Mazarakis Ainian Alexander
University of Thessaly, IAKA Department
The contribution of the Oropos excavations in the understanding of the culture of Early Iron Age Greece
At Oropos, opposite Eretria, the past two decades an extensive architectural complex of the Early Iron Age (8th through 6th c. B.C.) has been unearthed. Numerous questions regarding the exact function of areas and buildings and the relation between public and private space have been posed. There is evidence for houses, workshops, shrines and public structures of various kinds, as well as tombs, but the data which will allow to understand the exact function of each building and the general character of the site are still being assessed. However, the evidence recovered so far points towards the coexistence within the same spaces or areas of several well defined functions.
Since the study of the finds in relation to their context is the safest way
to proceed towards understanding the function of buildings and the use of space
in the Early Iron Age, it is hoped that the understanding of the complex data
from Oropos will prove useful in deconstructing certain stereotypes and
reassessing the evidence from other controversial cases of the same period,
especially within the Euboean "koine". This approach is justified by
the fact that Oropos in the Geometric and Early Archaic periods was closely
associated with Euboea and perhaps controlled or even partly populated by
The idea that free-standing buildings of the Geometric period do not necessarily represent autonomous family units but may form part of larger compounds, formed by a number of such buildings has been presented elsewhere. The aim of the present paper is to place into context all the related papers which will be presented by the collaborators of the Oropos Project during the Round Table.