Neolithic pottery from Areia in the Argolid

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Hadzipouliou-Kalliri, Elissavet.


This article describes the Neolitic pottery from a trial excavation at Areia in the Argolid. The building lot excavated was on the small hill of Ai-Vlassis, whose importance as a prehistoric site is apparent from bibliographical references and, in particular, rescue excavations by the 4th Ephoria of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.The excavation revealed no traces of habitation or use remaining when the place was abandoned. The find did not represent a settlement site, but contained the remains and refuse of the more extensive habitation area after it ceased to function. The chief finds were the pottery, which dates from the Neolithic to the Geometric period.The study of the pottery was based only on sherds, as it was impossible to restore any whole vessels. A quantitative approach to the material, using a numerical count, was applied initially to the whole of the pottery and subsequently to the Neolithic pottery (see Figs 1,2 and 3). A polythetic criterion (see n. 9) was employed for separating the pottery types, which produced the following:1. Coarse ware: 67.27%.2. Black burnished: 18.13 % 1.4 % of the total had painted or burnished decoration.3. Grey ware: 2.13 %.4. Urfirnis: 7.41 %.Three groups were distinguished:a. plain monochrome (4.82 %),b. decorated (0.51 %). Chiefly linear designs: combination of parallel lines and net and ladder patterns (fig. 4 and 8).c. Pattern Burnished (2.08 %). Careless linear decoration, both random and deliberate.5. Matt Painted: 4.09 %. Chiefly linear patterns (Pis 67 α-δ, 68 a).6. Polychrome: 0.97 %. This ware is similar to that of the matt-painted, but is decorated with more than one colour (Pis 68 β-γ, 69 a).Geographically Areia forms part of a wider area over which a strong Neolithic presence is apparent, the northwest Peloponnese, with important sites and evidence of contanct and communication with other regions, chiefly Central Greece (F i g. 6). The pottery found at Areia is known from all these sites, either in toto or in part, and represents basic types of the Middle and Late Neolithic periods. A comparison of the Areia material with that from the other sites gives the following chronological sequences: occupation starting in the transition from Middle to Late Neolithic, and peaking in the early Late Neolithic. The predominant fine pottery is the Black Burnished, which coexisted with the last phase of the Urfirnis and the first phase of Matt Painted. This chronological period is contemporary with the «Vothrosphase» at Elateia, the Late Neolithic 1 B phase at the west end of the Forum at Corinth and levels IVa-lIIa at Franchthi. Here too we probably have the same smooth Middle to Late Neolithic transition that was recognized at Franchthi, with the successive coexistence of the Black Burnished-Urfirnis-Matt Painted wares. The end of the occupation of this site coincides with the end of the early Late Neolithic phase, as the Grey and Polychrome wares were beginning to appear.



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