The Industrial Features

One focus of the Priniatikos Pyrgos Project over the next five years will be excavation of the industrial area on the west to central part of the promontory. Excavation methods include careful stratigraphic recovery of industrial features such as furnaces and kilns, the products of these pyrotechnical activities, and associated processing areas and materials, including clay, ores, tools, and fuels. The scientific team concerned with these industrial aspects of the site will analyze the ceramics, associated soils, kiln and furnace linings, slags, wasters, and fuels using various scientific techniques to establish chronology, firing temperature, contents, source, and production stage. Because of the historical and economic importance of the industrial site, emphasis will be placed on careful documentation of every aspect of these industrial operations, rather than on large-scale recovery, and the excavation will focus on areas where geophysical prospection has identified well-preserved remains.

The Settlement Areas

Excavation of the contiguous settlement on the west, east, and central slopes of Priniatikos Pyrgos will concentrate on areas identified through geophysical prospection as having well-preserved architectural relics and stratigraphy. The long lifespan of the settlement has already been verified through preliminary excavation in 2005 and surface survey. Goals of the excavation include establishing stratigraphically the chronological range of the Bronze Age, Greek-Byzantine, and underlying Neolithic settlement; sequences of growth and destruction; and data concerning household and community economy and possibly trade (based on evidence for agriculture, pastoralism, imports, and evidence for room/area function). The specific goals of this circumscribed approach to initial investigation of this large harbor settlement is to obtain insights concerning patterns of growth and decline, which will be placed in a regional perspective. Excavation will provide data concerning the economic basis for settlement over millennia, and how this may have changed and evolved along with regional trade networks.

Work Plan 2006

The work plan for 2006 is to first complete the excavation of
the 2005 trenches in Areas H, G, and A. In 2006 excavation of the rooms/areas in trench G2000 will be complete: the calderimi will be removed, and all areas will be excavated as far as is possible into Bronze Age strata. this can be accomplished without removal of overlying Greek and Roman walls, although the spaces where excavation is possible into Bronze Age strata will become smaller as greater depths are reached. In Trench G1000 small areas will be excavated near the large channel kiln, walls on the beach, and the paving, in order to establish more precise dates for these features. In 2006 two more trenches will be opened in area G: these to the north and south of trench G2000, in order to expand excavation over the settlement area and to begin to relate the deep stratigraphy of trench G1000 with the strata under the Greek and Roman houses on the slope above.

Excavation of trench H3000 will be complete with removal of soil from the floor surfaces of this trench, and excavation will continue in H2000. One trench (H4000) will be placed directly south of trench H2000 to reveal a possible large structure detected by a wall in the southeast corner of H2000. It may be worthwhile to open a trench farther east, in the middle of the slope, and one at the top of the slope, where traces of a large structure protrude through the surface (this north of the chapel).

Excavation will continue in small areas around the paving in Trench A1000 in order to establish the date of the paving and other features in this trench. Excavation in Trench A2000, directly north, will possibly reveal more features related to metallurgical production and the nearby chapel. Two more trenches trench will be placed in area A: one over a large possible kiln to the northwest, identified through remote sensing, and one placed over the chapel, which appears to be built over a large, possible Bronze Age structure (the massive worn gray limestone boulders under and near the chapel apse appear similar in size, workmanship, and stone to Bronze Age walls seen elsewhere on the site).

Overall, the 2006 season will involve opening six more trenches and greatly expanding the existing grid of trenches, while completing some work on those opened in 2005. Only trench G2000, however, may involve more than a few days to complete. This will also be the plan for subsequent seasons: to open up to six trenches each year (this goal of course related to available funding and staff). This will ultimately expose from 700 to 1,000 square meters of the ancient site.