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The Human Face of Radiocarbon

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Zoï Tsirtsoni

Thessaly

Chapter 19. Palioskala. A Late Neolithic, Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age settlement in the Eastern Thessalian plain (Central Greece)

Giorgos Toufexis
Traduction de Nicola Wardle-Hunter

Texte intégral

Introduction2

  • 2 Text translated from Greek by Nicola Wardle-Hunter.
  • 3 Vlastaridis 2003.
  • 4 Halstead 1984; Gallis 1992.

1The settlement of Palioskala (53.66 m above sea level at the highest point) is situated on the eastern edge of the enclosed Pleiocene Thessalian basin, in the foothills of Mt Mavrovouni, which like Mt Ossa to the north, separates the plain of Thessaly from the Aegean Sea (fig. 1). The most important natural feature in this part of the basin was Lake Karla, known in ancient sources as Boebeis. This lake was the result of a Pleistocene tectonic subsidence, which had its greatest depth in the Thessalian basin3. Before the lake was drained in the 1960s, the Palioskala settlement stood on its eastern edge and most probably was a lake-side site during its lifetime (fig. 2). The presence of the lake and the marshy region surrounding it, could explain the limited number of prehistoric settlements in this region in comparison to the particularly dense distribution of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements in the rest of the Thessalian plain4, even if the existence of settlements with pile-dwellings within the lake cannot be excluded.

  • 5 A review of these opinions can be found in Gallis 1992, p. 25‑27; Apostolopoulou-Kakavogianni 1979; (...)
  • 6 Apostolopoulou-Kakovogianni 1979, p. 200.
  • 7 Halstead 1984.
  • 8 For comparison the highest level of the lake reached 50.10 m in 1920‑1921 (Kovani 2002, p. 52, 78‑8 (...)
  • 9 Halstead 1984.

2The continuous fluctuations in the level of the lake until recent years resulted from its particular hydrology and character. For this reason there are different opinions on its extent during the prehistoric period5. According to some opinions the level of the lake exceeded 50 m after the Middle Neolithic, receded in the Early Bronze Age, but rose considerably towards the end of the Mycenaean period and reached approximately 64 m6; according to others, it always fluctuated only to a maximum level of 44 m7. The second view fits better with the discoveries at the settlement of Palioskala, the lowest edges of which are at around 46‑47 m. After the construction of anti-flood barriers in the northeastern part of the Thessalian basin which obstructed the floodwaters of river Peneios from the lake, the level stabilised at a maximum height of 47.65 m8 and the lowest parts of the settlement of Palioskala were at times underwater. The lake is enclosed by mountains only to the east and the south, while the Thessalian basin extends out to the north and west. At periods when the level of the lake was low, it is likely that around it there were short-lived prehistoric settlements, which are not visible today as a result of alluviation9.

Fig. 1 – Map of the prehistoric sites in the Eastern Thessalian plain. The maximum extent of the Lake Karla (Boebeis) is shown, and next to it the site of Palioskala (big red dot).

Fig. 2 – Palioskala. Aerial photo of the prehistoric settlement from northwest; in the background is Mountain Mavrovouni, on the right side the restored lake Karla.

  • 10 Dina 2003, p. 376.

3The settlement of Palioskala is situated on the edge of the lake’s alluvial plain. Immediately to the northeast is a small rocky outcrop around which traces of a settlement dating to the Early Christian period have been discovered10. About 800 m away to the north is an active stream, while to the east a smaller stream flows in periods of heavy rain and drains into the lake, creating a shallow stream bed through the middle of the southern edges of the settlement.

The prehistoric settlement: circuit walls, buildings and structures

  • 11 Additional fieldwork was done in the settlement in 2013, in the framework of a broader restoration/ (...)

4The settlement (fig. 3) was excavated between 2001 and 2002 over an area of around 3500 m2, in preparation for the construction of a drainage channel that ends in a large artificial lake in the southern part of the drained lake. The settlement has been prepared for public display and the channel has been rerouted 100 m further west11.

  • 12 The stratigraphy of the lower trenches shows in places thick post-occupation deposits originating f (...)
  • 13 Caputo et al. 1994, fig. 4.

5The settlement is a circular and gentle magoula (tell) with a diameter of 100‑120 m, a maximum height of 6 m and an area of around 9500 m2, though sherds are scattered over an area of around 15000 m212. Earlier levelling works and tree-planting pits on the summit of the mound caused serious damage to the buildings in the upper levels and to the archaeological deposits. As a result it has been difficult at the present stage of research to distinguish clearly chronological horizons and building phases. Excavation took place over a large area, corresponding more or less to the eastern half of the settlement, but in many cases has not been completed inside the buildings. In many parts the walls of the buildings show significant deviations from their original line, probably as a result of subsidence or tectonic activity, a hypothesis to be further tested; indeed, several fault lines from the Middle Pleistocene-Holocene traverse the broad region13.

Fig. 3 – Palioskala. Aerial photo of the settlement.

  • 14 A single 14C date (trench D18/19, Lyon-7643) from the area near the long rectangular building dates (...)

6At the summit of the mound traces of Hellenistic/Roman and modern activity have been discovered. Traces of a rectangular building, whose foundations lie over prehistoric structures (fig. 3: 12)14, probably belong to the former period, as do also some tombs, cut into prehistoric deposits in some parts of the settlement.

  • 15 Toufexis 2003, p. 56.

7A large part of the excavated settlement was enclosed by stone-built concentric circuit walls. In some cases the way of their construction and their date and function in relation to the overall intra-settlement spatial organisation is not yet clear15. The outer walls to the northeast, east and south, as well as some of the walls in the central part of the settlement were essentially terrace walls since they only have an outer face, which slopes towards the inner, higher part of the settlement to support it. They are constructed using small- and medium-sized blocks of limestone bonded with a small quantity of clay. There are indications that two or three circuit walls of this type existed to the southeast and south, distant from each other by up to 80 cm (fig. 3: 1), but it is not yet evident if these are from different phases or were in use simultaneously, creating a series of stepped walls. The outer circuit was excavated to its foundations: it is preserved to a height of 2.30 m (fig. 4). In the south part of the settlement and at a distance often less than 1 m from this circuit, there was possibly a further stone-built circuit which has been completely destroyed, as is indicated by heaps of stones forming a rough line (fig. 3: 2). Traces of stone foundations of buildings and other structures belonging to at least two different building phases have been identified outside the circuit wall to the southeast (fig. 3: 3).

Fig. 4 – The outer circuit wall in the southeastern part of the settlement, view from northeast.

8A further enclosure, circular in shape, has been revealed inside these terrace walls and parallel with them (fig. 3: 4). This structure has a 2 m wide opening in its east side leading to the central part of the settlement, which was later blocked up by a wall (fig. 3: 5; 5). The circuit wall to the south of this opening is 1.5‑2 m wide and both the inner and outer faces were built with small- and medium-sized, unworked limestone blocks and clay. Close to the entrance and to the north, only the outer face of this circuit wall was revealed. It sloped towards the interior of the settlement. A narrower and less well-constructed stone circuit wall, belonging to a later phase, was built on top of the previous one with the same alignment. On the wide terrace formed inside these walls a series of buildings and structures were found, in varied states of preservation due to recent levelling work and agricultural activity. They developed around the central part of the settlement, which was itself encircled by separate stone walls (fig. 3: 6). Several rectangular buildings of varying dimensions, and of different building phases, with clay floors, hearths and other internal structures, were excavated in the eastern area (fig. 3: 7; 6). A long rectangular building, with internal dimensions of around 10.50 m (east-west) by 7.90 m (north-south) [fig. 3: 8; 7], had successive phases of use, including two hearths and storage vessels (fig. 12). Circular hearths with clay floors and sturdy substructures of small flat stones and sherds were also common in the eastern area of the settlement (fig. 8).

