History of the American School 1939-1980- Chapter IX
A History of the American School of Classical Studies, 1939-1980
Chapter IX: Other Excavations of the School
Although Corinth and the Athenian Agora have been the principal excavations of the American School and the long-term sites, Corinth since 1896 with some breaks in actual excavation and the Athenian Agora since 1931, other sites have been investigated on a small scale over a short period by members of the School and directed by members of the staff, usually financed by the School and ranked as “School excavations” (see Lord, History, pp. 296—308). In addition there have been a number of excavations conducted by permit to the School and therefore sponsored by the School, but financed and organized by Universities which are Cooperating Institutions of the School, directed usually by former members of the School who were members of the faculties of the organizing universities. Since, by Greek law, three permits only are allowed to each foreign school, and one of the three has been allotted regularly to Corinth, there are two permits which can be assigned to those School-sponsored excavations if the School itself does not wish to use them. The special arrangement made for the excavations of the Athenian Agora when it was first undertaken has continued, outside the regular three permits.
EXCAVATIONS OF THE SCHOOL
Argive Heraion 1949
From time to time the Greek Archaeological Service has encouraged the foreign schools to take up old excavations for a limited time in order to complete necessary investigation for study and publication of the original work. One of the sites which has remained of particular interest to the School since its excavations there in 1892–1895 is the Argive Heraion. In spring 1949 Professor Pierre Amandry of the French School, having become interested in some details of the site in connection with his work at Delphi, with the approval of the School was cleaning a wall and came upon a deposit of small votive pots. His proposal that the French and American Schools investigate the deposit to save it from unauthorized diggers was approved by the Ministry of Education. With the helpful cooperation of the Ephor, John Papademetriou, Director Caskey of the American School and Professor Amandry for the French School carried out the work in five days in September 1949. The deposit of the 7th and 6th centuries b.c. with some 1100 miniature vases (chiefly hydriai), mostly local but some Corinthian, and some bronze objects, as appeared in a few soundings, overlay a Mycenaean layer with Middle and Early Helladic indications. In reporting the results Mr. Caskey emphasized the amount of valuable chronological information which could come of conducting further small-scale investigation at the site, but no further work has been done.
In fall 1952 Professor George E. Mylonas, Annual Professor of the School that year, with funds from friends in St. Louis collaborated with the Greek Archaeological Society on a permit granted to the American School to investigate further the wreck off Cape Artemision first explored by the Greeks in 1928. Five divers from the ship Alkyone located the wreck of the ship which yielded the bronze statues but found that further objects of possible interest were under the ballast, the ballast under mud; more time and equipment than they had available would be needed to recover them.
At another earlier School excavation, Eutresis, dug by Hetty Goldman (Pl. 15, a) in 1924–1927, Miss Goldman was eager to have supplementary testing of the earliest levels. In 1958 she financed the testing of a trench in the southwestern part of the mound where Early Helladic II buildings had appeared; Director and Mrs. Caskey conducted the work. Walls, floors and pebble pavings of E.H. I were found below, but even more important the unmixed Neolithic deposits sealed under the E.H. I pavements confirm Miss Goldman’s belief that a Neolithic settlement existed before the first Helladic people arrived.
The following year, 1959, Professor Saul S. Weinberg, former fellow of the School and excavator at Corinth for many years, was at work in March and April on Neolithic deposits at Corinth, financed by a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. In connection with that work, in June he undertook a trial excavation at Elateia in Phokis, testing the stratigraphy of Neolithic settlements previously excavated by Soteriades.
Crete, Tarrha 1959
Reports had indicated the possible existence of a glass factory at ancient Tarrha (Aghia Roumeli) on the southern coast of western Crete. With the support of the Corning Museum of Glass, Professor Saul and Mrs. Gladys Weinberg with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Buechner of the Corning Museum investigated the site in April and May of 1959, but no factory was found, though there were other interesting results: a Greek cemetery of the 5th and 4th centuries and large Roman buildings.
In September 1952 a preliminary campaign of investigation of a mound beside the Lernaean spring at Myloi initiated a six-year excavation of what proved to be a significant Bronze Age site of outstanding importance for the chronology and foreign relations of the Neolithic, Early Helladic and Middle Helladic periods in the Argolid (above, p. 59). Director of the School John L. Caskey was the Director of the excavation, in which a considerable number of members of the School took part. The large quantity of well-stratified pottery found in the first season which augured so well for the future continued to be found in subsequent years, and by the second season the most revolutionary of the architectural discoveries, the highly significant Early Helladic House of the Tiles, had been found. In 1954 this large building of unparalleled size and elaboration for its period was further cleared, along with other E.H. buildings, several successive strata of M.H. houses, part of a Mycenaean house, a large shaft grave from the transition between M.H. and L.H., several Classical wells and a late Roman kiln; much pottery continued to be found, and a collection of clay sealings found in the House of the Tiles was of special interest.
