stones (08-02-0244-OB001, 08-02-0250-OB001), two vase fragments (0702-0201-OB001, 07-02-0221-OB009), three loomweights (07-02-0218-OB002, 07-02-0221-OB011, 08-02-0242OB001), an offering table fragment (07-02-0221-OB001), two quern stones (07-02-0221-OB007 and 07-02-0221OB008) and small obsidian blades (07-02-0201-OB002, 07-02-0206-OB001, 07-02-0211-OB001). The tumble also contained a rounded V-shaped set of horns (07-02-0221-OB002) of which one was well preserved and reached a length of ca. 20 cm. Future archaeozoological study should shed further light on the type and age of the animal.

  • 6 Interpretation courtesy of J. Driessen.

19It is not clear what the original function of the cellar was. The open jar with oval-mouthed amphora suggests some kind of industrial installation in connection with liquids. In any case, it may be that the roof collapsed at some stage and that the space was then used to dump material from an area nearby. It is then likely that the cellar and this nearby area were both affected by some destruction but whereas the latter may have been cleared out and reused, the cellar was given up6.

4. Building BA, Spaces 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4

20Space 2.2 (fig. 5.10) is a broadly square compartment (4.34 m²) which extends south-westwards, where its work platform (08/02/0285/FE001) links up with Space 2.1. As mentioned, a gourna with two cavities and two dowel holes on either side is located in the western half of the north wall that separates Spaces 2.1 and 2.2. The gourna at present forms the base of an opening in the wall at ca. 0.77 m above the bedrock floor in Space 2.1 and, at the same time, may have provided access from Space 2.1 into the compartment to the north. A threshold (08-02-0285FE002) connects the space to Building BA while a possible staircase east provides an additional means of access to and from the work platform. Sandstone floor slabs (08-02-0266-FE001) make up part of the floor. Though similar to the large slabs that form the work platform, the floor slabs are not level and incline to the east. In the northeast corner of the space are some traces of a concreted pebble layer covering part of the slab. A rounded hole at the edge of one of the slabs had ceramic fragments lining its edge, possibly remnants of an installation. The work platform consists of five cut sandstone blocks that form a rectangular, level feature of 1.18 m by 0.82 m. It is bordered by the opening to the Room 2.5. The aforementioned gourna is directly accessible from the platform, and is at exact the same height as the work platform. The slabs of the platform and those of the floor are very similar. The platform has a very regular edge, however, and as such, is best treated as a feature in its own right. The walls of Space 2.2 differ from one another as they serve different purposes. Wall B14 of Room 2.5, described above, doubles as the west wall of Space 2.2.

Fig. 5.10. FURNISHED WITH A WORK PLATFORM AND WITH AN OPENING TO BUILDING BA AND THREE GOURNES (IN RED) THAT PROVIDED ACCESS TO SPACES 2.1, 2.3 AND 2.4 AND STAIRS (BLUE), SPACE 2.2 PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE WITHIN THE BUILDING (F. CARPENTIER)

21The east wall (B7, 08-02-0241-FE001) of Space 2.2 is well-built with two faces of large, mostly limestone stones and carefully arranged smaller stones in the wall fill. The wall abuts the northeast corner of Space 2.1 without an exterior wall face, implying that this wall was built against Wall B5. From this wall, B7 stretches for 2.32 m up to a large stone, after which wall B12 continues at a slightly different angle. B7 has a width of 0.82 m and a height of up to 0.52 m. Two to three courses can be observed in the inner wall face. Near the southern end, a small space was spared in the interior of the wall which suited a complete conical cup, placed sideways, perhaps a foundation deposit (fig. 5.11). A chunk of obsidian and some bone fragments were found beneath the cup. The thickness of wall B7 is odd when compared to the other walls (see below).

22East of the work platform are three flat, limestone slabs of similar shape and size (east stone: 0.43 x. 0.31 x 0.07 m; middle stone: 0.49 x 0.28 x 0.18 m; west stone: 0.51 x. 0.41 x 0.09 m). They may have formed a small flight of stairs, now partially collapsed, that connected the work platform with the east wall. There may have been a platform or ladder, or further stairs built into this comparatively thick east wall (0.74 m). The difference in height between the highest step and the floor of Space 2.2 is 0.51 m. The lowest step is 0.31 m above the floor.

