24.8.16

Underwater excavations in Argolis Valley 2016


In the bay of the Valley in Argolida conducted in collaboration with the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the University of Geneva, the project "Bay Valley" under the auspices of the Swiss School of Archaeology. The program aims to detect traces of human activity during the prehistoric period in the southeastern region of the Argolic Gulf, around the cave Franchthi where important prehistoric remains have been found.

Research conducted in the same area in 2015 found extensive fortified settlement of the Bronze Age. The settlement, which dates back to the Early Helladic period (mid 3rd millennium BC), located at a depth of 1-3 m. In the bay area located in the "Lampagianna beach." 


The program aims for 2016 was to seek the limits of the above settlement in space and time. From July 11 to August 12, 2016, research was conducted under the direction of Dr. Angeliki Simossi, Head of the Inspectorate of Underwater Antiquities and Professor Karl Reber, Director of the Swiss School of Archaeology, with the field officers submerged archaeologist ESA Despina Koutsouba and lecturer at the University of Geneva Julien Beck.

The investigation began with underwater surveying and geophysical measurements, such as magnetic and electric prospecting tomography, reflected the visible part of the settlement and to find structures that may lie beneath the sandy bottom and shoreline. Based on preliminary results it is clear that the settlement has greater complexity and size than previously assumed and extends to at least 20 acres.

The underwater excavation in test section inside the settlement, the exterior face of a wall of the EH II period, revealed a thick layer with ceramics dating to the Early Helladic I period (beginning of the 3rd millennium BC) or earlier.
Research will continue with surveying, geophysical surveys and underwater sections of a larger part of the settlement.

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