The 1955 campaign revealed undisturbed strata of Neolithic habitation above which came five successive early phases of Early Helladic before the great House of the Tiles, which was cleared completely. After its destruction a mound had been raised over it, and the succeeding houses, still E.H., were smaller, their pottery different. More fine series of M.H. houses and a series of graves reaching into L.H. I were found as well as a Geometric cemetery on the slopes of near-by Mt. Pontinos with which more classical walls on the mound attest the continuity of occupation. The summer of 1956 included further detailed testing of the Neolithic and Middle Helladic settlements and the clearing of areas west and north of the House of the Tiles. Pottery imported from the Balkans, Crete, and the Cyclades found in the M.H. houses extended that promise of the opening year to shed welcome light on foreign relations, but the most striking find of the season seems to be local, the unique Neolithic statuette of a woman which has elicited widespread interest. Preliminary refilling and conservation begun in 1956 were extended in 1957, the final campaign, which was concerned chiefly with the conservation including erection of a shelter over the House of the Tiles, but included also final testing of Neolithic strata and the uncovering of part of the E.H. fortifications. The final conservation was completed in 1958 and planting of the site begun.
Limited digging for study purposes revealed another large earlier building underlying the House of the Tiles. Much of the material found had been studied and catalogued throughout the years between the actual digging seasons, the movable objects in the Corinth workrooms. They were ready to be moved to the museum in Argos, where the Greek Government decided they should be housed for permanent storage and display.
Throughout the year 1958—59 the study continued, the museum cases were made, the landscaping of the site was completed, and on July 2, 1959, John L. Caskey, two days emeritus from his post as Director of the School, turned over the site of Lerna and the objects from it in the Argos Museum to the Greek Archaeological Service (see above, p. 64). He had made of Lerna “a model exhibition ground for the presentation of a pre-classical settlement,” and he had added several new chapters to the history of Bronze Age Greece, in chronology, architecture, sculpture, pottery and clay sealings. Annual preliminary reports appeared in Hesperia, and two volumes of the final publication, Lerna, were published in 1970 and 1971.
In the spring of 1959 two students of the 1958—59 session of the School, James R. McCredie and Arthur Steinberg, undertook as part of their spring activity a survey of the peninsula of Koroni on the east coast of Attica, considering it probable that it might have been part of the deme of Prasiai. The extensive house and fortification walls called for some further examination to determine the date and nature of the buildings. The School therefore sponsored three weeks of trial excavations in summer 1960, with Eugene Vanderpool, Professor of Archaeology of the School, the Field Director and McCredie and Steinberg assisting him. The excavations showed the remains to be of one period (rather than the long occupancy to be expected of a deme site) and of a military camp dated by the pottery and coins to the reign of Ptolemy II; they attest a Ptolemaic army camp on this peninsula during the Chremonidean War (265—261 b.c.). The new historical information of this brief excavation has high significance for details of the Chremonidean War and of a Hellenistic army camp and has given a valuable fixed point for the chronology of 3rd-century pottery. Hesperia Supplement XI published the excavation.
STAFF OF SCHOOL WORKING WITH GREEK EXCAVATIONS
Before we speak of the excavations conducted under the auspices of the School by various universities who are contributing members of the School, we must mention another category of excavations to which the School has lent its lively interest and its personnel. These were directed by alumni of the School who were also at the time of the excavations closely connected with the School, but the responsible authority was the Greek Archaeological Service or Society.
Pylos 1939, 1952–1967
The most notable of these was the excavation of the Palace of Nestor at Pylos begun in 1939 by Carl W. Blegen of the University of Cincinnati and an officer of the School for many years and Konstantinos Kourouniotes of the Greek Archaeological Service; it was financed by the University of Cincinnati. Work was resumed in 1952 by Blegen, who then held the post of Professor at the School, and by Spyridon Marinatos for the Greek Archaeological Service (Kourouniotes had died in 1945) and was continued through 1967. The Mycenaean palace at Ano Englianos proved to be one of the most extensive seats of a Late Bronze Age ruler yet discovered, rich in architectural detail, in painted walls, in masses of pottery and other objects, but above all in tablets written in Linear B script, and it has been identified as the palace of Nestor, king of Pylos. Tholos tombs near by were also dug. Throughout the years of excavation and publication many current or former members of the School assisted Professor Blegen in this outstanding addition to our knowledge of Bronze Age Greece, which has been published by the Princeton University Press for the University of Cincinnati in three volumes of The Palace of Nestor, between 1966 and 1973. On September 10, 1967 a museum housing the finds was dedicated at Chora. United States Ambassador Talbot, Greek Archaeological Service Superintendent-General Marinatos, the co-excavator of the area, and Professor Blegen spoke, acknowledging the Greek-American cooperation in Messenia which made possible the excavation of the palace of Nestor by the University of Cincinnati and other Bronze Age sites and tombs by Marinatos. A dinner for eighty guests was given by the village.
