Sikyon survey project

The 2009 season

Topographical survey

The center of the ancient city

Yannis Lolos, Ben Gourley and Dan Stewart have proceeded towards mapping the excavated monuments of the agora (temple and overlying basilica, stoa, palaestra, and bouleuterion) with the new, accurate DGPS. Since these monuments were excavated some decades ago and since parts of them have been reburied by natural causes, we have mapped the corners and key position of these monuments and then referenced accordingly the digitized state plans - the result is quite satisfactory and it produced by far the best plan of the Sikyonian agora available today. For even more accuracy one would need to re-excavate these monuments.

In addition, we have made an attempt to map the shape of the unexcavated ancient stadium based on the actual surface formation and the extant remains. In order to establish more certainty, we have surveyed with magnetometry about half of the stadium track and were probably successful in identifying the track's limits by recognizing the stone channel which lined the track or the lowest rows of seats.

Above the agora and the theater area, we have mapped with the DGPS many of the ancient quarries and other architectural features as well as escarpments and slope breaks that characterize the interface between the lower and upper plateau - an area that we have not included in the surface survey. A particular problem related to this zone is the main communication between the upper and lower plateau in antiquity, which must have been suitable for wheeled traffic.

The line of an ancient road above the theater with an E-W orientation.

The track of the stadium.

Thanks to the mapping of quarries, retaining walls and possible road-curbs in the area above the agora, we think we can show that one of the main ancient roads leading towards the acropolis of the ancient city and the western gate (to Titane) followed the line of the modern asphalt road between the agora and the theater, and a small section of it is possibly still preserved.