Sikyon survey project

The 2006 season

Archaeological survey - Upper Plateau

In the upper plateau we decided to investigate the area directly above the agora (UP23.1-38.11), that is west of the theater, in order to check whether the low densities we encountered in previous seasons close to the western edge of the upper plateau continue all the way to its eastern edge. The answer is negative since here we recorded average densities of 300-400 sherds per square (versus 100 sherds close to the western edge).

Some squares yielded even higher pottery numbers which often exceeded 600 sherds per square. The area of high density is defined by tracts UP30 to UP34, and must correspond to a zone of habitation focused on two squares where we recorded densities in the range of 1000 sherds. A phenomenon that we also witnessed in other areas of the plateau is that in comparatively few squares the number of tiles is by far greater than the number of pottery fragments. In these squares we probably had a temporary or short-lived structure, perhaps a storeroom or a temporary shelter, rather than something more permanent.

Absolute sherd and rooftile counts from the 2006 season in the Upper Plateau.

Distribution of architectural fragments from the 2006 season in the Upper Plateau.

We recorded architectural remains in a number of squares, usually ashlar blocks, whereas the in situ walls are integrated in the ancient urban grid, which was oriented along the cardinal points. Other significant finds include a well and part of an aqueduct.

Perhaps the most impressive discovery of this year is the remains of a temple with pronaos possibly in antis, right above the cavea of the theater. We could make out only parts of the two sides of the naos and of the wall which separated it from the pronaos. Perhaps we should attribute to this temple part of a Doric geison and a triglyph and metope piece both found in adjacent squares. If they are indeed related, then the temple must have been of the Doric order, and perhaps belonged either to Tyche or to the Dioskouroi, both mentioned by Pausanias as being "above the theater".

Finally, we located and examined traces of ancient quarrying close to the edge of the plateau. It is an extensive quarry of conglomerate stone, which was used for the construction of the city walls and the monuments of the ancient agora, and is being studied in detail by our geologist.

Part of an aqueduct illegally dug in UP 38.8.

Part of a conglomerate quarry in UP 31.8.

Remains of a temple in UP 37.1, looking east.

Triglyph and metope piece from UP 38.4.