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The 2010 Survey

The Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology of the University of Thessaly in collaboration with the 13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture continued the survey at the site of Kephala on the island on Skiathos over a restricted period of time (28/6 - 3/7 2010).

During the season of 2010, the following activities were carried out:

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The plateau of Kephala from NW.

  1. A new topographical plan of the site was completed by the topographer of the 13th Ephorate.
  2. Surface cleanings were carried out and plans of parts of the fortification wall were drawn (T1.1, T1.2, T1.4, T1.7).
  3. The oval wall T4, detected in close distance from the top of the plateau, was cleaned. It is now clear that the wall is not ancient.
  4. The area, close to walls T5-T6, which has been illegally explored in the past, was cleaned.
  5. At a certain point of the curtain of the wall (T1.3) where the erosion is extensive, a small stratigraphical section was made, in order to define the subsequent levels of occupation of the plateau.
  6. A rectangular cist, detected at the sections T1.6 and T1.7, was explored.
  7. The preserved architectural remains were photographed.
  8. A systematic survey and collection of surface finds from the site of Kephala was conducted.

. THE FORTIFICATION WALL (T1.1 - T1.7)

Parts of the fortification wall are preserved along the south and southeastern sides of the settlement, which are accessible from the coast. One section at the southwest preserves a series of indentations (T1.6). The visible parts of the fortification constructed of small or middle-sized roughly cut stones indicate an early date. At certain points (in particular at the section T1.4), the preserved height is over 3 m. Parts of the wall could belong to the Geometric period, as indicated by the presence of Late Geometric, early archaic sherds detected in 2009 within the emplekton fill of the wall at the section T1.4.

Section T1.7 of the fortification wall

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The section T1.7 from south.

Due to the winter rainfalls, another part of the wall was uncovered at the southwest part of the plateau (T1.7). The cleaned part of the wall is 2.80 m. long and 0.70 m. wide. It seems that it forms the continuation of the part of the wall with the indentations, which has been detected in 2009 (T1.6).

Fortification Wall T1.1

During the season of 2010, the sections of the wall T1.1, T1.2 and T1.4 were cleaned. The best preserved section of the wall is situated at the southwestern part of the settlement (T1.1), where a gate should be sought. At this section, the frontal side of the wall, its emplekton fill, as well as part of a transverse wall, 1.04 m. long, which possibly marks the entrance area or a tower, are well preserved. The two strands of the wall are not united in a single construction. It seems that this section belongs to a bastion or a tower or that T1.1 was constructed later than the part of the wall, with which they form a right angle at its northwest part.

A series of stones, with a southeast-northwest direction, running parallel to T1.1, which intersects the continuation of the above mentioned transverse wall at a right angle, seems to be the southwest part of a bastion or a tower. In this case, the gate was possibly placed between this section and the part of the wall with the indentation (T1.6). Sherds, dating to the Geometric and Archaic periods, as well as part of a silver earring (?), were collected outside the wall.

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Cleaning operation around T1.1.

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The wall at 1.1 after the cleaning, vied from .

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The wall section at T1.2 from .


Fortification Wall T1.2

After the cleaning of the section T1.2, it has been clearly shown that the fortification wall creates an obtuse angle here and turns towards the east. This particular part of the wall is too destructed. The method of construction presents special interest, since it has been observed that the width of the internal part of the wall varies accordingly to the formation of the bedrock.

Fortification Wall T1.3. Stratigraphical Section

At a certain point of the curtain of the wall (T1.3), where the erosion is extensive, it was possible to make a small stratigraphical section, in order to define the subsequent levels of occupation of the plateau. Six layers have been recognized:

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T1.3. Detail of the stratigraphical Section.

  1. From a depth of -0.80 m. to that of -1.06 m. from the surface, the soil was loose.
  2. A layer of fallen stones, which seems to be linked to the fortification wall, extended from a depth of -1.26 m.
  3. The soil of the layer extending from 1.26 m. to -1.52 m. was too hard.
  4. Sparse small stones occupied a layer extending from -1.52 m. to -1.58 m.
  5. The layer extending from -1.58 m. to -1.76 m. (at parts to -1.84 m.) was loose and contained remains of ashes and sea shells. This layer contained many Protogeometric and Subprotogeometric sherds (10th 9th c. B.C.).
  6. The final layer extended at least to a depth of 1.86 m. At this point, the exploration ended.