Fig. 5.11. POSSIBLE FOUNDATION DEPOSIT IN WALL B7, EAST WALL OF SPACE 2.2 (F. CARPENTIER)

23The north wall (B9, 08-02-0248-FE002) which separates Space 2.2 from Spaces 2.3 and 2.4 uses different types of stone and can be subdivided into two parts, each closing off one of the smaller storage rooms and each featuring a gourna. The eastern part is 0.91 m long and 0.43 m wide, has two courses with, in its upper one, an irregularly shaped gourna (fig. 5.18). This gourna measures 0.51 m x 0.31 m and has a single large, oval depression of 0.23 x 0.14 m. A handled sherd was found inside the hole. The wall part consists of a single face and has a height of 0.42 m. The other, western part is of similar construction: a large, tapered gourna (fig. 5.18) takes up two thirds of the wall. Its dimensions are 0.75 x 0.36 m, with a single oval depression of 0.24 x 0.17 m and a small, square shallow dowel hole next to it. The wall is slightly wider at its eastern end (0.51 m) than at its western end (0.29 m) and has a height 0.30 m. Three courses of stone were used in its construction.

24Space 2.2 was found thoroughly littered with stones, perhaps representing tumble from an originally blocked doorway leading into the Room 2.5. Beneath the tumble was a layer of brown earth with inclusions of mudbrick, Sissi earth and pebbles. This covered a layer of sherds, which in turn covered a pottery deposit. This parallels the stratigraphical situation in the adjacent Spaces 2.3 and 2.4. Both layers also had some stone tools, bone, stalactite, shell, pumice and ash.

  • 7 See C. Langohr, this volume, chapter 9.

25Most of the pottery here was broken but some vases were restorable. As discussed by Langohr7, the pottery is of general LM I date and includes the base of a tripod cooking pot (08-02-0255-OB001), a complete conical cup (08-02-0266-OB002), a pulled rim bowl (08-02-0281-OB002) (fig. 5.12) and three decorated closed vessels (0802-0255-OB004, 08-02-0269-OB005, 08-02-0266-OB005). More stone objects were found here than in any other of the annexes, accounting for almost half of all the stone objects found in Zone 2. Two stone loomweights (08-020269-OB003, 08-02-0281-OB003), three terracotta loomweights (08-02-0266-OB003, 08-02-0269-OB002, 0802-0281-OB004), a quartz bead (08-02-0272-OB002), a polished limestone axe (08-02-0269-OB004) (fig. 5.13), three other stone tools (08-02-0281-OB004, 08-02-0281-OB005 and 08-02-0281-OB006), a stone kernos with three cupules (08-02-0255-OB002) and a very similar worked stone without depressions (08-02-0255-OB003). Space 2.2 also yielded a bronze needle (08-02-0262-SA005). Some of the pottery had hard limestone concretions attested also on some sherds in Spaces 2.3 and 2.4.

26Space 2.2 seems to have played a central role in the building. It is the only room that is accessible from all annexes as well as from Room 2.5. The space(s) accessed by the stairs in the southeast corner of Space 2.2 are no longer present, but it adds to the room’s importance as a circulation hub. Moreover, Space 2.2 is the only room from which all three gournes can be reached. Of particular interest here is the gourna with the two cavities and two dowel holes. Such “double-troughed” gournes are considered typical for Malia and very few are attested elsewhere (Treuil 1971: 13). Close parallels for the Sissi example occur in the southwest wing of the Palace of Malia (J. Driessen, pers. comm.) and in the house at Haghia Varvara (Pelon 1966: 562-569). Their possible function is debated and hypotheses range from kitchen installations to industrial installations or even the bases of wall niches or animal troughs (Treuil 1971: 24-27).

Fig. 5.12. PULLED RIM BOWL IN SPACE 2.2 AS FOUND (B. DECRAENE)

Fig. 5.13. POLISHED STONE AXE FROM SPACE 2.2 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

27The westernmost of the two small, square compartments located north of Space 2.2 and separated from the latter by a wall, in which a single-cavity gourna was integrated, is Space 2.3 (fig. 5.18). The space has a surface area of 1.49 m². The south wall has already been described as Space 2.2’s north wall whereas its west wall has been described as the east wall (B14) of the Building BA. The north wall (B10, 08-02-0248-FE003) of Space 2.3, which continues to form the north wall of Space 2.4, is made of limestone. The wall is 2.57 m long, 0.43 m wide and 0.36 m high with two courses. The east wall (B11, 08-02-0248-FE004) is 1.43 m long, 0.42 m wide and 0.35 m high. Two LM I pottery deposits, possibly indicating two distinct acts of deposition, were separated by a thin layer of earth. Both deposits included ceramics, bone, charcoal and shell. In addition, the lower layer contained some pumice and stalactite. The pottery seems predominantly to be of LM I date and included several complete profiles: three cups (08-02-0265-OB001, 08-02-025-OB002, 08-02-0265-OB003) (fig. 5.14), a miniature cup (fig. 5.15) which had lost its handle (08-02-0265-OB004) and some restorable profiles (08-02-0252-OB001, 08-02-0252-OB002, 08-02-0265-006 and 08-02-0265-OB008). The space also contained a terracotta loomweight (08-02-0265-OB005) and a piece of obsidian (08-02-0265-OB007). Some sherds featured the stony concretions mentioned before.