Aghios Kosmas 1951–1952, Eleusis 1952, Mycenae 1952, 1962, 1964, Artemision 1952
While serving as Annual Professor of the School in 1951—52 George E. Mylonas carried out supplementary excavations in December 1951 at the Bronze Age site of Aghios Kosmas, which he had dug earlier for the Greek Archaeological Service, and at Eleusis in the spring of 1952, where he had also worked previously for the Service; these investigations were financed through Washington University at St. Louis by friends in St. Louis. In summer 1952 Mylonas worked with John Papademetriou in uncovering the Second Grave Circle at Mycenae for the Greek Archaeological Society; ten years later (1962) he investigated the acropolis and parts of the roads which connected Mycenae with neighboring cities. In 1964 he was in complete charge of all work at Mycenae under the Greek Archaeological Service. See page 204 above for his work at Artemision in 1952.
EXCAVATIONS SPONSORED BY THE SCHOOL
The most extensive and long-range of the excavations sponsored by the School but financed and directed by Cooperating Institutions has been the excavation on Samothrace by the Archaeological Research Fund of New York University, Professor Karl Lehmann the first Director. In the first season, 1938, excavations were carried out in several places in the town as well as in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods where was discovered the Anaktoron in which initiation into the mysteries was conducted until the end of the cult in the late Imperial period; the Arsinoeion dedicated to the Great Gods between 289 and 281 b.c. and known since the work of the Austrians in 1873–1875 was further cleared, and the Sacristy between the Anaktoron and the Arsinoeion as well as the Archaic altar between the “Old” and the “New” temples were found. In 1939 the Anaktoron was completely cleared; work continued on the Arsinoeion; the Sacristy (the 3rd-century structure built over the original of the 6th century) and the site of the famous Nike were investigated, and construction of a museum was begun. When work could be resumed after the war in 1948, the top priorities were completion of the museum as it had been begun, a single major hall, and cleaning, repair and protection of the monuments, especially the Anaktoron, Sacristy and Arsinoeion. In addition new excavation was begun by clearing out the circular area within the Arsinoeion to reveal the earlier structures on the site, the pre-Greek earliest preserved remains in the sanctuary, and by cleaning the “New Temple”. Work in 1949 continued to be concentrated in the 4th-century “New Temple”, recognized as the Hieron, in which the higher degree of the mysteries was celebrated, and in the area of the Arsinoeion, completing the western and southern periphery with the area between it, the river bed and the Central Terrace.
The area between the Hieron and the Arsinoeion complex occupied the 1950 season, specifically the Central Terrace with its Temenos entered by the 4th-century Ionic Propylon with its frieze of dancing girls; the fountain graced by the Nike was fully excavated and her right hand found. In 1951 the area between the Hieron and the river bed to the west was attacked and revealed the Archaic Hall of Votive Gifts and the 4th-century Altar Court. Further work on the Altar Court was done in 1952, and the water pipeline which fed the Nike Fountain and Basin was found; tombs along the road to the harbor were dug when construction of the modern road uncovered them. By 1953 the clearing was carried on to the east of the Hieron and enlargement of the museum begun with the building of the southern wing. A second wing (western) of the museum was completed in 1954, and work on installation was begun, so that it could be dedicated on July 24, 1955 at a ceremony attended by many scholars and officials, both Greek and American. The opening of the museum signaled the end of the first period of excavation, and the following years were devoted by the staff to study and publication except for excavation of the South Nekropolis in 1957. A further wing on the north of the courtyard of the museum was added in 1960—61.
