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Excavations at Sissi

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Jan Driessen

7. The Excavation of Zone 5

Maud Devolder

Texte intégral

  • 1 Aspirante FNRS-UCL.

1Note portant sur l’auteur1

  • 2 Participated in the excavations: Nicolas Kress (2007), Stéphanie Lefèbvre (2007, 2008), Randall Va (...)

2The southwestern area of the summit of the hill, dubbed Zone 5, was chosen partly because of its strategic position on the site – it is located at the junction of the hilltop and a lower plateau (Trenches BD/BE-76/77/78 and BF/BG/BH/BJ-75/76/77 on the grid in fig. 1.16) – but mostly because of the presence of several standing walls of impressive character, visible before excavation (walls named E1, E2, E4 and E5 on fig. 7.1). These walls formed a projection to the south-east and delimited an area immediately north in which the bedrock showed several rock-cut pits. Exploration of the area to the north resulted in the discovery of a large structure (Building E) of which part of two walls (E8 and E9) were also visible before excavation. It is here that work concentrated during the 2007-2008 campaigns2. Situated at the southwest edge of the hilltop, parts of the western walls and internal spaces of Building E have almost certainly been destroyed by erosion. No main entrance has as yet been discovered, although several potential accesses to the building have been identified – perhaps connected to Spaces 5.1, 5.4 or 5.5. Further exploration in this area is needed.

Fig. 7.1. AERIAL VIEW OF ZONE 5 WITH NUMBERED SPACES AND WALLS OF BUILDING E (C. GASTON)

1. The south area of Zone 5

3Walls E1-E3 are large, south-east/north-west oriented walls, from which two perpendicular walls E4-E5 project to the south. Erosion limited exploration in this direction but we came upon tumble to the south of wall E1 and a possible wall (FE016), almost entirely eroded away, which juts out north-east of wall E5 (fig. 7.2).

Fig. 7.2. PLAN OF THE SOUTH AREA OF ZONE 5, WITH, IN PINK, THE ROCK-CUT PITS (P. HACIGÜZELLER & M. DEVOLDER)

4Although further exploration of the area north-west of these walls is still necessary to understand the structures here, the variation in level between the area north and south suggests that we are dealing with a series of terrace walls. In the only partly explored area to the north, a shallow layer of soil covered the bedrock. This layer seems to have been laid out on several occasions. A long cutting (07-05-0819-FE012) in the bedrock may suggest the original presence of a wall, which deviated from the orientation of the structure to the north (as described below). Several shallow, irregular pits, cut in the bedrock (07-05-0816-FE011; 07-05-0814-FE010; 07-05-0819-FE013; 07-05-0819-FE014; 07-05-0819-FE015), were found immediately south of the main structure in Zone 5 (fig. 7.3). On excavation, the two easternmost pits, 07-05-0819-FE014 and 07-05-0819-FE015, contained some semi-coarse and semi-fine pottery respectively.

Fig. 7.3. ROCK-CUT PITS IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE SOUTH AREA OF ZONE 5 (FROM WEST) (C. GASTON)

  • 3 3 Both natural and artificially cut pits and trenches exist in Block A at Gouves (Vallianou 1997: (...)

5Two other pits may have had a specific function. The westernmost one, 07-05-0816-FE011, was deeper (bottom at 19.06↓), quite regular and with a very smooth bottom, not unlike the potters’ pits at Gouves3 (fig. 7.4). At Sissi, such an interpretation lacks evidence since, apart from some sherds, two round stones and an obsidian flake (0705-0816-OB001-OB003), nothing was found. Another pit, 07-05-0819-FE013, quite large and regular, seems to have been deliberately sealed with stones and compact earth. Preliminary analysis of the pottery within suggests a possible Early Minoan date (fig. 7.5 & 7.6). It is not impossible that all pits represent activities predating the construction of the main structure in Zone 5 but more study is needed to understand their phasing and their relationship with the building to the north. It may be mentioned that some of the pits were deliberately closed with pottery whereas others may have been used as simple rubbish pits.

