The Lower and Middle Paleolithic of Thessaly, Greece

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Curtis Runnels and Tjeerd H. van Andel.



A combined geological/stratigraphical and archaeological survey was carried out in June, 1991, in the Larisa basin of Thessaly, Greece, as the last in a series of surveys begun in 1987. An age range of 60–30 thousand years (kyr) was also established for in situ Middle Paleolithic sites exposed by the down cutting of the Peneios River valley between the Kalamakiou gorge and Larisa. The environmental settings for these sites were reconstructed by means of geological/soil stratigraphic studies, and on this basis we propose that the Middle Paleolithic sites are kill sites or hunting camps on bars and interfluves in a wide plain of braided, aggrading streams. In 1991 quartz pebble and flake-tool assemblages of the late Lower Paleolithic were discovered at a site near Rodia north of Larisa, and at six sites in the Megalo Monastiri area in the southern portion of the Larisa basin. The new assemblages are dated to ca. 200–400 kyr and demonstrate that the Lower Paleolithic chopper and flake-tool industries common in eastern and SE Europe extend also to Greece.



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