Excavation of a temple at 'Soros'

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Excavation period 2005

During the month of July 2005 (from 4-30/7) the IAKA Department conducted a second excavation period in the suburban sanctuary of Apollo at Soros (ancient Amphanes or Pagases). The excavation project is conducted in collaboration with the 13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. This year work was concentrated in the following areas:


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Excavation of the eastern part of the temple.

The eastern and central parts of the interior of the temple were investigated. The fill beneath the ancient floor-level was removed, down to the bed rock. Several cavities which are likely to belong to a previous (hypaethral?) phase of the sanctuary were revealed. A channel for liquid offerings was recovered at the south-eastern corner, carved in the rock; it passes underneath the temple's threshold and possibly communicated with the large cavity found in the pronaos last year. This channel looks a lot alike the one found on Delos at the Archaic "Oikos of the Naxians". From the north-eastern corner of the temple a substantial number of fragments belonging to a Panathenaic amphora were collected. This amphora was initially found in 1973 within the pronaos by the German team and is currently on display at the Archaeological Museum of Volos. At the base of the bench several pieces of plaster were found in situ, suggesting that this structure was provided with a coating of plaster.

Room Δ

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Excavation of Room Δ.

Excavation of Room Δ, to the South of the temple, was resumed. As in 2004 an extensive destruction layer consisting of stones and roof tiles of Lakonian type was encountered. Underneath the thick layer with the numerous pottery fragments was revealed (see report of 2004). Many sherds belong to storage vessels. Finds include miniature vases, fragments of small and large female clay figurines, several bronze jewels and other small artefacts. This year's research seems to lead to the conclusion that this layer represents a levelling fill which is probably related to the construction of rectangular Room Δ (though at the present stage we cannot exclude the possibility that the walls of Room Δ belong to a previous phase). The first impression is that the levelling fill contains material dating from the Later Archaic until the Late Classical Period. In contact with the natural rock and along the southern limit of the area an elongated stone construction composed by vertical slabs supporting horizontal ones was recovered. We temporarily interpret this construction as a bench. At the eastern edge of this "bench" an enigmatic semicircular construction, formed by vertical slabs, was uncovered. Provisionally it is believed that these constructions belong to a previous hypaethral (?) phase of the area. It seems that later on the area was levelled with a fill consisting partly of earth and finds from the interior of the adjacent temple, partly with earth from the surrounding area. This was perhaps the same period that the sculptures and the inscribed bases were collected and placed inside the porch (including the Panathenaic amphora mentioned earlier). At that time it is possible that access to the main building was achieved only through the entrance pierced in the middle of its northern wall.

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The team of the 1st 2005 period.

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The team of the 2nd 2005 period.

The excavation will continue in the summer of 2006.

A. Mazarakis Ainian
Professor of Classical Archaeology
Director of the Soros excavation

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