Fig. 7.4. PIT 07-05-0816-FE011 (P. ZINTZEN)

Fig. 7.5. PIT 07-05-0819-FE013 SEALED WITH STONES AND COMPACT EARTH, BEFORE EXCAVATION (P. ZINTZEN)

Fig. 7.6. PIT 07-05-0819-FE013 AFTER EXCAVATION (P. ZINTZEN)

6We still need to explore the western part of this south area where a massive terrace wall apparently formed the western boundary, a function which it still fulfilled in modern times when it was heaped up with rubble, forming a dry wall directly on top of its large Minoan predecessor. We have started to remove the modern stones but this work will be continued the next campaign.

2. Zone 5: Building E

7While exploring the southern part, the corner of a room appeared to the north, which subsequently led to the discovery of Space 5.1, the room with the column base. This formed the first space of a larger structure of which thirteen spaces have hitherto been identified, together forming Building E, the main structure in Zone 5 (fig. 7.7). Since excavation is unfinished, no main entrance has been found and eastern and northern borders of the building remain unknown although the chaotic mass of stones found east of wall E9 – visible in fig. 7.3 – may well represent tumble fallen outside of the building. Moreover, the presence of cut bedrock (E17) which seems initially to have supported a wall east of Spaces 5.7 and 5.8, suggests that this line may represent the eastern limit of Building E.

Fig. 7.7. PLAN OF ZONE 5 (P. HACIGÜZELLER & M. DEVOLDER)

2.1. Planning and topography of Building E

8The main structure discovered in Zone 5 presents an interesting case of an architectural adaptation to the existing terrain. Spaces 5.1-5.5, located in the south part of the building, all make use of strictly perpendicular or parallel walls. The eastern wall of Space 5.2 (E9) and the northern wall of Spaces 5.2 and 5.3 (E10) – once a single room – partly use bedrock in their construction. This bedrock was specifically cut so as to leave space inside the rooms (fig. 7.8 & 7.9).

Fig. 7.8. AERIAL PHOTO OF SPACES 5.1 (TOP), 5.2 (BOTTOM LEFT) AND 5.3 (BOTTOM RIGHT). NOTE THE PRESENCE OF BEDROCK IN SPACES 5.2 AND 5.3 (C.GASTON)

Fig. 7.9. WEST ELEVATION OF WALL E9 (M. DEVOLDER & V. BOUAT)

9Northeast of Spaces 5.2 and 5.3, the orientation of the walls remarkably changes. Tools marks and cuttings in the bedrock indicate that, east of Spaces 5.7 and 5.8, the bedrock originally supported a wall oriented northeast-southwest (E17). As such it continued the alignment of the east wall (E9) of Space 5.2, but with a more eastward orientation. The north (E18) and east walls (E19) of Space 5.7, the north wall (E20) of Space 5.6, the south wall (E21) of Space 5.9 and the east (E25) and north (E26) walls of Space 5.13 all follow the orientation initiated by the wall originally standing on bedrock. So the terrain influenced the planning and layout of the spaces here. The alternative was cutting and shaping the bedrock to impose a rectilinear plan, which is what happened in Spaces 5.2 and 5.3. This required a greater amount of energy and effort.

10A significant rise in the bedrock organises the structure in two main levels, with Spaces 5.1 to 5.5 on a lower level and Spaces 5.8 to 5.13 on a higher level. Space 5.4 connects both levels, with the bedrock in this narrow space gradually rising, forming a sort of access ramp towards Space 5.6. It is not impossible that a series of spaces existed at first floor level, topping the rooms on the lower terrace, as suggested by the discovery of patches of pebble flooring in the tumble of Space 5.4. Whether these imaginary first room spaces were connected to the ground floor spaces on the upper terrace needs to be confirmed. There is, however, no doubt that the lower and upper terrace walls and spaces all formed part of the same architectural plan. The long wall E14 – the western limit of Spaces 5.4 and 5.6 and the eastern limit of Spaces 5.5 and 5.11 – unites the structure on both levels. It has a similar alignment as the walls of the lower level. Walls E15 and E16, delineating Room 5.11 on the upper level, also follow its orientation. Since the bedrock in the eastern part of the structure was cut to support walls E9 and E10 of the lower terrace as well as wall E17, this too suggests that the building was planned at a single moment (fig. 7.10). Moreover, it forms part of the floor of Space 5.7 on the upper terrace. Despite the marked change in orientation and despite some minor architectural modifications, wall bonding confirms the unity of plan.

