Our first concern was to identify and remove possible fills from the old excavations of A. Orlandos. It was clear that the first excavator of the monument had dug along the walls of the room, since all four sides of the room appear in his plan of the stoa. The question was if and to what extent he had excavated inside the room. Consequently we started by excavating along the four sides in order to detect the boundaries of Orlandos' excavation. Contexts 1-8, 10 and 11 are clearing of surface layers and of Orlandos' fill. By removing those layers, we discerned the boundaries of Orlandos' trenches around the walls of the room (Contexts 13-15). In the pottery that we retrieved from the fill (some 2200 sherds) various categories and periods are represented, namely fine and coarse wares (tableware including a few moldmade bowls, cooking and utility vessels) dating from the late 4th century BCE to the Late Roman period and a few modern sherds (of the 20th century) and one modern coin. We also found some lamp fragments, and 13 amphora pieces among which a few LRA 2, one Corinthian B, one possibly Cnidian, one Dressel 25, one Palaestinian and one from Cos. If we assume that the material from Orlandos' fill comes from the same room or at least the rooms adjacent to it, as one would expect, the representation of Roman periods in the assemblage is significant with relation to the history of the stoa.
We continued by excavating apparently undisturbed layers and by sieving all the soil with a 5 mm mesh. The upper layer (Contexts 16 and 17), 0.38 m thick, was rich in lime and rubble and had virtually no pottery. Micromorphological analysis of samples of soil taken from these contexts by our geoarchaeologist Myrsini Gkouma, showed that it is an artificial layer of whitish marl that was deposited here either during construction of the stoa or after its abandonment. The composition of this white layer and the lack of artifacts suggests that it is the leftovers of a lime-kiln operation with masses of clay and many chunks of stone. Obviously this hypothesis needs further research, particularly of the space to the north of the excavated room. In sharp contrast with this layer, the layer underneath it (Context 18), 0.8 m thick, is brownish red clayey silt with rubble, pebbles and a few architectural fragments. In this fill we found altogether 73 sherds including a one-handle cup, a trefoil oinochoe, an echinus bowl, and an Attic rolled rim plate that date to the early 3rd century BCE The lack of a destruction level (only three fragments of roof-tiles were found in this Context), the composition of the layer, and the early dating of the few diagnostic sherds suggest that it is an ancient fill for raising ground surface and the floor of the stoa. The floor itself must have been higher and may have fallen victim of calcination.
From Context 18 downwards we limited ourselves to the eastern half of the room. In Context 19, dark reddish clayey silt with rubble, 0.78 m thick, we retrieved 1,294 sherds from oinochoai, kantharoi, skyphoi, kotylai, aryballoi, and lekythoi, along with one krater fragment, the majority dating to the Early Hellenistic period and a few to the 4th century BCE. Further down, we proceeded by cutting a trench 1 m wide along the eastern wall of the room. In Context 20, 0.13 m thick, we found 227 sherds among which a piece of a Hellenistic kantharos as well of a lekythos and a kotyle of the 4th century By removing this context, we came upon a light-colored clayey surface into which the foundation trenches of the north, east and south wall of the room were cut. This surface represents the ground level in the early 3rd century BCE. Because of time constraints, we excavated the foundation trenches up to a depth of ca. 25 cm. and not to bedrock (Contexts 21-23). Out of the 374 sherds found here, finewares are very few and belong to a few black glazed kotylai, a lekythos, a kantharos, a one-handled cup, and an echinus bowl, along with a Corinthian A and a Corinthian B amphora, dating in their majority to the beginning of the Hellenistic period.
The overall thickness of the surviving ancient fill (Contexts 18-20) comes to ca. 1 m. The stratification of the fill exhibits a relationship with the courses of the walls of the room. It appears that the builders of the stoa would lay out the first course of stone blocks around the room, then fill the interior with earth up to the surface of the first course before proceeding to placing a second course in order to fill the space inside to its height and so forth. The highest surviving course of the western side of the room includes three limestone blocks, measuring in average 1.28 x 0.6 x 0.37 m, and having a curvilinear outer surface. Manifestly these blocks belong to an older circular or semi-circular structure and are re-used here. The stones were originally tied together with lead cramps of which only the cuttings are now preserved. In their new position, the curvilinear outer side of one block alternates with the rectilinear inner side of the next so that this side of the room has as straight a line as possible.
The excavation of the opening in roughly the middle of the northern side of the room, which Orlandos had interpreted as a door (by analogy with similar openings in the other rooms of the stoa), did not produce any traces of stone courses. On the contrary, the fill observed to the south of the opening (Contexts 18 and 19) same as the layer of lime continue to the north of the opening, i.e., inside the stoa. There are two possibilities regarding the threshold, which must have been higher: either it sat directly on the fill and had no stone foundations, or else it had stone foundations which were later removed and turned over to the lime-kiln.