In 1962 full-scale excavation was resumed, with Phyllis Williams Lehmann (of the Managing Committee) heading the expedition and James R. McCredie (former School Fellow) as Field Director. The earlier excavations had been concentrated on the central area, the heart of the sanctuary; the new efforts were put on the hills to the west and the east. In 1962 work began on the Hellenistic Stoa on the West Hill; it was continued in 1963, and clearing of the Propylon of Ptolemy II on the eastern boundary was begun; 1964 saw the Stoa cleared and the Propylon further exposed; in 1965 concentration on the Propylon and its environs not only clarified details of its architecture but also revealed a hexastyle Doric building dedicated by Philip III and Alexander IV and a circular structure directly across the river bed from the Propylon. After a season of study in 1966, in 1967 these three buildings on the eastern hill as well as the Stoa on the west were further investigated, and the area north of the Stoa was cleared and excavation begun in the Byzantine fortification and Building M. Further buildings on the west hill were found in 1968 and 1969. Supplementary excavation in 1970 and 1971 on both hills completed excavation of the Propylon of Ptolemy II and revealed fragments of its Corinthian west porch, earliest known use of Corinthian columns on the exterior of a full-scale Greek building, finished the dedication of Philip and Alexander and the Theatral Area on the east and on the west the Stoa, the Milesian dedication and numerous buildings both north and east of (below) the Stoa, including treasury-like structures and probable dining rooms; much of the stepped ramps leading from one part to another of the sanctuary was exposed. Seasons from 1972 to 1980 have been devoted to study with such cleaning up as that requires. Such limited operations often yield significant new structures as well as further understanding of the purpose and date of those already known, e.g., the late 4th-century round Doric building on a drum discovered to the east high above the Arsinoeion in cleaning there in 1975 and new evidence for the dating of the Anaktoron, Proto-Anaktoron and Orthostate Structure which succeeded each other from the first half of the 4th century b.c. to the early Imperial period as the site of the first stage of the initiation into the Mysteries.
This systematic and thorough exploration of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace has been outstanding in the significance of its contributions to the understanding of Greek history, religion, history of architecture and sculpture, language and epigraphy. To the great sanctuaries of central Greece is now added the religious center for much of northern Greece and Anatolia which was also of international significance from pre-Greek through Roman times, with its especially important Archaic and Hellenistic phases.
Three volumes of the final publication, Samothrace, appeared between 1958 and 1962, and three more have been published since in the Bollingen series. Samothrace, A Guide to the Excavation and the Museum, published first in 1954, was in its Fourth Edition in 1975; Hesperia has carried preliminary reports.
Isthmia. University of Chicago 1952–1962; University of California, Los Angeles 1967–1978.
See under Chapter VII, Corinth, pp. 169—171.
Kenchreai 1963–1968 University of Chicago and Indiana University (from 1964).
See under Chapter VII, Corinth, p. 171.
Keos 1960–1968, Supplementary Excavations and Study 1969–1976
The University of Cincinnati began in 1960 the excavations on the island of Keos on the promontory of Aghia Eirene above the harbor of Aghios Nikolaos and at the neighboring headland Kephala. These were to occupy the former Director, John L. Caskey, and his staff in major excavation through 1968 (except for the study-only seasons of 1962 and 1965), with supplementary small-scale work in connection with study of the material from 1969–1976. After the trial trenches of 1960, in 1961 some house walls and cist graves were dug on the Kephala slopes but the chief activity was at Aghia Eirene: two areas with their Late Helladic I-II streets and houses, another with its Late Mycenaean temple and amazing large terracotta sculpture, and sections of the Late Bronze Age fortification wall on the west and north sides of the town. Digging was resumed in 1963 when the cemetery of the poor village at Kephala was further investigated, and at Aghia Eirene the areas begun in 1961 were continued and Middle Bronze Age houses found as well as traces of an Early Bronze settlement; the completion of digging the temple yielded terracotta statues and other evidence of its use from the 15th century b.c. to Hellenistic times, and more of the fortification wall was cleared not only on the west and north but also on the east of the town.
In 1964 further exploration at Kephala showed the settlement to be more extensive than at first thought; house walls were found to stretch along the whole ridge and the cemetery to continue below. At Aghia Eirene the elaborate north and east sides of the fortification were cleared; lower levels of the temple carried construction back to the Middle Bronze Age; under one house buildings of Early and Middle Bronze were found; another house was dug near the west wall, and some Middle Bronze graves were found outside the walls on both west and east. The year 1965 like 1962 was devoted to study of the material before full-scale excavation was continued in 1966. Further graves and houses at Kephala were cleared and a late Neolithic date for the settlement was confirmed; surface exploration was made of Paoura; Troullos yielded traces of an enclosure with drum-shaped structures. At the main site of Aghia Eirene in the years 1966–1968 with supplementary digging in 1969—70 the broad central and narrower northern parts of the site were cleared in areas not yet dug so that the areas of the earlier campaigns combine with the new work to make a single expanse tightly packed with streets and houses of the early Late Bronze Age overlying Early and Middle Bronze settlements (including a potter’s kiln) still to be seen on the east and west sides. The fortifications of both Middle and Late periods with walls, towers, rooms and a spring chamber were further revealed; tombs were found outside the east side; lower levels in the temple and several of the larger houses were investigated. Since 1971 a considerable staff has been at work on the site each season, preparing the publication, readying the material for exhibition in the museum and carrying out conservation and planting on the site.