9The central part of the settlement near the summit of the hill is encircled by two more concentric circuit walls 0.70‑1.30 m apart, built using small- to medium-sized limestone blocks and sloping toward the interior; they had only an external face of a single row of stones and were terrace walls (fig. 3: 9). Inside the innermost circle of these walls is a long rectangular building (the “central building”) with dimensions approximately 9 m (east-west) by 8.25 m (north-south), which was covered with massive rubble from its destruction (fig. 3: 10; 9). Its excavation has not continued further and its plan is elusive at present, but the lines of some of the interior cross-walls can be made out amongst the rubble. It is not yet clear if the building and the terrace walls around it were in use simultaneously but there are indications that the former was constructed earlier.

Fig. 5 – Circuit wall and entrance, view from the east.

Fig. 6 – Remains of buildings, from south.

Fig. 7 – Rectangular building, view from east.

Fig. 8 – Thermal structure.

Fig. 9 – The “central building”, view from west.

  • 16 Toufexis 2006a.

10A series of three square stone-built buildings was uncovered to the south-southeast of the above mentioned building (fig. 3: 11), on top of which there were architectural remains belonging to at least one later building phase showing a different alignment. The one in the middle with dimensions approximatively 4.85 x 3.80 m has an entrance 0.80 m wide at its northwest corner with a stone threshold, and a clay “platform” in the southwest corner slightly raised above the earth floor (fig. 10). The building was probably destroyed by fire. Finds included storage vessels (fig. 11) and three anthropomorphic figurines, including a clay torso and a marble head from an acrolithic figurine decorated with red colour (fig. 19). Two further heads from this type of figurine were also found in the upper levels of the building; among the finds there were three clay objects in the form of “bucrania” (krateutes)16 [fig. 21].

Fig. 10 – Square buildings, view from west.

Fig. 11 – Storage jar, h. 52 cm.

11Beneath a large pile of stones to the south of this building, two further stone-built concentric circuit walls were uncovered about 0.90 m apart. These walls form the inner boundary of the wide terrace with the buildings mentioned above, and probably encircled the central part of the settlement (fig. 3: 6). The outer wall appears to have been built with a single row of stones, sloping toward the central part of the settlement and being itself another terrace wall with a semi-circular projection 4 x 1.5 m on the face. A large rectangular building in the central and higher part of the settlement, built on the prehistoric walls on an entirely different orientation (northwest-southeast) with dimensions around 22.40 x 7.80 m (fig. 3: 12), probably dates to the Hellenistic/Roman period, if not later, as mentioned above.

12Five Neolithic graves with contracted burials were found in the southeast section of the excavation and outside the circuit walls, along with two tile graves, three pit graves and a single cist tomb found in different parts of the settlement and dating to the Hellenistic/Roman period, or to an even later period.

Relative and absolute chronology of the settlement17

  • 17 I thank Dr Kostas Zachos, Dr Eva Alram-Stern, Dr Elmar Christmann, Prof. John Coleman, Dr Agathe Re (...)
  • 18 This work was assisted by a grant from The Mediterranean Archaeological Trust.

13At the present stage of research a series of observations may be made to define at least a broad spectrum of the settlement’s chronology18, based on the preliminary study of the pottery and the available absolute dates. One should take into account however the destruction and disturbance of the upper levels by ploughing and levelling work, the incomplete excavation of the interiors of the buildings, and the eroded nature of the pottery.

  • 19 All the dates are calibrated at 2s. See also supra, chapter 2, p. 48.
  • 20 The pottery in this level, however, is seemingly not in agreement with the calibrated date of the c (...)

141. A few eroded Late Neolithic sherds were found in different trenches. These include pieces of decorated bowls of the Classic Dimini style, and decorated and monochrome sherds probably belonging to the pre-Dimini phase Arapi. Occupation in the Classic Dimini phase is supported by the date of the sample Lyon-7640 (calibrated age: 4690‑4456 BC19): this sample comes from a level between two of the stone circuit walls that encircle the central building in the upper part of the settlement (trench E21)20.

152. The rest of the pottery can be placed in the Final Neolithic, in the transitional phase from the Final Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age, and in the Early Bronze Age as well, though a detailed classification of the settlement’s pottery is beyond the scope of this article.

16The monochrome medium and coarse brown-light brown pottery is more common than the grey and the black, while the quantity of fine ware is limited. In the coarse ware, but also frequently in the medium ware, the clay contains many inclusions, while in the very coarse vessels there are large pieces of grit and fragments of schist. The fine and medium slipped and burnished ware usually has surfaces that range from brown to dark brown and red-brown, and from dark grey to black. On the light-coloured surfaces, whether slipped or not, black mottling can be seen, caused by firing. In general, firing was poor: the fired clay is soft and the vessels fragment quite easily.

  • 21 This type of decoration is known from areas of the Attica-Kephala culture, but also more northern c (...)
  • 22 See Weisshaar 1989, pl. XV: 5 (Pefkakia: lowest level).
  • 23 See Weisshaar 1989, pl. 61: 1 (Pefkakia: middle level); Adrymi-Sismani 2007, pl. XII: b; Douzougli (...)
  • 24 See Weisshaar 1989, pl. 59: 5 (Pefkakia: middle level); Christmann 1996, pl. 135: 1; Hanschmann & M (...)
  • 25 This vessel was found beside the inner side of the southern wall of a large rectangular house (here (...)

17The storage vessels are usually of brown or orange-brown clay and frequently have a brown to red-brown slip. Sometimes they are decorated with applied finger-impressed and “rope-like” coils (fig. 13; 23A: a)21. The common shapes are pithoid vessels, or vessels with an incurved upper body and a conical lower body that can have strap handles on the belly (fig. 11)22. Storage vessels with a high or low conical neck (fig. 13; 23A: a-c)23, a funnel neck, sometimes having vertical strap handles on the belly (fig. 23A: d-f)24, or bucket-shaped also exist (fig. 23A: g). A storage vessel from the later phases of the settlement has a narrow circular mouth with a low rim, semi-globular body and conical lower part, which ends in a narrow base, and was probably meant to be placed in a stand (fig. 12)25.

Fig. 12 – Storage jar, h. 35 cm.

Fig. 13 – Fragments of storage jars with plastic decoration.

  • 26 In Thessaly these vessels are already known in the Final Neolithic and become very common in the Ea (...)
  • 27 Toufexis 2006a, p. 87. See Weisshaar 1989, pl. 74: 2 (Pefkakia: highest level), Tsountas 1908, p. 2 (...)

