Haagsma Margriet, Karapanou Sophia, Surtees Laura
University of Alberta
Hellenic-Canadian Work at Kastro Kallithea 2006-2011
This paper presents the results and analysis of fieldwork at the Kastro near the village of Kallithea in Achaia Phthiotis. The project was started in 2004 and is carried out by a team of the 15th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Larissa and the University of Alberta in Canada under the aegis of the Canadian Institute in Greece. The goals of the project have been to obtain insight into urbanization processes in this region by studying the occupation span and spatial development of the site and to research its changing political and economic roles over time. The architectural and archaeological surveys as well as subsequent excavations have revealed multiple occupation stages ranging from the 4th-1st centuries B.C.E. The city was established as an extension to a Classical fortress, and throughout the Hellenistic period it functioned as a small urban centre housing ca. 1000 inhabitants. The agora was abandoned in the late 3rd / early 2nd century B.C.E., while the housing area in the east continued to be inhabited or where habitation was re-established. In its early stages the city may have functioned as a buffer zone between the neighbouring poleis of Pharsalos and Halos. The discrepancy in the later occupation stage seems to suggest that in this volatile period the agora lost its function as an area of local display of authority and monumentality while the urban centre remained in use for habitation. On a larger scale, the abandonment of the agora preceding that of the housing area may reflect a process of increased concentration of political and economic power in the larger urban centres of Thessaly at the expense of smaller cities, such as Kastro Kallithea, during this important period of transition.
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