Fig. 7.10. AERIAL VIEW OF BEDROCK E17 CUT TO FORM A FOUNDATION TRENCH EAST OF SPACES 5.7 AND 5.8 (C. GASTON)

2.2. Architecture and Finds

2.2.1. Lower terrace

  • 4 The base is similar but smaller than the bases in Quartier Mu in Malia, Shaw 1971 : 121 and fig. 1 (...)

11Space 5.1 (1.2 by 3.36 m.), formed by the corner of walls E8 (south) and E9 (east), was already visible before the excavations and is a narrow corridor-like space, bordered to the north by wall E12. It provides a wide entrance to Space 5.2. No west limit was found. The tumble in the room comprised medium-sized stones and a compact yellow soil with some charcoal specks and mudbrick fragments, certainly not enough to imagine a fire destruction. On the floor level of Space 5.1 (19.71-19.82↓), made of red beaten earth and bedrock, a column base (07-05-0807-FE002) was found, slightly tilted, as if fallen from above. The base (diam. 0.42 m.) is made of a large blue limestone, finely cut, with a central depression (0.053 m.) (fig. 7.11). Similar bases at Malia are dated to MM II4. Whether such bases were still produced in LM III – the probable date of its context here – or whether it was recycled from an older construction needs to be ascertained. The original position of the column base is not clear – it may have been standing on the east projection of wall E12. Two obsidian fragments (blade 07-05-0852-OB001 and flake 0705-0852-OB002) and a terracotta loomweight (07-05-0807-OB001) were also found here.

Fig. 7.11. LIMESTONE COLUMN BASE ON THE BEDROCK FORMING PART OF THE FLOOR LEVEL IN SPACE 5.1 (M. DEVOLDER)

12Space 5.2 (1.7 by 2.76 m), located north of Space 5.1, is delineated to the south by the eastern projection of wall E12 and a wide entrance to Space 5.1, to the east by wall E9, to the north by wall E10 and to the west by wall E13. The north and east walls are partly constructed on bedrock, as described above. This bedrock also projects into the room itself and it may have been cut especially to leave more space in the room, similar to the situation in Space 5.3. Thus far, we have found three successive floor levels in Space 5.2. The lowest one, made of red, beaten earth, corresponds to the floor level with column base in Space 5.1 whereas the intermediate and upper level correspond to the construction of wall E13 between Spaces 5.2 and 5.3, described below.

13On the lowest floor in Space 5.2 (08-05-0866-FE024; 19.62-19.64↓), only small bits of plaster, mudbrick and stones were found, suggesting that the floor was cleaned before it was raised to form a new level (08-05-0862FE23; 19.67-19.78↓). On this floor was found a grinding stone (08-05-0864-OB002) and the layer above had charcoal, mudbrick, stones and plaster in small quantities. There are as yet no indications to explain why these two floors were given up but the charcoal, plaster, mudbrick and stone may suggest fire, possibly followed by the collapse of the surrounding walls. The highest floor level (08-05-0860-FE040; 19.78-19.82↓) was covered by stone tumble with more mudbrick fragments and charcoal specks probably to be explained as the gradual filling of the space by the collapsed upper part of the surrounding (or maybe first floor) walls. Although no objects were found on the floor, from within the tumble came several tiny bars and small eroded plaques in bronze (07-05-0847OB001, OB003-7) and an obsidian blade (08-05-0851-OB001). The creation of this floor level corresponds to an important architectural modification of the building i.e. the construction of wall E13 between Spaces 5.2 and 5.3. Situated at a height of 19.77-19.81↓, this wall did not exist when the first two floor levels in Space 5.2 were in use, which means that this space and space 5.3 may once have formed a single room (fig. 7.12).

Fig. 7.12. WALL E13 AT A HIGHER LEVEL THAN THE EARLIER FLOOR LEVELS IN SPACE 5.2 (AT BOTTOM) (M. DEVOLDER)

  • 5 It may resemble a clay lamp from an early tholos tomb at Lebena : The clay lamp takes the form of (...)