18Baking pans” with thick low walls, sometimes of irregular height, forming a vessel with a flat base and very low rim, are quite common. A few similar vessels have a row of circular holes below the rim26. The clay of these vessels is frequently full of grit and the surfaces are only roughly smoothed. Cooking vessels are also made from coarse clay as well as other vessels such as a lid27.

  • 28 The “dish” in fig. 24B: b was decorated in the “typical Rachmani style” with white and red crusted (...)
  • 29 Although they were not preserved completely, these bowls were probably handleless. In Thessaly this (...)
  • 30 Hanschmann & Milojčić 1976, pl. 7: 7, 9.
  • 31 Weisshaar 1989, pl. 101: Typ 22.
  • 32 Weisshaar 1989, pl. 109: Typ 64; Christmann 1996, pl. 9: 16, 50: 23.
  • 33 “Pyxides” were found in Early Bronze Age levels at Pefkakia (Christmann 1996, p. 101, pl. 17: 5, 44 (...)

19Tableware includes bowls, with moderately thick walls and a smooth, curving profile and slightly in-turned rim, which usually have a light-red to brown-red slip, sometimes with mottling (fig. 14; 24B: a). Deeper or shallower open bowls with straight walls are also common, although less than the previous type (fig. 24B: g). S-profile bowls (fig. 24B: h), shallow “dishes”, sometimes with a slightly concave base (fig. 24B: b)28, and open bowls with rolled rims, are moderately common and may have a black or deep red-brown burnished slip (fig. 15; 24B: d-f)29. Carinated bowls or bowls with a biconical body and sharply everted rim which is sometimes separated from the body by a shallow groove (fig. 24B: i)30, cups or small bowls with a more or less well defined S-profile (fig. 24C: a, b)31, basins with a slightly or sharply out-turned rim (fig. 25D: a, b)32, and “pyxides” (fig. 16; 25E: a-c)33, are also represented.

Fig. 14 – Red-slipped bowl.

Fig. 15 – Fragments of rolled rims bowls.

Fig. 16 – Squat globular vessel, h. 13 cm.

  • 34 Johnson 1999, p. 325; Lespez & Papadopoulos 2008, p. 681, fig. 12. In Thessaly such handles were fo (...)

20Bases are generally flat, although there are a few examples of pedestals and a few low ring bases. On coarse ware there are strap handles, sometimes with a small conical knob on one end (fig. 23A: g), but also tongue-shaped or bilobate handles. Bowls can have pierced simple conical or roughly squared knob lugs (fig. 24B: g), and there are also twin lugs (fig. 25G: a), as well as a few conical horn-shaped lugs from deep bowls. Tubular lugs are also known; lugs of this type disposed horizontally below the rim are usually seen as markers for the transitional period between the Final Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age (fig. 25F: a-c)34.

  • 35 Perlès & Vitelli 1999, p. 105.
  • 36 It is understood that the quantity of crusted decoration will have been initially greater; however (...)
  • 37 Hatziangelakis 1984, fig. 4.
  • 38 Adrymi-Sismani 2007, p. 75‑76, pl. XIII: a-d.
  • 39 Christmann & Karimali 2004, p. 41, fig. 4.4, 4.5‑17.
  • 40 This type of decoration is also known in the Early Bronze Age. Channelled ware is also very rare at (...)

21Decorated pottery is very limited and it seems that the symbolic role of pottery was transferred at this period to other artefacts, such as those of metal35. Crusted decoration with light red to pink, and rarely white paint or the combination of the two, is found in small quantities, eventually with spiral motifs36. Incised decoration is also limited (fig. 25H: a, b). Sherds with the “Bratislava-type” decoration, which is well represented at Petromagoula37, Mikrothives38 and Voulokaliva39, seem to be very rare. Channelled decoration on sherds with black or brown-black surfaces is also very rare40. As mentioned above, finger-impressed and “rope-like” cordons are almost exclusively found on storage vessels. Shallow impressions are very occasionally found on the rim of small tableware vessels.

223. Apart from the Late Neolithic charcoal sample Lyon-7640 (trench E21) mentioned above, four more charcoal samples were submitted for radiocarbon dating. They come from the following contexts:

  1. Sample Lyon-7641: trench H26, charcoal sample 1, unit 9. It comes from a possible working surface, clay-coated, with small pebbles and numerous fragments of charcoal. This surface lies in contact with the west face of the circuit wall, which was founded on an earlier circuit wall of the same alignment.

  2. Sample DEM-2157: trench I22, charcoal samples 11‑19, units 31, 33. It comes from a level outside the older circuit wall, which continues into trench H26 where the previous sample was found. This level was close to the lowest exposed part of the wall and can confidently be distinguished from the overlying post-depositional level. The calibrated age of the previous sample Lyon-7641 corresponds to the stratigraphic sequence of the two structures since it is younger by several decades than the present sample.

  3. Sample DEM-2156: trench K16, charcoal samples 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 46, units 30, 31, 40. It comes from a level below deep secondary deposits close to the foundation of the external terrace circuit.

  4. Sample Lyon-7642: trench Θ13, charcoal samples 1‑6, units 29‑30. It comes from a level beside a stone-built wall which has not yet been completely excavated.

23The levels from which DEM-2157 and DEM-2156 come contained finds which either were related to human activities taking place outside the circuit walls, or are likely to have been rubbish, thrown out beyond the circuit walls of the settlement at a time when they were still in use. In both cases, the date of the samples should correspond to part, at least, of the period of use of the circuit walls.

244. The 14C determinations of these samples (see table below) give calibrated ages between 4460 and 3803 BC.

Sample no.

Square/unit

Lab no.

BP value

Calibrated date (95.4%)

1

H26/9

Lyon-7641/SacA-22602

5260 ± 50

4235‑3968 cal BC

11‑19

I22/31‑33

DEM-2157

5565 ± 30

4460‑4350 cal BC

4‑9, 46, 49

K16/30, 31, 40

DEM-2156

5123 ± 30

3982‑3803 cal BC

1‑6

Θ13/29‑30

Lyon-7642/SacA-22603

5170 ± 50

4046‑3811 cal BC

Table 1 – Radiocarbon dates from contexts assigned to the Final Neolithic and transitional periods.

25Two phases can be distinguished, one a little after the middle of the 5th millennium BC, represented by sample DEM-2157, and one after 4235 BC, as indicated by the remaining three determinations (without excluding the possibility of other subdivisions). These dates partly agree with the chronology derived from the pottery. There are however pottery features mentioned above which strongly suggest the continuation of habitation at the settlement in the Early Bronze Age.

  • 41 Supra, chapter 2, p. 59‑60; see also Karagiannopoulos, chapter 20 in this volume.
  • 42 Unpublished dates from Demokritos and dates in the frame of the “Balkans 4000” project; see supra, (...)
  • 43 Coleman 2011, p. 24‑28.

