In search of Pleistocene remains at the Gates of Europe: Directed surface survey of the Megalopolis Basin (Greece)

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Nicholas Thompson, Vangelis Tourloukis, Eleni Panagopoulou, Katerina Harvati.


The PaGE Project survey of the Megalopolis Basin (Arcadia, Greece), conducted in 2012–2013 over a period of two field seasons, was an intensive, target-oriented surface survey of Pleistocene sediments. Implementing a modified version of field methods applied in our survey of cave systems and Pleistocene cave sediments, the main goal of this systematic research focused on the identification of intact stratified remains from either stratigraphic sections or on remnants of exposed ancient surfaces. The project area consisted of the active open-cast lignite mine of Megalopolis, where access to recently exposed sections were abundant, and of the alluvial fans in the surrounding uplands, where hominins exploited the commanding views of the ancient lake. This paper presents the survey results and applied field methods for conducting archaeological research within the remnants of an Early to Middle Pleistocene ancient lake system. The project succeeded in identifying at least five surface and stratified sites, the latter including the Lower Paleolithic remains of Marathousa-1. This site is currently under investigation, but has already yielded the oldest chronometrically dated archaeological remains in Greece. Therefore, PaGE has not only managed to place mainland Greece on the Lower Paleolithic map of Europe, but has also successfully tested a methodological corpus for survey research targeting the earliest phases of the Paleolithic period in a Mediterranean landscape.




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