This island town occupied from the Early through Late Bronze Ages, and its sanctuary revered into classical times, with near-by Neolithic settlements, has given a heretofore unknown picture of Cycladic civilization in the Bronze Age with its highly developed arts of architecture, sculpture and pottery and its many foreign contacts.
In addition to annual preliminary reports in Hesperia throughout the years of the excavation the first volume of the final publication, Keos, appeared in 1977 (see below, p. 271).
Porto Cheli (Halieis) 1962, 1965–1979
When the Keos excavation was begun in 1960, it with Corinth and Samothrace made up the strictly enforced three permits to each foreign School. To alleviate the pressure from the many other Cooperating Institutions of the School eager to conduct excavations, it was suggested that if one of the three would dig in every other year, there might be the possibility of allowing work on another site in alternate years. This arrangement made possible the beginning of work by the University of Pennsylvania in 1962 at Porto Cheli, ancient Halieis, when work on Keos was interrupted for a year.
In 1959 the Ephor of the Argolid-Corinthia had invited the University of Pennsylvania to collaborate with him in a survey of the walls of the city; Charles K. Williams, II (later Field Director of the Corinth excavations) with Nicholas Verdelis made the survey and plan of the walls. In 1962 Michael H. Jameson of the University of Pennsylvania and John H. Young of the Johns Hopkins University (members of the Managing Committee and former Fellows at the School) directed the test excavations on the acropolis and lower terrace. Work was resumed in 1965 under Jameson’s direction with Williams as field director when study of the finds replaced the usual digging season at Keos; but from 1966 on permits were allowed for both sites to continue. In 1967 Indiana University joined the University of Pennsylvania in sponsoring the excavation, with Thomas W. Jacobsen (former Fellow at the School) as co-director with Jameson.
The initial three weeks in 1962 uncovered sufficient private and public buildings of the 5th to late 4th centuries b.c. and examples of the distinctive bronze “Tirynthian” coins of the refugees from Tiryns, known to have settled at Halieis, to confirm the identification of the site as Halieis. In 1965 work on the fortifications on the acropolis distinguished three periods, between 460 and ca. 300 b.c., of the mud-brick wall with round towers of brick and stone, overlying Archaic mud-brick fortifications; an altar with a small votive deposit was also found on the acropolis and several buildings on the “Industrial Terrace”. Williams continued excavation of the upper sector in 1966. In 1967 Jameson assumed field direction of the underwater work, the basic survey of which began in 1965. The balloon photography of Julian and Eunice Whittlesey greatly assisted the plotting of a stretch of walls under the shallow water of the harbor; also in this year (1967) was discovered the cave at Franchthi, which was to be a significant separate operation hereafter, under the direction of Thomas W. Jacobsen (below, p. 214). Back at Halieis in 1968 a small artificial harbor was dug under water by Jameson and on land another tower of the city wall under Jacobsen’s direction. The sanctuary of Demeter outside the walls, originally noted by Philadelpheus, was also identified. After 1968 when there was digging at both sites, work was carried out at Halieis and at the Franchthi Cave in alternate years. In 1970 Wolf Rudolph became Indiana’s co-director for Halieis with Jameson; they divided responsibility between land and sea, Jameson continuing in 1970 and 1971 to direct the underwater investigations of the Sanctuary of Apollo begun in 1968 and Rudolph taking on the land excavation. In 1970 Rudolph found on the eastern side of the city considerable evidence of the Archaic settlement under Classical buildings; there was briefer investigation of the city wall running through the center of the site.
In 1972, Rudolph’s excavation in the center of the city showed late Roman to early Byzantine houses built on Classical walls which give good evidence of the 4th-century “Hippodamian” plan on top of 6th- and 5th-century houses; pottery from wells attests 8th- and 7th-century settlement; on the east side of the city wall a gate is protected by a 4th-century round tower. Jameson and Jacobsen initiated a surface survey of the eparcheia of Hermionis, locating many significant sites from Paleolithic times to the present. (This has been resumed by Jameson and Tj. van Andel for Stanford University in 1979, 1980 and 1981.) But most work was conducted on land by Rudolph who investigated the residential area of the 4th-century city with insulae of houses on the grid plan. In 1975 the “Hippodamian” plan was definitely established in the northeast quarter where the plan appears to be first Archaic and early Classical, then second half of the 4th century; House Pi was identified as the Mint, the first public building identified in the city; a shrine appeared against the semicircular tower of the southeast gate; in the necropolis (where work had begun in 1973) early 6th- to mid-5th-century inhumations were found. In 1976 cleaning resulted in some further digging in areas already opened. The year 1977 was a study season; 1978 saw more cleaning along with further study on the site and in the Nauplia Museum where the finds were housed, and this was continued in 1979.