26For the time being it appears that Palioskala is a multiphase settlement, but there is need for a more thorough chronological resolution. It correlates partly with the Rachmani levels at Rachmani itself and at Pefkakia, while the radiocarbon determinations suggest that it should also correlate partly with the Thessalian settlements at Prodromos in Karditsa (Western Thessaly)41 and Profitis Ilias at Mandra (between the eastern and western Thessalian plains)42. It also appears that Palioskala shares some features with Coleman’s “Petromagoula-Doliana Group” (rolled rims, plastic lugs, finger-impressed plastic coils with a “rope” like appearance on storage vessels, and some S-profile bowls), which intervenes between the Final Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age43. On the other hand, other features of the “Petromagoula-Doliana Group” like the characteristic “Bratislava-type” decoration, are represented hitherto by few and rather dubious sherds whereas the tall conical beakers are seemingly absent. To the early stages of the Early Bronze Age may belong the “pyxis” and some shapes mentioned above, though some types of vessels like the numerous “baking pans” were already known in the previous period.

  • 44 Skafida & Toufexis 1994, p. 17‑18, 23, fig. I: 8; Skafida 2008, p. 519.
  • 45 Skafida 2008, p. 518‑519.
  • 46 Dimakopoulou 1998; Skafida 2008, p. 520.
  • 47 A number of these were found in the upper levels of the trenches, which had been disturbed by subse (...)
  • 48 The axe was found in the central part of trench H20 (inventory number: ΠΑΛ.Η20.106); it differs fro (...)
  • 49 Tsountas 1908, p. 352‑353.
  • 50 Weisshaar 1989, p. 48, pl. XIX.
  • 51 Toufexis 2000, p. 505.
  • 52 Zachos 2010, p. 81‑91; Zachos & Douzougli 1999, p. 962‑963.

275. Among the other finds from Palioskala should be mentioned chipped stone tools, particularly the bifacial leaf-shaped points and arrow heads of flint (fig. 17). The polished stone tools are chiefly axes and chisels, as well as quernstones and polishers. Bone tools are also present. There are clay zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines, including a two-headed figure (“kourotrophos” type44), and acrolithic figurines, the heads of which sometimes preserve traces of red paint (fig. 19)45. Jewellery includes a small “ring-pendant” of shell (fig. 20), thus adding a new material for the manufacture of these objects, in addition to gold, silver, copper, clay and stone known already from other sites46. There are also fragments of rings, beads and “buttons” from Spondylus gaederopus (fig. 18: a-e), or stone (fig. 18: f-i). There are also clay spindle whorls and “sling bullets”. Finally, one of a number of copper objects47 is a small flat copper axe with a rectangular cross-section. It has a square butt and convex cutting edge with a strong curve, splaying slightly beyond the long sides of the shaft (fig. 22)48. In Thessaly copper axes and chisels attributed to the Final Neolithic period have been found at Sesklo49, Pefkakia50, and Profitis Ilias in Mandra (Late/Final Neolithic)51, while similar finds of this period are known from other settlements in Greece52.

Fig. 17 – Chipped stone tools from flint.

Fig. 18 – Ornaments from Spondylus gaederopus shell and stone.

Fig. 19 – Figurines; h. (from top left to bottom right): 9 cm; 10.5 cm; 6.5 cm; 6.4 cm; 3.5 cm.

Fig. 20 – Shell pendant.

Fig. 21 – Clay zoomorphic objects; h.: a. 15 cm; b. 9.8 cm; c. 10.6 cm.

Fig. 22 – Copper axe.

Fig. 23 – Vessels shapes: storage vessels and jars.

Fig. 24 – Vessels shapes: tableware.

Fig. 25 – Vessels shapes and features.

Discussion

The settlement’s plan

28Hitherto both the available calibrated dates for the charcoal samples and the pottery suggest that the concentric organisation of the settlement, with its circuit walls, the “central building” and the houses on terraces between the circuit walls, was the result of long building activity at the site. Palioskala, therefore, must be seen as a multiple phase settlement of which only the upper and most fragmentary parts have been excavated. This is further supported by the results of small test pits in the central part of the settlement, where stone-built walls were revealed below the dense horizon of the buildings and circuit walls unearthed so far. Whether the settlement was smaller in the Late Neolithic period, but was almost completely covered by the buildings of the Final Neolithic – Early Bronze Age in which settlements were generally larger in extent (see below), is difficult to determine at this stage. The fact that, so far, no traces of Late Neolithic deposits have been found in the southeastern part of the excavation outside the terrace circuits, lends force to this hypothesis. It is also clear that the houses, structures and circuit walls of the settlement underwent several alterations of their original plan. The earlier settlement plan was clearly significantly altered in some places, as shown among others by the fact that the eastern entrance went out of use, and by the construction of slighter circuit walls at a higher level on the same alignment as the early circuits. To what extent the original buildings in the centre of the settlement continued to exist and what their function was, are topics which will be clarified with the continuation of excavation.

  • 53 Treuil 1983, p. 365, 370.
  • 54 Kotsakis 1996 and 2006. The spread of houses beyond the mound itself is attested in some tell settl (...)
  • 55 Alram-Stern 2004, p. 261.
  • 56 Tsountas 1908, p. 27‑68; Hourmouziadis 1979; Alram-Stern 2004, p. 261.
  • 57 Toufexis 2003, p. 61.
  • 58 Weisshaar 1989, p. 11‑12.
  • 59 Toufexis 2000; Toufexis 2001/2004a. It is improbable that complete destruction of the buildings by (...)

29The results of the excavation show a concentric settlement plan, with densely packed buildings in the central part53. The relationship of the structures which developed beyond the magoula (in the southeast sector of the excavation) to the part of the settlement surrounded by walls, is still to be explored. Already from the Middle Neolithic a similar double arrangement, with distinctive features for each part of the settlement, has been recognised at Sesklo54. The concentric arrangement is frequent in the settlements of the Eastern Aegean in the Early Bronze Age55, but the closest and earlier example is that of neighbouring Late Neolithic Dimini on the Pagasitic gulf56. Even if comparisons between Dimini and Palioskala are still premature due to their probable temporal difference, it should be noted that at Dimini, the central area was occupied by a central courtyard with a number of buildings around its perimeter, while at Palioskala there appears to be an “isolated” building57, provided that the latter was simultaneously in use with the circuit walls around it, which, as mentioned above, is under discussion. A dense arrangement of houses sharing a common orientation was found in the upper level of the Rachmani phase at Pefkakia close to the summit of the settlement mound58. In contrast, at the settlement of Profitis Ilias at Mandra, which was surrounded in its latest phase by a circular stone-built enclosure, the buildings appear to be limited in number, with the exception of a megaroid house and surviving fragments of other buildings close to it, but also along the length of the internal side of the circuit59.

The circuit walls

  • 60 Toufexis 2003, p. 61.
  • 61 Kotsakis 1996, p. 49‑52.
  • 62 Tsountas 1908, p. 38.
  • 63 Weisshaar 1989, p. 9‑10.

30At the settlement of Palioskala the outer concentric circuit walls, besides their function as terrace walls, appear to have been intended in part for the protection of the settlement from the periodically rising water levels of the nearby lake, and also from the severe aggregation activity of streams coming down the slopes of Mt Mavrovouni and drained into the lake, thus preserving a dryer environment for the development of the settlement60. The “fortifications” on the west slope of Sesklo61 are considered to serve the function of terraces, while inclined terrace walls also exist at Dimini62. At Pefkakia, a wall which probably formed part of the circuit of the lowest Rachmani level had been built with two faces and a fill between them, while in the middle level of the same phase terrace walls built in the same fashion were also discovered63.