The wall at the section T1.2 is destroyed, but according to the first indications, it seems that it was founded over the Protogeometric/Subprotogeometric layer 5.

1.4

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The section T1.4 of the fortification wall from S.

At this section, the fortification wall is preserved to a height of 3 m. The survey was limited to the completion of the plan of the face of the wall, which has begun in 2009.

. THE PLATEAU

Top of the plateau (T5-T6)

The settlement extended on the plateau. However, the visible architectural remains are few, due to the vast vegetation. On the top, at the north, an illegally explored pit was found, inside which remains of two walls that form an angle are visible. This construction has been already examined by the archaeologists of the Ephorate some years ago. In 2010, it has been decided to insert this pit inside a square of the grid and clean it. The two walls (T5, T6) do not belong to the same construction. Moreover, the external north part of wall T6 is constructed of larger stones more carefully than its internal. Wall T6 is 3 m. long, 0.95 m high and has a width of 0.45-0.49 m. The examined length of T5 is 3.23 m, its width varies from 0.40 t0 0.39 m and its height is 0.72 m. The soil was disturbed and contained modern finds (plastic bags among others), mixed with ancient objects (including a bronze coin, metal nails, fragment of a clay figurine, fragments of glass and bone objects, Classical and Hellenistic pottery, a red-figured fragment, fragment of a Hellenistic relief vase and fragment of a West Slope vase). It is not clear yet, whether the walls represent part of the fortification (tower?) or of another construction. It is interesting to note that the top of the plateau was in use until the Hellenistic period.

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Cleaning operation on the top of the plateau (T5-T6).

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The illegally explored pit and walls T5-T6, from SW.

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The illegally explored pit and walls T5-T6, from NE.


Wall T4

In a small distance south of the pit, the limits of an oval wall (T4), were detected in 2009. Its further cleaning led to the conclusion that the wall is modern and cannot be associated with the activities at the ancient settlement.

A Rectangular Cist

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The rectangular cist detected close to the section T1.7 from E.

The winter rainfall brought to light a small rectangular cist on the plateau within the limits of the settlement. Its external width is 0.55 m. and its internal 0.32 m. Its interior was disturbed, but remains of ashes were visible. Some plain pottery sherds, as well as the fragment of a ring base and bottom of a miniature kotyle were detected. A dogtooth, as well as bones, some of which burnt, which belonged to goats and sheeps (a small fragment seemed to be human though) were also found. The cist contained three small pebbles and some sea shells. Metal finds dominated. They included iron sheets, parts of iron nails, part of a bronze fibula and a bronze plaque with a relief rosette. The character of the construction could not be securely defined. It might have been an eschara of cultic use or a child burial, if the bone is actually human.

C. FINDS

The conducted survey aimed at the collection of finds from the area outside the wall (Zones 6-8, south of the wall [ 6-13]). The surface finds testify that the earliest activity at the site goes back at least to the Protogeometric period. A number of collected sherds, dating from the 10th to the 8th c. B.C., must be Euboean. The settlement was occupied until the Classical period, while sporadic Hellenistic and Roman finds are also present. The finds were catalogued and they are now kept at the Archaeological Museum of Volos. The 84 characteristic finds, which were given a specific catalogue number, were described in detail and photographed.

THE RESEARCH TEAM

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The members of the research team (2010).

In 2010, the research team of the University was composed of Professor Alexander Mazarakis Ainian, Dr. Alexandra Alexandridou, the PhD students Maria Panagou, George Vitos, the Master degree holders George Chiotis, the Masters students Lito Nikolaidi, Arianna Sacco, Dora Strinopoulou, Giannakis Timotheou, Natalena Zachou, the BA holders in Archaeology Eleni Mastrogianni, Voula Theocharidou and the BA students . Avila Ortiz, . Kouvatsou, D. Mourmoura, Th. Papageorgiou, V. Papazoglou and . Stephanou. The 13th Ephorate was represented by its directo Dr. Argyroula Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou, Eleni Chrysopoulou, A. Ginalis, E. Intzesiloglou and W. Roch Dubraczynski.

The survey was financed by the University of Thessaly ( 4129) and the 13th Ephorate, while the residence expenses of the team on Skiathos were covered by the Cultural Association of Xanemos and the municipality of the island.


. Mazarakis Ainian
Professor of Classical Archaeology

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