14Space 5.3 (2.28 by 2.73 m.) was bordered to the south by wall E12, to the east by wall E13, to the north by wall E10 and to the west by wall E11, in which an access exists to Space 5.4. A very thick, hard and compact tumble including stones, charcoal and both decomposed and burnt mudbrick covered a patchy pebble floor level (08-050874-FE026; 19.70-19.83↓). The floor runs against wall E13 to the west and in view of the stratigraphy in Space 5.2, it is likely that earlier floor levels exist within this room. From the tumble in Space 5.3 came a blade (08-050842-OB001) and a flake (08-05-0838-OB001) in obsidian, a fragmentary small hut vase (08-05-0841-OB001)5, a bronze point (08-05-0848-02), two terracotta loomweights (08-05-0870-OB002 ; 08-05-0874-OB004), a stone vase fragment (08-05-0842-OB002) and several vases (e.g. 08-05-0848-OB001 ; 08-05-0870-OB001). On the floor were found four cups (08-05-0874-OB001; 08-05-0874-OB002; 08-05-0870-OB001; 07-05-0853-OB003), a clay jar (07-05-0853-OB002), a pithos base (07-05-0853-OB005) and a lamp (07-05-0853-OB004), all in the south-east corner of the room (fig. 7.13). The doorway in the north part of wall E11 shows signs of having been modified. The entrance connecting Spaces 5.3 to 5.4 was reduced in width from 1.08 to 0.48 m. at one stage. This provided access to an area in which the bedrock rises substantially and showed irregular, small cuttings (08-050878-FE027, as shown in figs 7.7 & 7.8).

Fig. 7.13. POTTERY DEPOSIT IN SPACE 5.3 (P. ZINTZEN)

15Space 5.4 (1.26 by 3.48 m.) is a narrow, rectangular space slightly turning west to the south and bordered to the east by wall E11 and to the west by wall E14. It probably functioned as a corridor providing access to the north, Space 5.6. It opens south to an area which remains partly unexplored but connected the lower and upper terraces of the building (fig. 7.14).

Fig. 7.14. SPACE 5.4 (FROM SOUTH) (M. DEVOLDER)

16A dense tumble of stones, mudbrick and domatochoma, as the white-yellow hues suggest, including many pebbles and fragments of painted plaster, probably represents upper floor fall. Among the tumble were found a broken turquoise blue bead with red veins (08-05-0839-OB001) (fig. 7.15) and a small stone lid (08-05-0839-OB003) as well as fragmentary pottery. In the northern part of the room, a beehive and a ladle (08-05-0921-OB002 and 0805-0921-OB004) were found, in situ, on the bedrock floor (fig. 7.16). The smoothened bedrock even suggests that it was specially prepared to accommodate the beehive, unless it was placed in an existing natural depression. The beehive has finger impressions on the outer ring of the base and crossed incisions on the lower part of the body. However, two cups must were deposited following the collapse (08-05-0921-OB001 and 08-05-0921-OB003), since they were found smashed against wall E14. Another pottery deposit, including jars and pithos bases, was found to the south but the floor level was not yet reached here. West of the room is a modern terrace wall, mostly made of small stones, following the contour of the hill. It quickly became apparent that this wall was supported by massive boulders which seemed to form a Minoan terrace wall. After the modern part of the wall was removed, a room appeared immediately west of Space 5.4.

Fig. 7.15. TURQUOISE BEAD WITH RED VEINS (08-05-0839-OB001) FROM SPACE 5.3 (C. PAPANIKOLOUPOULOS)

Fig. 7.16. BEEHIVE 08-05-0921-OB002 IN SITU IN SPACE 5.4 (H. FIASSE)

17This is Space 5.5 (1.12 by 3.24 m.), bordered to the east by wall E14 and to the north by wall E15. This last wall was found by removing the stones of the tumble that filled the room (fig. 7.17). It is not yet clear whether an original Minoan terrace wall – later reused as foundation for a modern one – formed the western border of Space 5.5 and partially collapsed or whether this space was an open terrace. A large stone may have belonged to the west wall of Space 5.5 but the absence of other stones does not help. The narrow space does not provide access to Spaces 5.4 to the east or 5.11 to the north, so it was not a corridor. However, it is open to the south towards a zone which has only been partly explored. No destruction layer has been found to date and unless this has eroded away to the west, the space may have been abandoned before wall E14 collapsed into it. Among the finds were a fragment of a grinding stone (08-05-0913-OB001) and an obsidian flake (08-05-0911-OB001).