  • 64 Andreou et al. 1996, p. 265; Kotsakis 1999, p. 71‑72; Souvatzi 2008, p. 159; Pappa 2008, p. 352‑362
  • 65 Toufexis 2000; Toufexis 2001/2004a.
  • 66 Toufexis 1999, p. 424‑426.
  • 67 Adrymi-Sismani 2007.
  • 68 Toufexis 2000; Toufexis 2001/2004a.
  • 69 Papaefthymiou-Papanthimou & Pilali-Papasteriou 1988, p. 127‑128, 131.
  • 70 Steinhauer 2009b. The settlement at Zagani had a strong defensive wall with casemated walls strengt (...)
  • 71 Kakavogianni & Douni 2009, p. 384.
  • 72 Televantou 2008, p. 43‑44. One of the upper circuit walls at Palioskala has an external semicircula (...)

31As in the Late Neolithic, the settlements of the Final Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age have circuit walls which define the limits of the settlements both physically and symbolically64. They more often have the form of a magoula (tell), or are flat sites, as for example the excavated Thessalian settlements of the Late and early Final Neolithic at Profitis Ilias in Mandra (upper phase)65, at Platykambos66 and at Mikrothives67. From the end of the Late Neolithic period the Thessalian settlement at Profitis Ilias in Mandra was enclosed by a stone-built circuit wall, which replaced earlier encircling ditches68. Built circuits have been discovered at settlements of the Final Neolithic period at Mandalo, in Western Macedonia69, at the settlement of the Final Neolithic-Early Helladic I at Zagani70 and probably at the Final Neolithic-Early Helladic I settlement at Houmeza in Attica71. The settlement of the Final Neolithic at Strofilas on Andros is considered to be one of the earliest examples of fortified settlements in the Cyclades, with an outer wall and strong circuit wall, which is strengthened in the vicinity of the gate and elsewhere with stout curved bastions. The wall, which is 1.6‑2.5 m wide and has an estimated height of 3.50‑4 m, is built with the technique of two-faces with rubble fill72.

  • 73 Kokkinidou & Nikolaidou 1999, p. 91.
  • 74 Kotsakis 1999, p. 72.
  • 75 For a brief discussion see Andersen 1997; Whittle 1977; Bradley 1998; Pappa 2008, p. 352‑362.
  • 76 Tsountas 1908; Hauptmann 1981. Also Aslanis 2008, p. 35‑43; Aslanis 2010, p. 46‑47, 51; Runnels 200 (...)
  • 77 Hourmouziadis was the first to question the defensive use of the circuit walls at Dimini, consideri (...)
  • 78 Souvatzi & Skafida 2003, p. 434; Souvatzi 2008, p. 228; Pappa 2008, p. 362.

32Circuit walls as boundaries of settlements could have had different roles in periods of peace or conflict73. Their functions are more generally a matter of debate, and they could differ from one settlement to another74, given that circuit walls appear over a large area at different times in the European Neolithic75. Regardless of whether one accepts that the circuit walls of Neolithic settlements in Thessaly were defensive structures76, or rejects on the contrary their defensive role as incompatible with Neolithic society77, it is clear that the circuits were planned and achieved with the participation of the members of the community. This should reinforce the perception of social coherence and identity through the repeated negotiation of social relationships of the groups which took part in their construction78.

The distribution of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites in the vicinity of Palioskala and in the Thessalian plain (with emphasis on the Final Neolithic period)

  • 79 See also Apostolopoulou-Kakavogianni 1979, p. 195‑196.
  • 80 Gallis 1992, p. 228, table 5; Halstead 1984.
  • 81 Gallis 1992, p. 229‑230, 232; Johnson & Perlès 2004, p. 75.
  • 82 On the basis of data presented by Gallis 1992, p. 222‑240.
  • 83 Johnson & Perlès 2004, p. 75.
  • 84 Gallis 1992, p. 232, 238.
  • 85 Halstead 1984.
  • 86 The absence of all but a few fish bones in the substantial quantities of earth which were processed (...)
  • 87 Kovani 2002, p. 115‑116. The potential for spring cultivation in Thessaly during the Neolithic peri (...)

33In strong contrast with the Late Neolithic period (Classic Dimini phase), where settlements have been discovered all around Lake Karla, in the Final Neolithic and more precisely during the “Rachmani culture” the settlement of Palioskala is for the time being the only one known on the eastern side of the lake, over a distance of about 23 km. The nearest known settlements for this period are between 5.5 and 13.5 km away and located at some distance from the opposite western and southwestern shore of the lake (before its drainage)79. In the eastern Thessalian plain the number of settlements decreases significantly in the Final Neolithic phase, and the thirty three known Final Neolithic settlements are about one quarter of the number of settlements of the Late Neolithic Dimini phase, while in the Early Bronze Age the number of settlements almost triples in relation to those of the Final Neolithic80. The focus of the surface surveys on the plain alone and not on the hilly or mountainous districts, as well as the difficulty of recognising and classifying the pottery of the Final Neolithic are responsible to a degree for the small number of known settlements of this period81. In the eastern Thessalian plain and more generally in Thessaly, the settlements of the Final Neolithic, with only a few exceptions, are established on older Neolithic settlements, while settlement continues at these sites into the Early Bronze Age in some 70% of cases82. The settlements do not have the dense distribution of previous periods and they are a considerable distance apart, with the exception of a few clusters on the dry Pleistocene terrace in the northwest part of the plain and in the Revenia hills which separate the eastern from the western Thessalian plain83. Settlements of this period show a preference for the edges of the plain close to the foothills, and also in the hilly regions84, which offer a greater variety of environment and greater opportunities for subsistence85. At the settlement of Palioskala the deeply dissected slopes of Mt Mavrovouni with its large number of small valleys and the lacustrine environment particularly favoured a mixed farming economy, combined with fishing86 and hunting in the upland and in the well-watered surroundings of the settlement. The wetlands surrounding the lake offered good grazing in the summer, and the same is true of the slopes of Mt Mavrovouni in the winter. On the other hand, in recent years (before the lake was drained), the fields which became available when the lake level dropped were so fertile, that sowing could take place without ploughing in the natural channels left by the water as it retreated87.

  • 88 Gallis 1992, p. 232.
  • 89 Halstead 1984; Halstead 1995, p. 14‑19; Andreou et al. 2001, p. 280.
  • 90 Johnson & Perlès 2004, p. 75.
  • 91 Halstead 1981, p. 325, 334.
  • 92 Halstead 1984; Halstead 1994, p. 210‑211.
  • 93 Andreou et al. 2001, p. 281.
  • 94 Halstead 1981, p. 325‑326.
  • 95 Zachos 1998, p. 57; Stratouli 2008, p. 562. See also Mavridis & Tankosić, chapter 22 in this volume
  • 96 Kouka 2009, p. 135, 138.
  • 97 Papadopoulos 2002, p. 123‑124.
  • 98 Zachos 1996a, p. 78; Halstead 1981, p. 326; Johnson 1996.
  • 99 Douzougli 1998, p. 147‑148, 150‑152; Zachos 1998, p. 53‑58.
  • 100 Douzougli 1996, p. 47‑48.
  • 101 Stratouli 2008, p. 560‑561; Kalogirou 1994, p. 15, 23‑24.
  • 102 Andreou et al. 2001, p. 287.
  • 103 Papadopoulos 2002, p. 123‑124. See also Koukouli-Chrysanthaki & Papadopoulos, chapter 18 in this vo (...)
  • 104 Kouka 2008, p. 272‑274.
  • 105 Tsirtsoni 2010, p. 95, 99, 102.
  • 106 Coleman 2000; Coleman 2011, p. 28‑29.

