Prehistoric settlement discovered in NW Greece
Excavations have brought to light two new prehistoric settlements, the oldest discovered to date in the regional unit of Arta in northwestern Greece, with a large variety of artefacts, such as pottery, tools and jewellery, and also burials.
|Panoramic view of Kokkino Lithari hill showing the location of the burials [Credit: Ethnos]|
At the foot of Kastri Hill archaeologists detected a Mycenaean burial (1600-1100 BC) containing beads and jewellery, while on the hillside Kokkino Lithari, they found the remains of several buildings, cermaics and stone tools from the Middle and Late Bronze Age (2000-1000 BC), as well as four burials with grave goods and offerings.
|Stone beads from a necklace found in a tomb in Kokkino Lithari [Credit: Ethnos]|
The prehistoric settlement at the foot of Kastri Hill was not unexpected, given that the acropolis of Orraon sits on its peak. The new site on the hillside Kokkino Lithari, however, turned out to be a pleasant surprise to archaeologists.
|Bronze dagger from the Mycenaean era [Credit: Ethnos]|
Of particular interest was the discovery of a tomb lined with limestone slabs on the southern part of the hill. The tomb contained four burials, an undecorated drinking cup and a bronze ring.
The human remains will be examined by anthropologists to determine the age and sex of the occupants.
|Gilded studs which may have belonged to the dagger's handle [Credit: Ethnos]|
At the foot of the Kastri Hill, excavations revealed a burial from the Mycenaean era. The finds include a bronze dagger 17.7 cm length, 17 stone beads from a necklace and 8 gold-plated studs, which likely served to fasten a handle to the dagger.
"The identification of the prehistoric remains indicates that once, on that road that connected the Athamanes and Molossian tribes with the Ambracian Valley, there thrived a small community centuries before the Molossians establish the important fortress city of Orraon", said Ms. Baladima.
|Unpainted drinking cup found in a tomb in Kokkino Lithari [Credit: Ethnos]|
It was a fortified hilltop settlement, founded by the Molossians in the second half of the 4th century BC.
It had a fortification wall some 750 metres in length and comprised around 100 dwellings, with an estimated population of about 2,000 individuals.
The ruins of the houses are preserved in excellent condition and many of them are distinguished by the walls of their upper floors.
In 168 BC the Romans razed the fortification walls in retaliation for the city's resistance to the Roman legions of Anicius.
Orraon survived until 31 BC, at which time its inhabitants we relocated to Nicopolis, founded by Augustus in commemoration of his victory at Actium.
Source: Ethnos [September 12, 2016]