Fig. 7.17. VIEW OF SPACE 5.5 DURING EXCAVATION (FROM SOUTH) (H. FIASSE)

2.2.2. Upper terrace

18The first room up, Space 5.6 (2.4 by 2.88 m.), has as south wall E10, as east wall E19, as north wall E20 and as west wall E14. Accessible from corridor 5.4 to the south, it leads east into to Space 5.7 and north into Space 5.12. As such it played a major role as far as circulation within the building was concerned. It was found packed full of stones and burnt and decayed mudbricks. There were also remains of charred wooden beams, one well enough preserved that even the split that preceded its burning during the destruction could be seen. All in all clear evidence for a violent fire destruction. Although only a part of the destruction layer has been excavated, some fragmentary pottery was already retrieved including part of a beehive (broken to a larger extent than the one found in Space 5.4), some vases and the upper part of a figurine (08-05-0928-OB001, 08-05-0928-OB002, 08-05-0938-OB001 and 08-05-0880-OB001) (fig. 7.18).

Fig. 7.18. FRAGMENTARY FIGURINE (08-05-0880-OB001) FROM SPACE 5.6 (C. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

19Space 5.7 (1.56 by 3.84 m.) is bordered to the south by wall E10, to the east by bedrock E17, which probably originally supported a wall, to the north by wall E18 and to the west by wall E19 which has an entrance to Space 5.6. Immediately below the topsoil layer was found a deposit of very broken and eroded pottery including some LM III vases, a champagne cup or shallow bowl and a conical cup (08-05-0887-OB001 to OB007) (fig. 7.19 & 9.17). Some fragments of burnt mudbricks and a brown-red soil possibly suggest the one-time presence of a destruction layer now disappeared because of heavy erosion, an observation which applies to other of the northern spaces.

Fig. 7.19. SPACE 5.7 WITH ERODED FLOOR DEPOSIT DURING EXCAVATIONS. NOTE THE BEDROCK OUTCROPPING (H. FIASSE)

  • 6 Soles 1992 : 221.

20Space 5.8 (3.48 by 4.14 m.), accessible through a doorway from Space 5.12 to the west, is bordered to the south by wall E18, to the east by bedrock, to the north by wall E21 and an access to Space 5.9, and to the west by bedrock and an entrance towards Space 5.12. To the east of this room, on the bedrock which was cut to form a foundation trench for a wall, a kernos was cut. Ten shallow depressions are clearly visible, forming a semi-circle on the west face of the bedrock, and there may be three on the east face, suggesting that they initially formed a full circle6 (fig. 7.20). Part of the bedrock may also have been used as a bench or narrow platform.

Fig. 7.20. VIEW OF THE KERNOS IN THE BEDROCK IN ROOM 5.8 (M. DEVOLDER)

  • 7 Restoration is needed to attribute it to Mossman 2000: fig. 6, type B or C. For similar shapes wit (...)
  • 8 Mossman 2000 : 87
  • 9 Most lead vases were found at Mycenae, Tiryns, Midea, Athens and on the island of Paros, Mossman 2 (...)

21The same Space 5.8 yielded one of the most interesting finds of the 2008 campaign. In part of the room was found a pebble floor on which was some fragmentary LM III pottery (08-05-0893-OB001 to 6 and 08-05-0899-OB001 to 12), but next to the entrance, hidden beneath the pebble floor, was a large lead vessel (08-05-0934-OB001) (fig. 7.21 a-c). Expertly excavated by father and son Nikakis, the vase has a diameter of about 0.46 m. and has a height of 0.27 m. (before restoration – it was found only slightly squashed), and shows neither handles nor rivets. It was made in one piece and has a round body7. Full, it must have been difficult to handle which may suggest that it was used as a valuable object for exchange as such rather than as a container. Isotope analyses of Mycenaean lead vases have shown how the Laurion was the main source for this material in the Late Bronze Age8. Mossman’s study of Late Bronze Age (‘Mycenaean’) lead vases shows that these mostly originated in Mainland Greece9. Future analyses may confirm this. Given the scarcity of lead vases and the rareness of well preserved examples, the presence of such a vessel at Sissi surprises.

