New riverside Neolithic settlement discovered in Trita Koromilia, Kastoria in northern Greece

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New riverside Neolithic settlement discovered in Trita Koromilia, Kastoria in northern GreeceThe new riverside settlement is expected to unveil new important information on Neolithic life in the area

In the framework of the work for the construction of the project "Vertical Axis 45 Egnatia Odos, Siatista-Kristallopigi", in the location "Trita" of the Municipality of Koromilia of the Municipality of Kastoria, in the period from October 2013 to January 2015, a large excavation a group headed by the archeologist-prehistorologist Georgatos Stratoulis, initially responsible for the former Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, and since November 2014 the newly established Ephorate of Antiquities of Kastoria, revealed an area of 2,200 sq.m. of a new riparian settlement of the Modern Neolithic period (Fig. 1-2).

This new prehistoric site, at an altitude of about 650 m, is developed on the west bank of the river Livadopotamos - Aliakmonas branch, close to the point of its contribution to the large waterfall of Susitsa, 7 km to the northwest of the city of Kastoria and 800 m. SW from the village of Koromilia (fig. 3).

The extent of the site - after performing more than 70 test sections - is estimated at about 30 acres. Its chronological range seems to cover, according to four currently existing radiodestations and the testimony of clay vessels, the end of the 6th and the largest part of the 5th millennium, c. 5200-4300 BC, while the recognition in the immediate future archaeological material and a newer period of use of the site. According to the above, the settlement at Trito Koromilia was, to a large extent, contemporary with the Neolithic settlement of Avgi (8 km south), the Neolithic settlement of Dispilio (11 km southeast), the neighboring neolithic settlement of Kolokynthos km southeast) and the neighboring cave "Sources of Koromilia", in the well-known gorge of the area with drinking water sources, from which the city of Kastoria is supplied. Trito Koromilia is now added to the prehistoric landscape and the Neolithic intercommunal network of Kastoria Regional Unity, which is expected to enrich with new important information on Neolithic life in the area (Fig. 4).

The environmental features of the modern landscape in Trito-Koromilia probably prevailed in prehistoric times. Predominant elements of the site were the Livadopotamos and the Sushitsa stream, which during periods of intense rainfall transports and deposits voluminous materials, contributing to the perpetual formation and change of the landscape. In addition, among the hills in the north and northeast of the site, the Livadopotamos Gorge was created, which continuously feeds the area with northern cold winds. The duration and intensity of the winds, coupled with intense rainfall, made the excavation process extremely difficult and created many questions about why prehistoric societies chose to be active in the area. However, the variety of microenvironments in the vicinity of the site, such as the richness of surface water, and therefore in fertile fields and abundance of meadows, as well as plenty of source of drinking water, and the presence of semi-mountainous and mountainous areas combined with the potential to supply various mineral raw materials from parent rocks in the wider area as well as sloping materials in the ditches and the banks of adjacent rivers and streams, it seems to have been an extremely useful and interesting site of activity.

The composition of the placements and the archaeological material

The most characteristic element in the stratigraphy and the composition of the placement of the position is the identification of a number of successive flood and deposition episodes. We also note the extremely high humidity of the area (Fig. 5), which should be due to the lack of organic residues, especially bones and shingles.

Archaeological plots in Trito Koromilia are characterized by the presence of pits with special stratigraphy, from small thermal constructions, a multitude of stone tools (eg sanders and grinders for grain milling, percussion drills, ears, pliers, and blades with a stylus for cutting plant elements) and a large number of clay vessels (Fig. 6). The shape of the pits is usually circular or elliptical with dimensions ranging from 0.80 m to 4.0 m. They sometimes appear independent in space and sometimes in direct contact with each other, giving the impression of clusters. Their stratigraphy exhibits common features: their lower substrates are black / greyish, with a high percentage of organic residues and abundant finds. On the contrary, their upper layers are dominated by the powerful ceramics - from the influence of fire - building clays (from walls and floors of structures / structures), while the movable finds are almost non-existent, with the exception of the large number of vases usually found between the claws . The presence of piles in the pits of the pits, combined with the large volume of clay in their upper layers and their location and clusters, seems to support the view that the pits were complex structures with elevated and roofed terraces for periodic and / or occasional stays, and cobblestones activities.

A special element of Neolithic Koromilia is also the numerous thermal constructions, elliptical, rectangular or horseshoe shaped (Fig. 7). They were found both inside the pits and in open spaces. These are hobs and ovens (0,40 m-1 m in diameter) with clay floors. For the construction of the vaulted skeleton - according to the imprints of the building towers - branches were used, often in knitting, sometimes combined with thin trunks. In other cases, the superstructure was formed by a mixture of building clay and straw without the addition of a wooden skeleton. Structures usually reside in small clusters and in very few cases they appear spatially independent. In their immediate region mainly intact vases were found, while rarely tertiary and pyriolithic tools, as well as other objects of the cultural material of the place. In the periphery of some thermal constructions, pseudotripes were identified, indicating that some of them had a roof.

The character of the installation

The Neolithic settlement in Trito Korymilia, due to the environmental conditions prevailing in the area and, in addition, the composition of the site's archaeological material, is not a typical example of a residential unit. Pits must have had a complex biography, with varied, perhaps diversified over time, such as temporary housing and hosting, or even wasteful practices.

It is envisaged that the Third Quarter was a special place that the Neolithic inhabitants of the wider region, as well as other northern groups, would use intermittently, perhaps the warmer periods of the year, to complete certain activities, while exploiting abundant lump of raw materials, exchanging varied knowledge, and other important social information. Special activities include, for example, grazing on the rich riparian meadows of the area demanding quantities of cattle feed and water (Fig. 8), and the cultivation of barley, a predominant type of cereal in the archaeobotanic remains of the position , whose early types had a short maturation period alongside high yield crops, as well as adaptability to soil-climatic conditions.

The further study of the archaeological material from the new prehistoric site in Trito Koromilia is expected to enrich neolithic research with interesting data on spatial organization, structures and structures in special environmental conditions. In addition, it is a food for thinking and new approaches in the field of management of the inter-communal space, especially the inter-communal communication and exchange networks.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Greek Ministry of Culture

 

 

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