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The 2013 excavation
The second excavation season at the site of Kephala lasted from the 2nd to the 15th of September 2013 from 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. Professor A. Mazarakis Ainian directed the University research team and Dr. Argyroula Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou that of the Ephorate. Due to financial problems and various practical issues, the duration of the excavation period was limited to two weeks.
Before the beginning of the excavation, the grid has been redesigned at a number of spots on the plateau, while a new topographic plan of the site was undertaken by the topographer Vasili Tsourtsouli and his colleagues. The new plan was extended beyond the main plateau of the settlement, in order to include the area southeast of the settlement and the Xanemos bay since a child enchytrismos was detected there in 2012.
In 2013 the excavation focused on three sectors.
1. Area outside the Fortification Wall at the section T1.1
SQUARE IE 16Â.
The part of the fortification wall at the section T1.1 was excavated during this season too, but only for a few days. The excavation aimed at the further exploration of the layer with the fallen roof tiles of Laconian type. It has been shown that the roof tiles occupy an extensive area towards the south. Until the entire discovery of this layer, it has been decided not to remove the roof tiles.
The clay finds from the square were rather limited. Pottery sherds mostly of the Archaic period were detected. An intact Attic black-glazed small phiale with ring foot of the 5th c. is worth mentioning.
The excavation seems to verify the already expressed view for this part of the settlement. In particular, an entrance should be located at this spot, while a number of roofed, rectangular rooms should be reconstructed along the internal part of the fortification wall. Their role and function cannot be elucidated without the further continuation of the excavation here.
2. Area inside the fortification wall ("The Lower City")
SQUARE KÃ 19. BUILDINGS Á & Â.
After the interesting discoveries that came to light during the 2012 season in square ÊÂ 19, the excavation extended to square ÊÃ 19 to the east, aiming at revealing the entire oval building, the south side of which was found in contact with the upper, internal part of the fortification wall T1.3. This construction was conventionally named “Building A”.
The exploration of the new square brought to light a second building right under the surface layer (Building Â). In particular its southwestern corner was detected. Parts of its west (T12) and south wall (T13) were excavated, as well as large part of its interior. The edifice is rectangular with preserved dimensions, 1.80 m. length at its western part and 4.56 m. at its south. The walls of the building are approximately 0.50 m. high and are founded on the bedrock. It is worth noting that only the internal face of the walls is carefully constructed, while its external is roughly made. This might indicate that the building was half under the ground (the level of use should be placed to the 2/3 of the height of its foundation level, while the upper 1/3 of the construction is well made).
A layer of fallen slabs, extending over a zone 0.70 m. wide, was detected in the interior of the building, along its south wall. It has been initially suggested that the slabs were covering the interior of the walls, but it seems more probable that they formed part of the flat roof of the building which has collapsed. No roof tiles were found. Remains of charcoal and sea shells in a layer of black soil were detected at the western and central part of the building, over the layer of the stones, but over the bedrock too. They belong to the burnt layer containing large quantities of sea shells, which has been explored during the previous years.
The layer of use inside the building did not reveal much pottery, impeding therefore at the present state, its secure dating. Fragments of transport amphorae, as well as quantities of coarse ware of the classical mostly period, were found at the east external end of the building within a disturbed layer.
The excavation at the south part of the square allowed for the further exploration of Building A. It was finally confirmed that the edifice is oval with a N-S direction. It is 4.05 m. long (E-W) and 3.30 m. wide. It is largely preserved, even though its northeast end has been destroyed by the later Building B. Its entrance can be placed along its long side to the northwest corner (in square ÊÂ 19). Its upper structure was made of mudbrick. The remains of mubbricks, with signs of secondary burning, found scattered in its interior, but in particular over its foundation wall, suggest that the building must have been destroyed by fire. Fragments of kraters and drinking shapes dating to the late 8th or early 7th c. come from the layer of use and abandonment of the building. A number of loomweights point to the seventh century.
Part of the earlier black layer which contained large quanitites of sea shells, small and medium-sized sea pebbles, as well as remains of charcoal, were found at a number of spots under the layer of use inside Building A. Part of this layer has been already explored in 2010, south of the building in association with the stratigraphical section and part of the fortification wall T1.3. Except for the organic residues, decorated fragments mostly of drinking cups dating to the Protogeometric and Subprotogeometric periods came to light. The remains of this layer cannot be associated with this building, which seems to have been founded over it.
The number of characteristic finds was limited, even though mostly Subprotogeometric fragments were found within the burnt later. Many loomweights, in particular pyramidal, came to light, while a mortarium of the Classical period and an Athenian fifth-century spindle whorl bearing linear decoration came from the disturbed upper layers.
3. Archaic Children(?) Necropolis (Squares -Õ25, -Ô25)
In 2012 a child enchytrismos has been detected southwest of the settlement, at the south end of Xanemos bay (Square -Õ25), in close distance from the airport’s runaway and in the middle of the dirt road, which runs along the beach. The burial has been initially drawn, before being systematically excavated this year. The vase has been removed in order to be restored and studied at the Archaeological Museum of Volos.
In close distance, east of the first child enchytrismos, a second one was explored in square -Ô25. Two vessels –possibly a lekane and a transport amphora- were placed inside one another in order to create a wider area for the placement of the body of the small deceased. The vessels that were removed in a very fragmentary state, probably date to the Archaic era. The disturbed burial did not contain any grave offerings, while no bones were detected. The restoration of the vases will take place at the Archaeological Museum of Volos. Comparable use of two vases for children burials is known from other children necropoleis of North Greece, as indicated by examples excavated at the Archaic necropolis of Abdera.
The website of the excavation was translated in English by Dr A. Alexandridou.
Conservation - study
Work continued at the Archaeological Museum of Volos. In 2013 the majority of the finds of the previous excavation season were restored by the conservators of the 13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. The study of the material continued under the supervision of Dr A. Alexandridou.
The director of the project Professor Alexander Mazarakis Ainian, the archaeologist Dr. Alexandra Alexandridou, and the BA students in Archaeology of the University of Thessaly Eleni Chatzinikolaou, Eleni Mageirakou, Eleni Makedona, Chloe Panagi formed the University excavation team. They were assisted by the workmen Giannis Amugdalakis, Nikos Kalogrias and Giorgos Kyparissos.
The 13th Ephorate was represented by its director Dr. Argyroula Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou, the archaeologist Eleni Chrysopoulou, the conservator Eleni Asderaki and the specialized workman Thomas Papadogiannis.
The excavation was financially supported by the Research Committee of the University of Thessaly. The residence expenses of the research team were covered by the member of the Municipal Council of Skiathos. Mr. Thanasis Zlatoudis. Mr. Vasilis Tambakis is to be once more specially mentioned for his generous help in a series of practical matters.
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