In 1968 a complex of buildings underwater in the northeast part of Porto Cheli harbor was discovered. In 1970 and 1971 Jameson returned to clean and excavate this area which proved to be the chief sanctuary of the city, that of Apollo. In these seasons an Archaic temple, an altar and a racecourse were identified. Further work in 1973, and very briefly in 1974, identified a second temple and determined the length of the racecourse and the existence of foundations for stands on either side. James Dengate (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana) and Frederick Cooper (University of Minnesota) were closely involved in these campaigns.
Preliminary reports have appeared in Hesperia.
Franchthi Cave 1967–1976
The cave was discovered in 1966, and the Indiana University excavations under the direction of Thomas W. Jacobsen began there in 1967. The first three seasons of work (1967–1969) were devoted to the investigation of a deep stratigraphic sequence spanning the Neolithic, Mesolithic and later Paleolithic periods. Methods and techniques of recovery were constantly evaluated and improved during those years so as to permit the collection of a wide variety of cultural and environmental remains, including a substantial quantity of botanical and zoological material. The 1970 and 1972 seasons were given over to study and the exploration of the environs of the site. In 1971, soundings were initiated in an area along the shore (paralia) in front of the cave while excavation of the cave itself continued. Subsequent seasons (1973, 1974, 1976; 1975 was again devoted to study) witnessed extensive work in both areas, with special attention given to the Neolithic settlement along the shore. Apart from underwater investigations concerned with ancient shoreline problems in 1979 and 1981, much of the time since 1976 has been concerned with the study of the finds for final publication.
The importance of the site lies in its long stratigraphic sequence, dated by more that fifty radiocarbon measurements from about 25,000 to 5,000 B.P. This sequence provides a unique opportunity for examining the origins and early development of agriculture and settled village life in Greece. [This account has been contributed by T. W. Jacobsen].
Preliminary reports have appeared in Hesperia.
Aghios Petros, Herakleion, Crete 1967
George C. Miles, member of the Managing Committee representing the American Numismatic Society and scholar of Arabic numismatics and history, had long been interested in possible evidence of Arabs on the island of Crete and had already done considerable exploration when the Ephor of Crete, Stylianos Alexiou, invited Miles to join him in an investigation beside Aghios Petros in Heraklion. The excavation took place in May 1967 with two members of the School also assisting, Theodora Stillwell MacKay and Joan Fisher, as well as another American, Jean Stover.
Armatova 1968, 1970
When, in August 1967, the Greek Service of Antiquities proposed an investigation and salvage excavation, to be carried out jointly by several foreign Schools, in the large area of the upper Peneios valley in Elis soon to be inundated by an earth dam at Kendron, Director Robinson, Professors Thompson and Vanderpool and Mr. Williams visited the site. Professor James Wiseman of the University of Texas (Fellow at the School) represented the American School in a group from the foreign schools which made a longer survey and some trial digging in November. As a result the American School offered to work at Armatova, probable site of Pylos in Elis. The University of Colorado with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities undertook the excavation on behalf of the American School in the summer of 1968, with Professor John Coleman (former Fellow at the School) as Director. In 1970 a short cleaning session was held in connection with study. Publication is planned in the form of a Hesperia Supplement.
Permission was granted in 1962 for surface survey in parts of Messenia. This exploration by the University of Minnesota under the Direction of William A. McDonald, member of the Managing Committee and a former student of the School, carried out each year from 1962 through 1968, included not only archaeological observations which identified several prehistoric settlements and traces of the late Bronze Age roads, including the ones which connected Nestor’s Pylos with Pherai, but also geological and paleobotanical investigations of the Bronze Age ecology of the area. The 1,400 square miles surveyed includes all the modern nomos of Messenia plus the eparcheia of Olympia in the nomos of Eleia to the north between the Neda and Alpheios rivers. This interdisciplinary reconnaisance was planned to be completed before and to supplement the results of excavations at one site.
Results were published by the University of Minnesota press in Minnesota Messenia Expedition: Reconstructing a Bronze Age Regional Environment, 1972.