Fig. 5.14. COMPLETE CUP FROM SPACE 2.3 (CHR.PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

Fig. 5.15. MINIATURE CUP FROM SPACE 2.3 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

28Like its western counterpart, Space 2.4 is a small, square space of similar dimensions (1.12 m²) and construction. The floor seems to be of compacted earth. The room’s north wall is formed by B10, its south wall by B9, the west wall by B11 and its east wall by B12. Wall B12, 1.64 m long, 0.57 m wide, seems to have been constructed at a later stage than B7. Here too, there were two pottery concentrations, separated by a thin earth layer. Other finds included some charcoal, mudbrick and a small obsidian blade. The pottery is much more fragmentary than and not as plentiful as in Space 2.3. Both Spaces 2.3 and 2.4 may have served as temporary storage spaces for smaller vases.

5. Building BB

29Before the start of the 2007 campaign, a 9.60 m long facade made of large limestone boulders was visible, southeast of Building BA (B2, 07-02-0202-FE002). The rest of the outer walls remains largely covered by colluvium and vegetation. Of the north wall (B1, 07-02-0202-FE001) only 4 m can be traced. The walls of this building share many characteristics with the outer walls of Room 2.5, notably the size, material and shape of the stones used and the inner lining of small stones (fig. 5.16).

Fig. 5.16. BUILDING BB (LEFT) (P. HACIGÜZELLER)

30A small trench was opened (ca. 3. x ca. 4.5 m) in the northwest corner (square AW 75) of the building where a compact homogenous layer of dark brown earth with few sherds but many stones was encountered. This layer was sitting on a homogenous brown stratum with more sherds, some bone and mudbrick. Amongst the sherds were two kylix fragments, bones and mudbrick but it is likely that this represents hill wash.

31The western half of the excavated corner showed a stratum of reddish brown earth with a dense layer of large pottery sherds and some severely burnt mudbrick pieces. The east part’s soil was compact and yellowish-brown, had far less ceramics and no burnt mudbrick. The absence of complete profiles in the west deposit suggests that this represents a secondary deposition of a destruction layer cleared out from elsewhere. Since the outside wall is partly placed upon it, it may be a layer specially brought in to level the terrain prior to building. The burnt layer comprised many sherds, all Protopalatial (MM IIB), as well as some bone, shell, a quern stone (07-02-0213-OB001), three fragmentary terracotta loomweights (07-02-0213-OB002, 07-02-0223-OB001, 07-02-0226-OB001) and a stone vase handle (07-02-0225-OB001). Despite the scarcity of finds and limited excavations, Walls B1 and B2 may be considered as the exterior walls of a structure resembling Building BA.

6. Building BC

32To the north of Building BA, the outline of another large structure was identified on the basis of aerial photographs and the geomagnetic and topographical survey. In 2008, the area was cleared of vegetation to allow better aerial photography (fig. 5.17). This revealed a building seemingly consisting of two parts, of which at least one seems completely walled. Surface cleaning revealed what may be a smooth threshold block next to the western cornerstone of the northern wall. It seems unlikely that earlier excavations were carried out here since there are no spoil heaps and ample pottery fragments are present. Currently, four walls can be observed, all built in large limestone boulders. The north wall is about 7 m long and 0.62 m wide. The south wall is ca. 11 m long and 0.75 m wide, the east wall some 7.00 m long and 0.30 m wide. A wall of 7.60 m long and 0.43 m wide divides the two main spaces of the building. Future excavations will tell whether this structure is indeed comparable to Room 2.5 of Building BA. At least its size (ca. 83.60 m²) and construction compare well with the latter (83.22 m²).