Fig. 7.21. DISCOVERY AND EXCAVATION OF THE LEAD VESSEL (08-05-0934-OB001) IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF SPACE 5.8, AND VIEW OF THE CAVITY AFTER REMOVAL OF THE VESSEL (M. DEVOLDER)

22The lead vessel had been placed against walls E18-E19 in the south-west corner of the room and its exact location was indicated by the presence of a large flat stone immediately east. Thus, even though the vase was hidden under the pebble floor, its exact position would be remembered. It seems, however, that the destruction that struck the building prevented the owner(s) of the vase from recovering it. Apart from the rarity of large vessels made of this material in Minoan Crete, the significance of the context may be stressed. This discovery not only hints at the wealth and exchange patterns of the inhabitants, but it also suggests that they may have been going through a period of stress, which forced them to hide some of their valuables.

23A small Space 5.9 has been identified to the north of 5.8, but this requires further examination. It seems to have been accessible from Space 5.8 only. To the north is Space 5.10, from which it is separated by protruding bedrock. Space 5.10 (now 2.25 by 4.80 m.) is a large room which has only been partially excavated – its northern and eastern limits are still unclear. Its western limit is formed by wall E22 and two partitions (E23 and E24) are preserved in its south-east corner perhaps forming some sort of compartment. To the south, bedrock separates it from Space 5.9. It is of particular interest because in addition to broken LM III pottery – and seemingly rather early in this phase (LM IIIA1, cf. fig. 9.18) – and a large amount of bone, it contained a large thick patch of whitish powder (indicated on fig. 7.7). The nature of the pottery and the unburnt state of most of the bones suggest that it may present a dump – perhaps connected to the cleaning out for a new phase of use in Zone 3. Three loomweights (08-05-0907-OB001 and OB002 and 08-05-0907-OB009), two obsidian flakes and an obsidian blade (08-05-0907-OB004, 08-05-0907OB007 and OB008) were also found here.

24Space 5.12 (2.40 by 3.30 m.) to the north was immediately accessible from Space 5.6. It is bordered to the south by wall E20, to the east by an outcrop of bedrock and an entrance towards Space 5.8, and to the west by wall E25 and a wide entrance towards Space 5.13. Although it has only been superficially cleared, a neat, black layer of charcoal was found which follows the limits of the room and stops at the entrance towards the large Space 5.8. No finds were as yet made in Space 5.12.

25Space 5.11 (1.90 by 2.39 m.) is bordered to the south by wall E15, to the east by wall E14, and to the north by wall E16. It is very likely that a west wall originally stood on the cut bedrock to the west, now entirely eroded away. A thick layer of fallen stones, mixed with tarazza, was found under the topsoil. At the end of the excavation, the outline of a vase was visible immediately beneath this layer so the floor level should still be lower. It seems to have been covered by a destruction layer that would have been sealed, in turn, by the collapse into the room of the surrounding walls. It cannot be excluded, however, that this layer has eroded to the west, a process not unlike the one that happened in Space 5.13 describ below. Apart from some sherds, only a stone vase fragment was found (08-05-0919-OB001) but the space needs more exploration (fig. 7.22).

Fig. 7.22. VIEW OF SPACE 5.11 (FROM WEST) (M. DEVOLDER)

26Room 5.13 (2.24 (min.) by 3.86 m.) is bordered to the south by wall E16, to the east by wall E25, through which it opens towards Space 5.12, and to the north by massive wall E26. The western limit, as also seen in Space 5.11, collapsed down the hill. Two distinct layers were already identified in this room: a top layer of stone collapse, fallen on top of a thick layer that is clearly a fire destruction layer. The latter contained a great number of bricks and a lot of charcoal, all set in deep red earth, as well as several vases. The neat distinction between the two layers suggests that the stone collapse happened well after the destruction. The western part of the room is partially destroyed by erosion, which is unfortunate in view of the quality of the material encountered already (fig. 7.24). The stone tumble has been cleared but the destruction layer has barely been touched. It contained a fragmentary LM III larnax (08-05-0952-OB001) and an opium poppy rhyton (08-05-0952-OB003) (fig. 7.23 a-b; 9.19).