In October 1958 Professor McDonald had noted sufficient indications of a prehistoric settlement on the Nichoria ridge to warrant detailed investigation by excavation; this was carried out in the years 1969–1973. The agreement with the Greek Archaeological Service when the permit was granted was that the Service would continue to investigate the surrounding cemeteries as it had been doing since 1959. Initial trenches in 1969 on the 500 meter-long ridge yielded pottery from Middle Helladic through Protogeometric, mostly L.H. II.
In 1970 and 1971 work concentrated on the Acropolis with its M.H. occupation and below a wide street flanked by Mycenaean and later houses and some fortification wall. An apsidal tripartite building of monumental size is Dark Age. Digging in 1972 cleared a L.H. IIIA tholos tomb and at the town site a large Late Mycenaean apsidal building, an early M.H. house, Mycenaean houses and a Byzantine chapel. The last season, 1973, concentrated on an area which yielded a large megaron of L.H. IIIA over a L.H. II building and three L.H. IIIA houses; also the tholos was completed. In 1974 in connection with study for publication digging was completed in the Little Circle adjoining the tholos where the earliest graves are L.H. I to II.
Two of the projected four volumes Excavations at Nichoria in Southwestern Greece have been published by the University of Minnesota press in 1978 and 1983. Preliminary reports have appeared in Hesperia.
Phlious 1970, 1972, 1973
In June and July of 1924 Carl W. Blegen, then Assistant Director of the School, first undertook explorations at the site of ancient Phlious which were continued in January and February of 1925. Preliminary publication of the several areas investigated in those months was made, but since further work was essential for an understanding of the partially excavated buildings no final publication had been attempted of them or even of the pottery and other finds. While William R. Biers was serving as Secretary of the School in 1964–1968 he was assigned the task of studying and publishing these finds, which he did publish in 1969–1971. With his interest thus aroused in Phlious, when the Greek Government offered to grant permits to complete old excavations, he became Director of the supplementary excavations by the University of Missouri in 1970, 1972 and 1973.
As a result of the 1924–1925 trial excavations recommendations had been for the purchase of four areas; one of these had been bought by the School. It was this piece of land which was dug, at the west end of the south side of the long acropolis, where the large “Palati”, another structure north of it and a possible theater on the hillside had been noted in 1924. Work in August 1970 showed the “Palati” to be a rectangular building of the latter half of the 5th century b.c. with a Doric interior colonnade on all four sides of the central courtyard, the “North Building”, a stoalike building of Hellenistic and Roman times between the “Palati” and the cavea of the theater clearly identified on the hill above. In July and August 1972 the mud-brick construction within the courtyard of the “Palati” was shown to be Early Roman, the second of seven periods in the life of the original 5th-century b.c. building; the North Building looked more and more like a skene building for the theater; and more work in the theater showed construction there and in the North Building as Early Roman with Late Roman changes. The final season, June and July 1973, cleared more of the theater cavea toward the west and the courtyard between the “Palati” and the North Building, now clearly the skene building of Roman times; the emplacements for the “machines”, perhaps windlasses, in the courtyard belong to an earlier period of the theater in this home of Pratinas and the satyr play where there must have been a continuous theatrical tradition of some strength.
Results have been published in Hesperia.
Nemea 1964, 1974-
Nemea had first been excavated by the School in spring 1924 by Bert Hodge Hill and Carl W. Blegen (Director and Assistant Director of the School at the time) with funds provided through the University of Cincinnati, and work was continued in fall 1926 by Blegen (Acting Director of the School) and winter 1927 by Benjamin Dean Meritt (Assistant Director). Mr. Hill was engaged in the study of the temple and Blegen and Meritt in excavating buildings to the south of the temple, which proved to be a bath and part of what seemed to be a gymnasium.
What the excavations showed conclusively was that there were indeed considerable remains of the sanctuary buildings, and the School had long been anxious to investigate them further. Charles K. Williams, II (Fellow of the School at the time), when working on the publication of the earlier excavations, was granted permission in 1964 for further exploration.
The long building to the east of the bath emerged clearly as a xenon of the 4th century b.c.; between it and the temple appeared probable treasuries; the ground level of the earlier temple was established; and the baptistery of the Early Christian church was clarified. It was now more clear than ever that more work at Nemea was not only justifiable but cried out to be done. It was with some satisfaction, then, that one of the School permits was granted in 1974 to the University of California at Berkeley for a five-year excavation at Nemea under the direction of Stephen G. Miller, former member of the Athenian Agora Excavation staff. After preliminary cleaning and surveying in 1973 work was carried on in the spring season of 1974 both in the area between the xenon and the temple, where a series of small buildings emerged, and in the stadium. A building to serve as workroom and storeroom during the excavation and also as museum later was erected. In 1975 the long main altar to the east of the temple was cleared and more of both stadium and the row of treasuries uncovered.
