Sikyon survey project

The 2005 season

Archaeological survey - Upper Plateau

In the Upper Plateau we walked the tracts moving eastwards, i.e. towards the center of the plateau. Ceramic density was low, in average below 100 sherds/square (0.14/m2) with sporadic peaks in the range of 200+ sherds per square, probably representing the nuclei of scattered agricultural/pastoral shelters in the Hellenistic period. Standard deviation distribution maps of the plateau indicate some basic patterning to sherd concentrations, principally along the eastern extent of the plateau and former line of the city fortification, as well as to the south of the southern farm track. Both concentrations are also at the edges of cultivated fields, which means that ploughing was a contributing factor to their formation.

We have recorded only a few stone blocks, which indicates that monumental buildings were not to be found in this area.

Absolute sherd and rooftile counts from the 2004 and 2005 survey in the Upper Plateau.

Distribution of architectural fragments from the 2004 and 2005 survey in the Upper Plateau.

The rectangular shaft over a tunnel in Special Tract 1.

In the forested Special Tract 1, and more specifically at its southeastern corner, we recorded a rectangular shaft of a tunnel, which in all probability led to the vertical southern slope of the plateau and was part of the ancient drainage system also encountered in other areas of the city. Of special interest for the reconstruction of the palaeo-environment is the discovery and mapping of a fissure on the southern side of the Upper Plateau, in UP 21.7. The fissure signals the beginning of massive erosion in this area which will eventually lead to the separation of this segment of land and its collapse down the Asopos valley. The examination of such phenomena, which is one of the aims of the geo-archaeological investigation, will help us to calculate the loss of surface since ancient times, and explains the absence of any trace of the city-wall along this stretch. Lastly, traces of two wells or bell cisterns of the type identified last season in the south plateau have added to the developing picture of ancient water storage at the site. The examples in the upper plateau have unfortunately eroded quite badly, unlike the ones found this year both in the northern and the southern plateau, therefore only limited observations could be made here.