Fig. 5.17. BUILDING BC AND BUILDING BA TO ITS SOUTH (NORTH AT TOP) (C. GASTON)

7. Conclusion

33The excavations in and around Building BA have yielded some interesting results, both on a local and a regional scale. Although its construction date is hitherto uncertain, Building BA’s main phase of use seems to have been LM I when it was a large, square building. During this phase, a series of small annexes comprising a basement, two small storage spaces and a central space with work platform were added. Space 2.2, accessible from all surrounding spaces, has a sandstone slab floor, a work platform with a double-cavity, doweled gourna. This gave access to two small spaces, which each had a single-cavity gourna in their respective partitioning walls. The configuration of these spaces suggests an industrial purpose. The rare occurrence of “double-troughed” gournes (Treuil 1971: 25) is another strong indicator. Access to the basement, which featured a liquid-related installation, further implies some kind of production process. Spaces, 2.3 and 2.4, likely intended for storage, share some features with the recently excavated MM-LM I Building Pi in Quartier Delta in Malia (Pomadere 2008) (figs. 5.18 & 5.19).

Fig. 5.18. SISSI, SPACES 2.3 AND 2.4 (NORTH AT BOTTOM) (C.GASTON)

  • 8 Permission to publish this picture was granted by Dr. M. Pomadere.

Fig. 5.19. MALIA, QUARTIER DELTA, BUILDING PI (M. POMADERE 8)

34The sheer number of loomweighs, made in stone or terracotta and of varying shape, surprises and may offer an indication as to the function of part of the building (fig. 5.20). Of the twenty loomweights discovered, most from the annexes, textile production seems to have been at least one of the activities here. Other objects, such as the larger stone weight and the lead weight found by Davaras (Davaras 1964) may support this hypothesis (Poursat 1996: 73-74) as would the bronze tool kit (Soles 2003: 93) found in Room 2.5 (fig. 5.21). If we are to consider the complex as a textile and tailor’s workshop, perhaps including a residential aspect, then the work platform in Space 2.2 probably formed part of the production process. In fact, double-troughed gournes with dowel holes have been linked to textile production (Begg 1975: 28, n. 61-63). In this sense, Sissi would follow practices attested already at Malia with similar house-workshops (Poursat 1996: 124) in which doweled, double-troughed gournes were used. Among the finds at Malia, a large number of loomweights and similar concretions on some sherds have been attested. This concretion may have been natural in both cases or could have been the result of a chemical interaction by stored substances. The signature of the building is, in other words, a distinct Maliote one.

Fig. 5.20. TERRACOTTA LOOMWEIGHTS OF ZONE 2 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

Fig. 5.21. BRONZE TOOL KIT FROM ZONE 2(CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

35Although configured differently, the architectural components of Building BA and its subsidiaries compare with those found in a building at Archanes. Building 4, in the cemetery at Phourni, consisted of two wings. The east wing had several small, compartmentalised spaces containing elements of wine production and weaving (Deligianni 2006: 309). Loomweights, obsidian blades, a bronze knife, a bead, scraper, pin and a lead weight were among the finds (Sakellarakis & Sapouna-Sakellaraki 1997: 224-227), all of which also attested in Zone 2.

36At some point, the complex in Zone 2 fell into disuse and its annexes seem to have been used as dumping areas. Space 2.1 was first filled with a mixture of cleared out debris and afterwards used to dump waste. Buildings BB and BC both resemble Building BA in size and construction technique. It remains to be seen whether they shared its artisanal function. If so, an industrial or artisanal zone, not unlike the one excavated on the shore opposite Mochlos Island, is a possibility. At present, traces of later occupation are lacking: all post-LM I material may very well represent hill wash.

Bibliographie

8. References

▪ Begg 1975 = I. Begg, Minoan Storerooms in the Late Bronze Age, unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, 1975.

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

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

▪ Deligianni 2006 = E. Deligianni, Το Κτηριο 4 στο Φουρνι Αρχανων. O Ρολος τον «Κοσμικων» Κτηριων τον Μινωικων Νεκροταφειων στην Ταφικη Τελετουργια, in Πεπραγμενα θ’ Διεθνουυς Κρητολογικου Συνεδριου, Τομος Α2, Iraklion, 2006, 297-310.

▪ Pelon 1966 = O. Pelon, Maison d’Hagia Varvara et architecture domestique à Mallia, in Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 90, 1966, 562-569.

▪ Pomadere 2008 = M. Pomadere, Malia, Quartier Delta. [web page] 2008 Sept; http://www.efa.gr/antiquite/if_crete.htm [accessed on 10 October 2008].

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

▪ Sakellarakis & Sapouna-Sakellaraki 1997 = Y. Sakellarakis & E. Sapouna-Sakellaraki, Archanes, Minoan Crete in a New Light, Vol. I, Athens, 1997.