Work in 1976 continued in the same areas and discovered pits of the Sacred Grove of cypress trees. The 1977 season was the most successful yet: the small circular building of ca. 475 b.c. found close to the southeast corner of the temple ranks with the Tholos in the Agora at Athens as one of the earliest circular buildings yet known in classical Greece; further west along the south side a sacrificial deposit was found, and a wall leading south may prove to be the first prehistoric structure in the sanctuary; the row of nine treasuries was completely cleared; more of the Sacred Grove and the Stadium as well as the 4th-century b.c. vaulted tunnel leading from it toward the sanctuary were cleared. The tunnel was dug further in 1978. The 1979 season added unusually significant new buildings—-the original, Archaic temple destroyed in the sack of the sanctuary by Argos about 420 b.c. and the palaistra—-and much evidence for the history of the sanctuary. The last of the four great games of Greece is finally coming to life (see above, p. 170).
In 1974, 1975 and 1979, salvage tests, requested by the Archaeological Service, were made on the hill of Tsoungiza where work had begun in the 1920’s; they showed that settlements of Early Neolithic, Middle Helladic and Late Helladic periods must have existed on the ridge.
Preliminary reports of each season have been made in Hesperia.
The University of Toronto began excavation in 1976, on one of the School’s three permits, of the site on the south coast of Crete known as Kommos, with Joseph W. Shaw, former Fellow of the School, as Field Director. The Royal Ontario Museum acted as co-sponsor with the University in this interdisciplinary effort which was financed by the Canada Council, the SCM (Smith-Corona-Marchand) and other corporations, and Leon Pomerance.
Trial trenches on the hilltop and on the central part of the hillside to the south gave indications of a Late Minoan settlement overlying one of Middle Minoan date. In 1977 further rooms of both Late and Middle Minoan houses were discovered, and at the bottom of the hillside appeared a sanctuary of about 400—100 b.c. with an altar and a court bordered by a large circular and a two-room rectangular building. The 1978 season concentrated on the upper layers of Late Minoan houses on the hilltop, now shown to be four separate buildings, each of several rooms and courts, and on the LM IIIB buildings on the hillside, but especially on deep soundings to explore Middle Minoan levels throughout the area and on the Classical and Hellenistic sanctuary which is unique so far in Crete; a second altar and a large room with central hearth were found. In 1979 cleaning of the five LM I houses on the hilltop was completed; on the hillside in the Middle Minoan levels a storeroom full of pithoi and other pottery, some of unusual decoration, was found well preserved; in the Classical sanctuary two more altars appeared in front of a temple, comparable to those of Dreros and Prinias, built on top of more than one earlier hearth. This is of special historical and architectural significance as is also a building of monumental construction nearer the shore, possibly commercial in purpose.
Annual preliminary reports have appeared in Hesperia.
A permit for a surface survey of the Thisbe Basin southwest of Thebes was granted to Ohio State University for 1979; it was conducted by Timothy E. Gregory, former Fellow of the School and Samuel Kress Professor of Hellenic Studies for 1979–1981.
Mention should be made of three architectural studies undertaken by members of the School with the permission of the Greek authorities. These involved intensive study of all walls and blocks on the sites with such clearing as was necessary to examine them thoroughly.
In 1967 Alison Frantz, Homer Thompson and John Travlos, of the staff of the Athenian Agora Excavations, studied the church known as Episkopi on the island of Sikinos, built into an ancient structure identified by earlier students as a Hellenistic temple. It was found to be a Roman heroon of the 3rd century after Christ, converted into a church in or about the 7th century and remodeled in its present form about mid-17th century. Published in American Journal of Archaeology 73, 1969.
Stephen and Stella Miller, also of the Athenian Agora Excavation staff, working for the School and the Direction of Antiquities in summer 1969, organized, recorded and studied the architectural members around and near the Lion of Amphipolis, the monument on the Strymon river which the School had reconstructed in 1937 after joint excavation of the site by the French and American Schools in 1936, Jacques Roger and Oscar Broneer the excavators and Lincoln MacVeagh the benefactor.
Beginning in the spring and summer of 1969 Frederick A. Cooper, Fellow of the School, undertook the study and drawing of all blocks of the Temple of Apollo at Bassai, which he continued each summer from 1970 through 1973. Much significant new evidence was discovered both for the restoration of certain details of the existing 5th-century temple and for its predecessors. In 1972 he began the survey and drawing of the newly discovered Doric temple at near-by Perivolia.