The Survey of the Mycenaean Sites of Vapheio-Palaiopyrgi

A paper by Louise Hitchcock, University of Melbourne, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 7 August in Theatre C, Old Arts.

In 2016-2017, the Vapheio-Palaiopyrgi Survey Project, under the auspices of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and in collaboration with the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Lakonia, the University of Melbourne, Brevard College and the University of the Peloponnese, initiated a scientific survey of the sites of Vapheio-Palaiopyrgi.  These sites include the Vapheio Tholos, one of the earliest and richest tholos tombs and Palaiopyrgi, one of the largest unexcavated Mycenaean sites in the Peloponnese and a recently discovered conglomerate quarry, which is situated between them.  Moreover, Palaiopyrgi belongs to a network of intervisible sites in the Eurotas River Valley including the “Menalaion,” Amyklai, Ayios Vassileios and Vouno Panayias.  Over the course of two seasons, the team engaged in a broad complement of both traditional and modern analytical techniques for the study of the landscape and its surface finds and features.  The initial results are promising with implications for the study of regional network in the Eurotas River Valley in the prehistoric and later eras.  This paper presents the preliminary results of our research in its spatial and chronological contexts, prior to our study season to be held in 2018.  Of particular significance are the diagnostic sherds and finds from the EH through LH III and the Byzantine periods and the ninety-six surface features that were recorded.