Fig. 7.23. OPIUM-POPPY RHYTON (08-05-0952-OB003) FROM THE DESTRUCTION LAYER OF SPACE 5.13 (C. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)

Fig. 7.24. SPACE 5.13 DURING EXCAVATION. THE DESTRUCTION LAYER (RIGHT) IS PARTLY ERODED TOWARDS THE WEST. ON THE LEFT ONE CAN SEE THE TUMBLE OF THE UPPER LAYER (M. DEVOLDER)

27The material thus far found in Building E includes especially loomweights, beehives and undecorated pottery (apart from the rhyton), which seems to point to a more domestic character, although some consumption is hinted at by the number of drinking cups retrieved. The quality of the architecture is noteworthy, especially the care with which the building was constructed and skillfully adapted to the existing topography. Future excavation to the north and east should reveal outside walls and also clarify whether this building stood independent or was part of the structures already revealed in Zones 3 and 4.

Bibliographie

3. References

▪ Alexiou 1960 = S. Alexiou, New Light on Minoan Dating: Early Minoan Tombs at Lebena, Illustrated London News 237 (1960), 225-227.

▪ Alexiou & Warren 2004 = S. Alexiou & P.M. Warren, The Early Minoan Tombs of Lebena, Southern Crete, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 30, Sävedalen, 2004.

▪ Banti 1930-31 = L. Banti, La grande tomba a tholos di Haghia Triada, ASAtene 13-14 (1930-31), 155-251.

▪ Branigan 1993 = K. Branigan, Dancing with Death. Life and Death in Southern Crete c. 3000-2000 BC, Amsterdam, 1993.

▪ Matthäus 1980 = H. Matthäus, Die Bronzegefäbe der kretisch-mykenischen Kultur, Munich, 1980.

▪ Mersereau 1993 = R. Mercereau, Cretan Cylindrical models, AJA 97 (1993), 1-47.

▪ Mossman 2000 = S. Mossman, Mycenaean Age Lead: A Fresh Look at an Old Material, in C. Gillis, C. Risberg & B. Sjöberg (eds), Trade and Production in Premonetary Greece: Acquisition and Distribution of Raw Materials and Finished Products. Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop, Athens 1996, Jonsered, 2000, 85-119.

▪ Shaw 1971 = J.S. Shaw, Minoan Architecture: Materials and Techniques, ASAtene 49 (1971), Rome.

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

▪ Vallianou 1997 = D. Vallianou, The Potters’ Quarter in LM III Gouves, in R. Laffineur & P.P. Betancourt (eds), TEHNI: Craftsmen, Craftswomen and Craftsmanship in the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 6th International Aegean Conference, Philadelphia, Temple University, 18-21 April 1996 (Aegaeum 16), Liège/Austin, 1997, 333-344

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

Notes

1 Aspirante FNRS-UCL.

2 Participated in the excavations: Nicolas Kress (2007), Stéphanie Lefèbvre (2007, 2008), Randall Van Hoof (2008) and Vincent Bouat (2008) as well as Giorgios Metaxarakis (2007, 2008) and Saimi Besik (2008).

3 3 Both natural and artificially cut pits and trenches exist in Block A at Gouves (Vallianou 1997: 335), probably all related to the presence of a potters’ workshop. At Sissi, there is no evidence for broken stone bases, usually indicative for potters’ wheels, nor for the presence of clay which would have been in the pits.

4 The base is similar but smaller than the bases in Quartier Mu in Malia, Shaw 1971 : 121 and fig. 137.

5 It may resemble a clay lamp from an early tholos tomb at Lebena : The clay lamp takes the form of a circular hut with windows and a door, and perhaps a thatched roof, Branigan 1993: 38. See also Alexiou in Illustrated London News 237 (6th August 1960): fig. 16 as well as Alexiou & Warren 2004, plate 109A-B. The roof of this last example, however, shows a neat protrusion, while the Sissi example is entirely round in shape. Parallels from the Phaistos palace are also noted, Banti 1930-31: 171 and pl. XVIId, mentioned in Warren 1969 : 182-183. He also mentions the famous stone hut-vases from Amorgos, Syros, Melos and Naxos. See also Mersereau 1993 : cat. numbers 2-3, 6-8 and 10-14.

6 Soles 1992 : 221.

7 Restoration is needed to attribute it to Mossman 2000: fig. 6, type B or C. For similar shapes with feet and handles, see Matthäus 1980: T. 10. 72-74.

