Sikyon survey project

The 2008 season

Archaeological survey - South Plateau

Ceramic densities and in-situ architectural fragments in the squares of the south plateau.

In the south plateau, we have investigated the area directly east of the ancient agora and as far as the western limits of the village of Vasiliko. The generally low visibility in the apricot groves which dominate in the area has impeded the recovery of artifacts.

In tracts with medium to high visibility, density exceeded 500 sherds per squares and in some cases 1000 sherds per square, as in SP93 to the south-southeast of the agora, and in SP 102.02 almost at the center of the area that we have covered. Also of interest are squares SP 85.01 to 85.05, just 15 m north-northeast of the long stoa, where the numbers of tiles are much higher than those of sherds. In this case, this may be due to the spoil heaps produced from the old excavations of the agora which over the decades spread in the surrounding area together with the roof-tiles that they no-doubt contained.

Side of an ancient city-block in SP 89.04.

Corner of a structure made of rubble, brick and mortar in SP 85.15.

Most prominent of these are the remains of a bath complex, built of mixed masonry, which includes a central apse and a transverse hall. The whole covers an area larger than 350 m2 and is preserved to a maximum height of 3 m.

Among the dozens of scattered architectural members, again primarily ashlar blocks, we recorded many bricks, a few column drums, a fragment of an octagonal column, an anta capital and several marble pieces.

Remains of a bath complex in Special Tract 7.

The central apse of the bath complex in ST 7.

Detail of the masonry of the bath in ST 7.

Anta capital in SP 103.03.

Scattered architectural blocks in SP 103.

Re-used mortarium of an olive-press in SP 93.

Ceramic densities and in-situ architectural fragments in the squares of the south-eastern knoll.

Among the movable finds, we recorded many grindstones, a few mortaria of olive press installations, slags, loomweights, lamps and glass pieces. A surprising discovery was an almost intact saucer (mortarium) of an olive-press, with interior grooves, nowadays used as a trough.

At the south-eastern knoll of the plateau, we investigated the sloping field exactly to the south-southeast of the ancient and medieval fortification (SP 107), as well as the strongly inclining north-northwest slope of the hill as Special Interface Tract 2.

In SP 107, ceramic density was low (below 50 sherds per square) contrary to the density of roof tiles which was relatively high due to the proximity of the wall. At the north-eastern slope of the hill (SIT2) we have mapped successive retaining walls, built in order to create artificial terraces for cultivation, most likely of olives.

Special Interface Tract 2, below the north-eastern side of SP 82.

Ancient retaining wall in SIT 2.02.

On one of these terraces we found a millstone of an olive-press, most likely in situ. Among scattered architectural pieces we retrieved a Doric capital of Classical date.

Miliarium of an olive-press in SIT 2.02.

Doric capital from SIT 2.01.