34The obvious reduction in the number of Final Neolithic settlements in Thessaly has been related to the greater size and larger populations achieved by the settlements in this period88, a fact which marks the change from the closely-distributed Neolithic settlements of a similar size to the nucleated settlements characteristic of the Bronze Age89. According to other opinions however, the Thessalian settlements of the Final Neolithic do not differ in size from the settlements of the Middle and Late Neolithic and therefore there is no question of a systematic nucleation90. The obviously greater extent and increased population of the mainland settlements should reflect, from an economic perspective, the increased role of animal husbandry and the cultivation of larger areas around the settlement which became possible with the use of oxen for ploughing91. With these economic and demographic parameters the role of some members of the community, who showed a more decisive conduct of affairs in periods of crisis, would provide a stimulus for the appearance of social inequalities and some kind of hierarchy that would be better seen later in the Bronze Age92. However, evidence from the Final Neolithic in Thessaly shows that these social changes are not the result of uninterrupted development93. In the fertile western Thessalian plain, the gradual abandonment of settlements from the Early Neolithic until the Final Neolithic, is not to be related to demographic contraction but to the development of nomadic cattle husbandry by small mobile groups of herdsmen, whose ephemeral establishments are difficult to locate94. Already from the end of the Neolithic a preference is apparent for districts close to grazing land at a higher level, while the use of caves95 increased just as much in the territory of the Attica-Kephala culture, which corresponds to the early Final Neolithic in Central and Southern Greece96, as in Eastern Macedonia97. In Central and Southern Greece, the settlements of the Final Neolithic increase in number in contrast to Thessaly, a fact which is attributed to population increase98. Many of these sites are thought to have had seasonal character and to relate to the exercise of transhumant pastoralism at the “periphery” of permanent settlements with mixed farming economies99, a practice which has also been proposed for the mountainous region of Epirus100. In some parts of Western Macedonia, such as the Haliakmon valley, the Ptolemaida-Vegoritis basin and Kitrini Limni, the density of settlements suggests a population growth at the end of the Neolithic period and in the Final Neolithic101 particularly in the first half of the latter102. In Eastern Macedonia, 45% of the sites of the Late Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age can be related to animal husbandry or to marine resources, while the coastal settlements in Thasos appear to be related to the larger settlements of the interior103. An increase in the number of Final Neolithic settlements is also attested in the coastal regions of continental Greece as well as in the Aegean, and was correlated with the major importance given to the marine roads and the role of commerce104. Nevertheless, in the whole of Northern Greece and more generally on the Balkan peninsula a drastic reduction in the number of settlements can be observed at the end of the 5th millennium BC, i.e. at the transition from the Final Neolithic to the Bronze Age105, whereas the “Petromagoula-Doliana Group”, placed at the end of this transitional period, has been considered as a “Proto-Bronze Age” culture and related to migration movements from northern Balkan cultures106.

Notes

2 Text translated from Greek by Nicola Wardle-Hunter.

3 Vlastaridis 2003.

4 Halstead 1984; Gallis 1992.

5 A review of these opinions can be found in Gallis 1992, p. 25‑27; Apostolopoulou-Kakavogianni 1979; Helly et al. 2002, p. 16‑35.

6 Apostolopoulou-Kakovogianni 1979, p. 200.

7 Halstead 1984.

8 For comparison the highest level of the lake reached 50.10 m in 1920‑1921 (Kovani 2002, p. 52, 78‑82: Χκ1-Χκ4); this corresponds to the lowest edges of the occupation deposits for the settlement.

9 Halstead 1984.

10 Dina 2003, p. 376.

11 Additional fieldwork was done in the settlement in 2013, in the framework of a broader restoration/display program. This work is still in progress and is not reported here.

12 The stratigraphy of the lower trenches shows in places thick post-occupation deposits originating from the erosion of the higher levels of the settlement and of the natural surface around the site. However, neither the study of the soil and geomorphology nor any geophysical survey have yet taken place.

13 Caputo et al. 1994, fig. 4.

14 A single 14C date (trench D18/19, Lyon-7643) from the area near the long rectangular building dates to the years between 70 and 313 AD.

15 Toufexis 2003, p. 56.

16 Toufexis 2006a.

17 I thank Dr Kostas Zachos, Dr Eva Alram-Stern, Dr Elmar Christmann, Prof. John Coleman, Dr Agathe Reingruber, and Dr Charlotte von Hauff, for having the kindness to see photos of some finds from Palioskala and tell me their opinions. The responsibility for the outcome of this article is entirely mine..

18 This work was assisted by a grant from The Mediterranean Archaeological Trust.

19 All the dates are calibrated at 2s. See also supra, chapter 2, p. 48.

20 The pottery in this level, however, is seemingly not in agreement with the calibrated date of the charcoal sample, which was probably re-deposited in this level. Earth-taking and levelling activities should be taken into consideration in settlements with dense building horizons like Palioskala.

21 This type of decoration is known from areas of the Attica-Kephala culture, but also more northern cultures of the Final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age (Douzougli & Zachos 2002, p. 127). In Thessaly, it is known in all levels of the Rachmani culture in Pefkakia (Weisshaar 1989, pl. 24: 11; 34: 3, 4, 8, 10, 13‑16; 59: 3; 60: 2, 3, 10, 13; 61: 10; 80: 7, 10; 81: 2), as well as in the Final Neolithic levels at Mikrothives (Adrymi-Sismani 2007, p. 74‑75, pl. XII: b), at Petromagoula (Hatziangelakis 1984, fig. 8), and at Otzaki Magoula (Hauptmann 1981, pl. XV: 2, 3). It is also known in the Early Bronze Age in Thessaly, e.g. at Argissa (Hanschmann & Milojčić 1976, pl. 13: 14‑16; 39: 12, 16‑23) and Pefkakia (Christmann 1996, pl. 32: 1; 79: 1, 2; 83: 1; 124: 1; 125: 1; 135: 1).

22 See Weisshaar 1989, pl. XV: 5 (Pefkakia: lowest level).

23 See Weisshaar 1989, pl. 61: 1 (Pefkakia: middle level); Adrymi-Sismani 2007, pl. XII: b; Douzougli & Zachos 2002, fig. 5: 4, 6: 5; Christmann 1996, pl. 79: 2; 99: 2; 125: 1.

24 See Weisshaar 1989, pl. 59: 5 (Pefkakia: middle level); Christmann 1996, pl. 135: 1; Hanschmann & Milojčić 1976, pl. 36: 23; 38: 1.

25 This vessel was found beside the inner side of the southern wall of a large rectangular house (here fig. 3: 8; 7) with fragments of at least two other storage vessels nearby and belongs to the latest phase of the house. Its shape bears some analogies with the bi-tronconical vessels from Cucuteni A-B culture in the first half of the 4th millennium (see Anthony 2010, fig. 6‑21, 6‑36, 6‑39, 6‑43). I am indebted to Prof. John Coleman for this remark and the relevant quotation.