8 Mossman 2000 : 87

9 Most lead vases were found at Mycenae, Tiryns, Midea, Athens and on the island of Paros, Mossman 2000: 91.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 7.1. AERIAL VIEW OF ZONE 5 WITH NUMBERED SPACES AND WALLS OF BUILDING E (C. GASTON)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 359k
Légende Fig. 7.2. PLAN OF THE SOUTH AREA OF ZONE 5, WITH, IN PINK, THE ROCK-CUT PITS (P. HACIGÜZELLER & M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 127k
Légende Fig. 7.3. ROCK-CUT PITS IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE SOUTH AREA OF ZONE 5 (FROM WEST) (C. GASTON)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 120k
Légende Fig. 7.4. PIT 07-05-0816-FE011 (P. ZINTZEN)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-4.jpg
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Légende Fig. 7.5. PIT 07-05-0819-FE013 SEALED WITH STONES AND COMPACT EARTH, BEFORE EXCAVATION (P. ZINTZEN)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 114k
Légende Fig. 7.6. PIT 07-05-0819-FE013 AFTER EXCAVATION (P. ZINTZEN)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 139k
Légende Fig. 7.7. PLAN OF ZONE 5 (P. HACIGÜZELLER & M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 376k
Légende Fig. 7.8. AERIAL PHOTO OF SPACES 5.1 (TOP), 5.2 (BOTTOM LEFT) AND 5.3 (BOTTOM RIGHT). NOTE THE PRESENCE OF BEDROCK IN SPACES 5.2 AND 5.3 (C.GASTON)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 625k
Légende Fig. 7.9. WEST ELEVATION OF WALL E9 (M. DEVOLDER & V. BOUAT)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 87k
Légende Fig. 7.10. AERIAL VIEW OF BEDROCK E17 CUT TO FORM A FOUNDATION TRENCH EAST OF SPACES 5.7 AND 5.8 (C. GASTON)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 252k
Légende Fig. 7.11. LIMESTONE COLUMN BASE ON THE BEDROCK FORMING PART OF THE FLOOR LEVEL IN SPACE 5.1 (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 166k
Légende Fig. 7.12. WALL E13 AT A HIGHER LEVEL THAN THE EARLIER FLOOR LEVELS IN SPACE 5.2 (AT BOTTOM) (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 176k
Légende Fig. 7.13. POTTERY DEPOSIT IN SPACE 5.3 (P. ZINTZEN)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 120k
Légende Fig. 7.14. SPACE 5.4 (FROM SOUTH) (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 130k
Légende Fig. 7.15. TURQUOISE BEAD WITH RED VEINS (08-05-0839-OB001) FROM SPACE 5.3 (C. PAPANIKOLOUPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 28k
Légende Fig. 7.16. BEEHIVE 08-05-0921-OB002 IN SITU IN SPACE 5.4 (H. FIASSE)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 114k
Légende Fig. 7.17. VIEW OF SPACE 5.5 DURING EXCAVATION (FROM SOUTH) (H. FIASSE)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 82k
Légende Fig. 7.18. FRAGMENTARY FIGURINE (08-05-0880-OB001) FROM SPACE 5.6 (C. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 32k
Légende Fig. 7.19. SPACE 5.7 WITH ERODED FLOOR DEPOSIT DURING EXCAVATIONS. NOTE THE BEDROCK OUTCROPPING (H. FIASSE)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-19.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 157k
Légende Fig. 7.20. VIEW OF THE KERNOS IN THE BEDROCK IN ROOM 5.8 (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 133k
Légende Fig. 7.21. DISCOVERY AND EXCAVATION OF THE LEAD VESSEL (08-05-0934-OB001) IN THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF SPACE 5.8, AND VIEW OF THE CAVITY AFTER REMOVAL OF THE VESSEL (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-21.jpg
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Légende Fig. 7.22. VIEW OF SPACE 5.11 (FROM WEST) (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-22.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 239k
Légende Fig. 7.23. OPIUM-POPPY RHYTON (08-05-0952-OB003) FROM THE DESTRUCTION LAYER OF SPACE 5.13 (C. PAPANIKOLOPOULOS)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-23.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 122k
Légende Fig. 7.24. SPACE 5.13 DURING EXCAVATION. THE DESTRUCTION LAYER (RIGHT) IS PARTLY ERODED TOWARDS THE WEST. ON THE LEFT ONE CAN SEE THE TUMBLE OF THE UPPER LAYER (M. DEVOLDER)
URL http://books.openedition.org/pucl/docannexe/image/462/img-24.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 207k

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