▪ Shaw 1974 = J. W. Shaw, Minoan Architecture: Materials and Techniques, Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene 49, Rome, 1974.

▪ Soles 2003 = J. S. Soles, Mochlos IA. Period III. Neopalatial Settlement on the Coast: The Artisans’ Quarter and the Farmhouse at Chalinomouri, Philadelphia, 2003.

▪ Treuil 1971 = R. Treuil, Les auges doubles de Malia, in Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 95, 1971, 13-42.

Notes

1 Excavations in zone 2 were directed by C. Langohr (2007) and F. Carpentier (2008), assisted by O. Botman (2007), B. Decraene (2007, 2008), S. Henne (2008) and P. Zintzen (2007); workmen were G. Kiriakakis and M. Tzannakis (2007) and S. Cami and D. Vlachakis (2008).

2 Plans of Zone 2: courtesy of P. Hacıgüzeller, based on site plans by B. Decraene and S. Henne.

3 Gournes are rectangular sandstone (ammouda) blocks which feature one or more cut cavities on their upper surface. They are sometimes referred to as “troughs” and their function is debated (Treuil 1971: 13).

4 The excavations in 2007 were directed by C. Langohr whom I tank for the permission to use her notebook.

5 See C. Langohr, this volume, chapter 9, for a preliminary assessment.

6 Interpretation courtesy of J. Driessen.

7 See C. Langohr, this volume, chapter 9.

8 Permission to publish this picture was granted by Dr. M. Pomadere.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 5.1. ARCHITECTURAL PLAN OF BUILDING BA (P. HACIGÜZELLER)2
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 94k
Légende Fig. 5.2. TERRACOTTA SLABS FOUND IN SITU (B. DECRAENE)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 97k
Légende Fig. 5.3. WALL B15 (DARK) WITH LONGITUDINAL AXIS (RED) (F. CARPENTIER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 66k
Légende Fig. 5.4. STONE WEIGHT (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 61k
Légende Fig. 5.5. STEATITE BEAD AND PIERCED SCHIST DISC (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 32k
Légende Fig. 5.6. SOUTH WALL OF SPACE 2.1, WITH THE NATURAL CUT IN THE BEDROCK IN FRONT (L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 146k
Légende Fig. 5.7. GOURNA DIVIDING WALL B5 (L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 76k
Légende Fig. 5.8. SEA URCHIN REMAINS EMBEDDED IN PROFILE ( J. DRIESSEN)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 72k
Légende Fig. 5.9. LARGELY INTACT OPEN VASE AND CRUSHED OVAL MOUTHED AMPHORA IN THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF SPACE 2.1 (L. MANOUSOGIANNAKI)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 201k
Légende Fig. 5.10. FURNISHED WITH A WORK PLATFORM AND WITH AN OPENING TO BUILDING BA AND THREE GOURNES (IN RED) THAT PROVIDED ACCESS TO SPACES 2.1, 2.3 AND 2.4 AND STAIRS (BLUE), SPACE 2.2 PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE WITHIN THE BUILDING (F. CARPENTIER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 145k
Légende Fig. 5.11. POSSIBLE FOUNDATION DEPOSIT IN WALL B7, EAST WALL OF SPACE 2.2 (F. CARPENTIER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 156k
Légende Fig. 5.12. PULLED RIM BOWL IN SPACE 2.2 AS FOUND (B. DECRAENE)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 159k
Légende Fig. 5.13. POLISHED STONE AXE FROM SPACE 2.2 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 43k
Légende Fig. 5.14. COMPLETE CUP FROM SPACE 2.3 (CHR.PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 39k
Légende Fig. 5.15. MINIATURE CUP FROM SPACE 2.3 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 27k
Légende Fig. 5.16. BUILDING BB (LEFT) (P. HACIGÜZELLER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 73k
Légende Fig. 5.17. BUILDING BC AND BUILDING BA TO ITS SOUTH (NORTH AT TOP) (C. GASTON)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 348k
Légende Fig. 5.18. SISSI, SPACES 2.3 AND 2.4 (NORTH AT BOTTOM) (C.GASTON)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 214k
Légende Fig. 5.19. MALIA, QUARTIER DELTA, BUILDING PI (M. POMADERE 8)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-19.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 127k
Légende Fig. 5.20. TERRACOTTA LOOMWEIGHTS OF ZONE 2 (CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 158k
Légende Fig. 5.21. BRONZE TOOL KIT FROM ZONE 2(CHR. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/457/img-21.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 91k

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