26 In Thessaly these vessels are already known in the Final Neolithic and become very common in the Early Bronze Age; see Weisshaar 1989, p. 40, pl. 62: 6‑9; Christmann 1996, p. 119‑121, 136‑137, 147; Hanschmann & Milojčić 1976, p. 46‑47, 54, 63, 72, 83.

27 Toufexis 2006a, p. 87. See Weisshaar 1989, pl. 74: 2 (Pefkakia: highest level), Tsountas 1908, p. 274; Hanschmann & Milojčić 1976, pl. 63A: 11.

28 The “dish” in fig. 24B: b was decorated in the “typical Rachmani style” with white and red crusted decoration (see below).

29 Although they were not preserved completely, these bowls were probably handleless. In Thessaly this type of lip in the Rachmani phase has been found at Tsangli Magoula and Aidiniotiki (Weisshaar 1989, p. 84, 92, pl. 93: 9 and 84: 14 respectively), at Rachmani (Hauptmann 1981, pl. 96: 4‑6), in Final Neolithic levels at Petromagoula, on vessels which occasionally combine it with incised decoration of the “Bratislava type” (Hatziangelakis 1984, fig. 3: 13; Maran 1998, p. 40), at Mikrothives (Adrymi-Sismani 2007, p. 75, pl. XII: j), and at Sesklo where it is accompanied occasionally with white crusted decoration of the type Γ1δ (Tsountas 1908, p. 247; notice the lip in fig. 150 which resembles the shape of the lips at Palioskala, here fig. 24B: d). A lip from Rachmani has a similar shape and according to Hauptmann is the forerunner of the “turban rims” which appear at Argissa in the Early Bronze Age (Hauptmann 1981, p. 121, pl. 96: 4). Bowls with rolled rims occur on the mainland and islands of Southern Greece from the end of the Final Neolithic to Early Bronze I and are also known in South-East Europe, but they do not provide a safe chronological criterion for the comparison of northern and southern cultures (Johnson 1999, p. 325; Coleman 2000, p. 121; Coleman 2011, p. 32).

30 Hanschmann & Milojčić 1976, pl. 7: 7, 9.

31 Weisshaar 1989, pl. 101: Typ 22.

32 Weisshaar 1989, pl. 109: Typ 64; Christmann 1996, pl. 9: 16, 50: 23.

33 “Pyxides” were found in Early Bronze Age levels at Pefkakia (Christmann 1996, p. 101, pl. 17: 5, 44: 9) and elsewhere in Early Bonze Age Greece, e.g. at Rachi Proskynas (Zachou 2000, p. 29: 4), Lithares (Tzavella-Evjen 1984, p. 155, pl. 41: a, b), Manika (Sampson 1988, fig. 32a, 33, 34). However, a probable forerunner of this vessel might be dated to the Middle Rachmani Stratum at Pefkakia (Weisshaar 1989, pl. 107: Typ 54).

34 Johnson 1999, p. 325; Lespez & Papadopoulos 2008, p. 681, fig. 12. In Thessaly such handles were found in Final Neolithic phases at Petromagoula (Hatziangelakis 1984, fig. 4: 1), at Mikrothives (Adrymi-Sismani 2007, p. 75, pl. XII: h), at Pefkakia – highest Rachmani phase (Weisshaar 1989, pl. 74: 3), and at Platykambos (Toufexis 1999, p. 425). At Platykambos in particular, tubular lug handles and sherds with incised decoration, chiefly in dense arrangements of shallow grooves in rectangles or hatched triangles, but also spiral motifs, were found in the fill of two adjacent circular pits and in the thin layer above them. It is of interest that three samples of charcoal, which all have very similar dates between 4040‑3780 BC, came from the upper part of the pits and the area around them. The pottery is still under study, but the Early Bronze Age is also represented on the basis of the pottery and a single 14C determination.

35 Perlès & Vitelli 1999, p. 105.

36 It is understood that the quantity of crusted decoration will have been initially greater; however the delicately applied colour is fugitive. Crusted decoration is characteristic in the Chalcolithic (Final Neolithic) period in Greece with a wide distribution in the Balkans (Douzougli & Zachos 2002, p. 124; Johnson 1996, p. 321). In Thessaly and particularly at Pefkakia, the quantity of this type of decoration continues to be very low in all three Rachmani levels, while white-crusted decoration occurs from the middle levels onwards in the schematic section (Weisshaar 1989, p. 21‑22, pl. 139, 142: Typ 54). At the site of Rachmani, decoration like this is typical in Level III (Wace & Thompson 1912, p. 32‑33) and also in Final Neolithic levels from the rescue excavation conducted at the settlement in 1997 (Toufexis 2000, p. 110‑111), but is apparently absent at Petromagoula and Mikrothives. The best example from Palioskala is a shallow bowl on which curved and spiral motifs in pink and white are combined (see Wace &Thompson 1912, fig. 13, pl. IV: 4, V, VI; Hauptmann 1981, pl. 95: 7).

37 Hatziangelakis 1984, fig. 4.

38 Adrymi-Sismani 2007, p. 75‑76, pl. XIII: a-d.

39 Christmann & Karimali 2004, p. 41, fig. 4.4, 4.5‑17.

40 This type of decoration is also known in the Early Bronze Age. Channelled ware is also very rare at Pefkakia (Weisshaar 1989, p. 20); similar decoration is recorded from Mikrothives (Adrymi-Sismani 2007, p. 76).

41 Supra, chapter 2, p. 59‑60; see also Karagiannopoulos, chapter 20 in this volume.

42 Unpublished dates from Demokritos and dates in the frame of the “Balkans 4000” project; see supra, chapter 2, p. 58.

43 Coleman 2011, p. 24‑28.

44 Skafida & Toufexis 1994, p. 17‑18, 23, fig. I: 8; Skafida 2008, p. 519.

45 Skafida 2008, p. 518‑519.

46 Dimakopoulou 1998; Skafida 2008, p. 520.

47 A number of these were found in the upper levels of the trenches, which had been disturbed by subsequent building phases and more recent ploughing.

48 The axe was found in the central part of trench H20 (inventory number: ΠΑΛ.Η20.106); it differs from the axes attributed to the Final Neolithic period (see below). Although the level on which the axe appeared seemed not to have been disturbed by later building activity, precautions must be taken due to its proximity to the surface.

49 Tsountas 1908, p. 352‑353.

50 Weisshaar 1989, p. 48, pl. XIX.

51 Toufexis 2000, p. 505.

52 Zachos 2010, p. 81‑91; Zachos & Douzougli 1999, p. 962‑963.

53 Treuil 1983, p. 365, 370.

54 Kotsakis 1996 and 2006. The spread of houses beyond the mound itself is attested in some tell settlements of the 5th millennium BC in the Lower Danube region (Reingruber et al. 2010, p. 171‑180).

