The Thesprotia Expedition
THE THESPROTIA EXPEDITION
A Regional, Interdisciplinary Survey Project
in Northwestern Greece
The preliminary results of the archaeological work conducted during the third season of the Thesprotia Expedition are as follows.
Continued survey work
During the third consecutive field season of the Thesprotia Expedition the intensive field survey, the geo-archaeological survey and the topographical mapping continued. At the same time geophysical prospecting was conducted at some of the sites found.
So far we have searched intensively close to 3 km2 and documented 35 places of special interest, most of which constitute archaeological sites. The work in 2006 expanded our knowledge of the diachronic settlement history of the valley. The new sites recorded include another Early to Middle Bronze Age site (PS 28), two Late Classical to Early Hellenistic farmsteads (PS 29, PS 35), a Late Roman farmstead (PS 32) and two find concentrations (PS 31 and PS 36) dating to the Early Iron Age through Classical period.
The geo-archaeological survey of the Kokytos river basin continued in the same way as in 2004 - 2005, i.e., by collecting soil and rock samples. A special emphasis was put on studying the surroundings of PS 36 and PS 31, which are located in an area called Mavromandilia on the valley bottom next to the Kokytos river. With the help of a hand auger the extent of the sites was pursued. The results indicate that both our find concentrations, together with a third find place discovered in 2005 and explored by the 32nd Ephorate for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, all belong to one and the same Early Iron Age site, partly covered with as much as 1 - 1.5 m alluvium and partly just under the surface.
The geophysical prospecting, conducted by Tatyana Smekalova with a magnetometer, revealed several house foundations next to an Early Christian basilica belonging to the modern village of Zervochori. In the fields located next to this basilica we had collected Late Roman pottery (PS 27) already in 2005. It now seems fairly certain that there existed a village or hamlet next to the basilica. This is an interesting result as it differs from the common settlement pattern during this period, which usually is characterised by isolated farmsteads/villas.
The topographical team in 2006 concentrated on mapping the small (0.5 ha) fortress Kioteza, which prior to our arrival had been partially cleaned by the 32nd Ephorate. The walls, which can be dated to the fourth or third centuries BC, are in a very bad state of preservation. However, we identified a square tower and possibly also a gate, both on the east side where the fortress is connected by means of a small saddle to the Paramythia mountain range.