Neolithic houses unearthed in central Greece
|The third field season of the Koutroulou Magoula Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography project was completed a few days ago [Credit: To Vima]|
It was occupied during the Middle Neolithic period (c. 5800-5300 BC) by a community of a few hundred people who constructed elaborate and architecturally sophisticated houses out of stone and mud-brick and with stone-paved under-floors.
Some walls are preserved more than one meter in height which is extremely unusual for this time, raising the possibility of entirely stone-built walls, and not just stone foundations, as has been hypothesized to date.
|Small ceramic figurine recovered at the Koutroulou Magoula site [Credit: To Vima]|
The excavation has produced a range of important finds, including a large number of clay figurines, the total number of which exceeds 300, one of the highest densities of such finds in any Neolithic site in South Eastern Europe.
Geophysical prospection and topographical research revealed that the Neolithic people of Koutroulou Magoula had modified the mount, constructing at least three terraces. A series of curvilinear ditches seemed to have surrounded the settlement.
|Remains of stone walls at the Koutroulou Magoula site [Credit: To Vima]|
But the mount was an important memory place in the subsequent centuries too: at the end of the Bronze Age, a tholos tomb was constructed at the top of the tell, whereas in the Medieval times (12-13th c. AD) at least one person (a young woman) was buried amongst the Neolithic houses.
In addition to excavation, the project has conducted systematic ethnography amongst the local communities, and has engaged in a series of community and public archaeology actions, including the production and staging of site-specific theatrical performances, which turn into communal celebrations with food, drink and dance.
The project team will conduct two study seasons in 2013 and 2014, at the end of which the results will be published in scholarly and popular journals.
Source: To Vima via Archaiologia [November 12, 2012]