55 Alram-Stern 2004, p. 261.

56 Tsountas 1908, p. 27‑68; Hourmouziadis 1979; Alram-Stern 2004, p. 261.

57 Toufexis 2003, p. 61.

58 Weisshaar 1989, p. 11‑12.

59 Toufexis 2000; Toufexis 2001/2004a. It is improbable that complete destruction of the buildings by modern ploughing took place without leaving the slightest trace. The final phase of the settlement corresponds to the end of the Late Neolithic – Final Neolithic period.

60 Toufexis 2003, p. 61.

61 Kotsakis 1996, p. 49‑52.

62 Tsountas 1908, p. 38.

63 Weisshaar 1989, p. 9‑10.

64 Andreou et al. 1996, p. 265; Kotsakis 1999, p. 71‑72; Souvatzi 2008, p. 159; Pappa 2008, p. 352‑362.

65 Toufexis 2000; Toufexis 2001/2004a.

66 Toufexis 1999, p. 424‑426.

67 Adrymi-Sismani 2007.

68 Toufexis 2000; Toufexis 2001/2004a.

69 Papaefthymiou-Papanthimou & Pilali-Papasteriou 1988, p. 127‑128, 131.

70 Steinhauer 2009b. The settlement at Zagani had a strong defensive wall with casemated walls strengthened in places by bastions, of which two curved examples have been dated to the Early Helladic period.

71 Kakavogianni & Douni 2009, p. 384.

72 Televantou 2008, p. 43‑44. One of the upper circuit walls at Palioskala has an external semicircular projection about 4 x 1.3 m. This structure probably served as a “bastion” or as structural reinforcement for the circuit wall.

73 Kokkinidou & Nikolaidou 1999, p. 91.

74 Kotsakis 1999, p. 72.

75 For a brief discussion see Andersen 1997; Whittle 1977; Bradley 1998; Pappa 2008, p. 352‑362.

76 Tsountas 1908; Hauptmann 1981. Also Aslanis 2008, p. 35‑43; Aslanis 2010, p. 46‑47, 51; Runnels 2009, p. 165‑194.

77 Hourmouziadis was the first to question the defensive use of the circuit walls at Dimini, considering them to be structures relating to the spatial organisation of the community which essentially defined the production areas of the Neolithic householders of the settlement (Hourmouziadis 1979, p. 65‑96).

78 Souvatzi & Skafida 2003, p. 434; Souvatzi 2008, p. 228; Pappa 2008, p. 362.

79 See also Apostolopoulou-Kakavogianni 1979, p. 195‑196.

80 Gallis 1992, p. 228, table 5; Halstead 1984.

81 Gallis 1992, p. 229‑230, 232; Johnson & Perlès 2004, p. 75.

82 On the basis of data presented by Gallis 1992, p. 222‑240.

83 Johnson & Perlès 2004, p. 75.

84 Gallis 1992, p. 232, 238.

85 Halstead 1984.

86 The absence of all but a few fish bones in the substantial quantities of earth which were processed through water-sieving is noteworthy. This is probably related to the burial conditions and to the type of deposits which have been excavated to date. On the other hand, the fact that fishing equipment (e.g. hooks, weights) is not present, may suggest the practice of fishing with nets or traps of reeds, as familiar among lake fishermen (Kovani 2002, p. 73‑77).

87 Kovani 2002, p. 115‑116. The potential for spring cultivation in Thessaly during the Neolithic period has been suggested for the flood plain of the Peneios river (Van Andel et al. 1995, p. 131‑143).

88 Gallis 1992, p. 232.

89 Halstead 1984; Halstead 1995, p. 14‑19; Andreou et al. 2001, p. 280.

90 Johnson & Perlès 2004, p. 75.

91 Halstead 1981, p. 325, 334.

92 Halstead 1984; Halstead 1994, p. 210‑211.

93 Andreou et al. 2001, p. 281.

94 Halstead 1981, p. 325‑326.

95 Zachos 1998, p. 57; Stratouli 2008, p. 562. See also Mavridis & Tankosić, chapter 22 in this volume.

96 Kouka 2009, p. 135, 138.

97 Papadopoulos 2002, p. 123‑124.

98 Zachos 1996a, p. 78; Halstead 1981, p. 326; Johnson 1996.

99 Douzougli 1998, p. 147‑148, 150‑152; Zachos 1998, p. 53‑58.

100 Douzougli 1996, p. 47‑48.

101 Stratouli 2008, p. 560‑561; Kalogirou 1994, p. 15, 23‑24.

102 Andreou et al. 2001, p. 287.

103 Papadopoulos 2002, p. 123‑124. See also Koukouli-Chrysanthaki & Papadopoulos, chapter 18 in this volume.

104 Kouka 2008, p. 272‑274.

105 Tsirtsoni 2010, p. 95, 99, 102.

106 Coleman 2000; Coleman 2011, p. 28‑29.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1 – Map of the prehistoric sites in the Eastern Thessalian plain. The maximum extent of the Lake Karla (Boebeis) is shown, and next to it the site of Palioskala (big red dot).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Légende Fig. 2 – Palioskala. Aerial photo of the prehistoric settlement from northwest; in the background is Mountain Mavrovouni, on the right side the restored lake Karla.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Légende Fig. 3 – Palioskala. Aerial photo of the settlement.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 208k
Légende Fig. 4 – The outer circuit wall in the southeastern part of the settlement, view from northeast.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 64k
Légende Fig. 5 – Circuit wall and entrance, view from the east.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 88k
Légende Fig. 6 – Remains of buildings, from south.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-6.jpg
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Légende Fig. 7 – Rectangular building, view from east.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 56k
Légende Fig. 8 – Thermal structure.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 44k
Légende Fig. 9 – The “central building”, view from west.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-9.jpg
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Légende Fig. 10 – Square buildings, view from west.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-10.jpg
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Légende Fig. 11 – Storage jar, h. 52 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-11.jpg
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Légende Fig. 12 – Storage jar, h. 35 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 36k
Légende Fig. 13 – Fragments of storage jars with plastic decoration.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 36k
Légende Fig. 14 – Red-slipped bowl.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 112k
Légende Fig. 15 – Fragments of rolled rims bowls.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-15.jpg
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Légende Fig. 16 – Squat globular vessel, h. 13 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-16.jpg
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Légende Fig. 17 – Chipped stone tools from flint.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-17.jpg
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Légende Fig. 18 – Ornaments from Spondylus gaederopus shell and stone.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-18.jpg
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Légende Fig. 19 – Figurines; h. (from top left to bottom right): 9 cm; 10.5 cm; 6.5 cm; 6.4 cm; 3.5 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-19.jpg
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Légende Fig. 20 – Shell pendant.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 16k
Légende Fig. 21 – Clay zoomorphic objects; h.: a. 15 cm; b. 9.8 cm; c. 10.6 cm.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-21.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 36k
Légende Fig. 22 – Copper axe.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-22.jpg
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Légende Fig. 23 – Vessels shapes: storage vessels and jars.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-23.jpg
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Légende Fig. 24 – Vessels shapes: tableware.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-24.jpg
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Légende Fig. 25 – Vessels shapes and features.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/535/img-25.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 54k

Auteur

Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ephorate of Antiquities of Larissa.

Nicola Wardle-Hunter (Traducteur)
Cette publication numérique est issue d’un traitement automatique par reconnaissance optique de caractères.
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