The paleolithic sites of Elis

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Christos Matzanas.


This article deals with open-air sites of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, as well as some late Middle Pleistocene or Early Pleistocene Paleontological sites found in the department of Elis (Western Peloponnese). Most of them were found and published previously, notably by French researchers (Lutra, Amalias, Vasilaki, Retouni, Katacolo). In the “corpus” of ancient discoveries, we must mention those of the German Archaeological Institute in Roupakia (fossil Pleistocene bones) and the German geological team in Kyllini, as well as some finds on the Greek side, especially in Skafidia. The new surveys undertaken during the years 1997 and 1998 made it possible to locate new archaeological sites (Vranas, Arkoudi, Vartholomio, Kounoupelli, Elide, Sosti, Borsi, Ag. Triada, etc.) and palaeontological sites (fossiliferous horizon of Simisa). the latter eventually dating towards the end of the Middle Pleistocene. French research has established a stratigraphic sequence (C-A layers) and regional chronology, which has been used to frame tools from various sites, which as a whole do not retain their stratigraphy. We have noticed that the country was frequented during, perhaps, more than 100,000 years, by nomadic tribes who used for the making of their tools of raw materials of local origin. There is no evidence yet to claim human presence beyond the 100,000-year mark, although there is some evidence to suggest this for the more continental sites. Layer C delivered a typical Mousterian industry, while the lower part of Layer B a Levalloiso-Mousterian or Mousterian industry that date back to 60,000 and 50,000 years respectively. The upper part of layer B gave an early Upper Paleolithic Urignacian industry, which eventually followed a gravetoid industry. It is probable that there is a hiatus with regard to the Epigravettian industries. On the contrary, it is possible that the Epipaleolitic and the Mesolithic are represented by some geometric microliths.



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