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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MEETING OF THESSALY AND CENTRAL GREECE, 2006-2008
FROM PREHISTORY TO THE CONTEMPORARY PERIOD

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Paper abstract

Van de MOORTEL Aleydis and ZAHOU Eleni
Associate Professor of Classics, Archaeologist
Five Years of Archaeological Excavation at the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Site of Mitrou, East Lokris (2004-2008). Preliminary Results.

The prehistoric site of Mitrou is the subject of systematic excavations by the 14th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the University of Tennessee under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Mitrou was occupied without interruption from the Early Helladic into the Late Protogeometric period. We mostly explored PG and LH levels, but reached MH and EH remains in a few areas. The EH settlement appears to have been extensive, and included one or more EH IIB buildings with baked roof tiles as well as Korakou and Lefkandi I pottery. An unexpected find was the remnants of a small wooden boat dating to the EH/MH transition. MH occupation was likewise extensive, and left a well-stratified sequence of structures and graves. In the LH I phase, monumental Building D was constructed in the northeast part of the site, and the settlement was provided with broad streets. A monumental cist tomb uncovered at the northeast edge of the site may have belonged to Mitrou's emerging elite. In the northwest area of the site, we found evidence of LH I and LH II purple dye production as well as the slaughter and processing of animals and other activities. It is possible, but not certain, that all these took place in a single architectural complex. The discovery in a LH I context in this same area of a horse-bridle piece from the Balkans is a further indication for elite presence. It is not yet clear how the activities in this area related to Building D. At some point in Building D's history--possibly in its last phase of use--a large monumental chamber tomb was constructed inside the building. In LH IIIA:2 Early, the settlement suffered large-scale destruction, and for the remainder of the Palatial period the excavated areas were only sporadically occupied. In LH IIIC, Mitrou appears to have been rebuilt along its prepalatial urban plan, and a new rectangular structure, Building B, was constructed over the ruins of Building D. Already in LH IIIC Late, the character of the site changed from urban to rural. Most of the earlier settlement was converted into burial plots, and inhabitants lived in apsidal and rectangular structures with outside courtyards. Part of EPG-MPG apsidal Building A was excavated and yielded a large floor deposit with evidence of feasting. By the LPG phase Mitrou had again purple dye production.


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