The Early Bronze Age Village on Tsoungiza Hill

The Early Bronze Age Village on Tsoungiza Hill

DANIEL J. PULLEN
Susan E. Allen
Paul Halstead
Julie M. Hansen
Anna Karabatsoli
Maria Kayafa
Kathleen Krattenmaker
Noel Gale
Zofia Stos-gale
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 1088
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/j.ctt2jbhvm
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  • Book Info
    The Early Bronze Age Village on Tsoungiza Hill
    Book Description:

    While 'corridor houses' like the House of the Tiles at Lerna have provoked widespread discussion about the origins of social stratification in Greece, few settlements of the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3100-2000 B.C.) have been thoroughly excavated. This important study integrates the presentation and analysis of the archaeological evidence from a single settlement that flourished on Tsoungiza Hill in the Nemea Valley from the Final Neolithic until the end of the Early Helladic period. The first section details the stratigraphy, architecture, deposits, and ceramics of each of the five major periods represented. The second section contains specialist reports on all aspects of material culture including figurines and ornaments, textiles and crafts, metal analyses, chipped and ground stone, and faunal and palaeobotanical remains.

    eISBN: 978-1-62139-006-0
    Subjects: History, Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-x)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. xv-xxiv)
  4. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  5. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xxix-xxxix)
  6. CONVENTIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xl-xl)
  7. 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-16)

    Explorations on the low ridge of Tsoungiza, rising to the west of the classical Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea and the modern village of Ancient Nemea (Iraklion), have revealed prehistoric occupation and activity from the Early Neolithic period through the Late Bronze Age. Major excavations of the prehistoric settlement have been undertaken by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens under the direction of Carl W. Blegen and James P. Harland, the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) under the direction of Stephen G. Miller, the Greek Archaeological Service, and most recently by the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project (NVAP)...

  8. 2 THE NEOLITHIC PERIOD
    (pp. 17-36)

    The first archaeological explorations on Tsoungiza Hill found evidence of Neolithic activity. Blegen discovered Neolithic material on the south slopes of the hill in his trial trenches and subsequent excavations.¹ The Greek Archaeological Service and the University of California at Berkeley likewise recovered evidence of the Neolithic period in areas adjacent to Blegen’s original excavations, and UCB work revealed pits of the Early Neolithic period in exploratory trenches on the southeast slopes of the hill in 1981–1982 (see Fig. 1.5 for locations of the EN–MN deposits). NVAP has found material of nearly all phases of the Neolithic on...

  9. INTRODUCTION TO THE EARLY BRONZE AGE AT TSOUNGIZA
    (pp. 37-40)

    Two of the most important contributions our excavations at Tsoungiza have made are the documentation of (1) the transition from the EH I period to the EH II period, and (2) the earlier phases of the EH II period in Greece. At few sites has this transition or the early EH II period been examined in any detail, because either one period or the other is lacking, or because excavations have not reached sufficiently deep levels. Consequently much of our knowledge of the EH I period in particular has been based on soundings of limited extent, such as those at...

  10. 3 THE EARLY HELLADIC I PERIOD
    (pp. 41-140)

    Good contextual evidence for the Early Helladic I period on Tsoungiza Hill is limited to a number of pits, one deep cistern (Cistern 2), and one small fill associated with Cistern 2, all found in EU 5 on the crown of the hill (Fig. 3.1).¹ Additional, unstratified material was found in EU 5 and elsewhere on the hill. Only in EU 11 (see Fig. 2.1) were there substantial quantities of EH I ceramics, along with ceramics of the Final Neolithic period, enough to suggest possible activity beyond the crown of the hill. The proximity of EU 11 to EU 5...

  11. 4 THE EARLY HELLADIC II INITIAL PERIOD
    (pp. 141-240)

    The Early Helladic II Initial period, like the preceding EH I period, is not well known in the Peloponnese and central Greece, in part because it is eclipsed by and beneath the often more extensive and monumental remains of the later EH II period. At Tsoungiza we have been able to explore the earlier phases of the Early Bronze Age more than has been possible at nearby sites such as Lerna and Tiryns.

    The beginning of the EH II period is defined by changes in ceramics. At Tsoungiza these ceramic changes can be associated with the overall stratigraphic sequence of...

  12. 5 THE EARLY HELLADIC II DEVELOPED PERIOD
    (pp. 241-440)

    The period called the Early Helladic II Developed at Tsoungiza is that of the classic Early Helladic II. As noted in Chapter 4, because of the significance of the EH II Initial deposits at Tsoungiza for our understanding of the beginnings of the EH II period, that phase receives special attention in this volume, with its own period designation. The term “Developed” is used to emphasize that the features of the period examined in this chapter are those most often associated with the EH II period, for example urfirnis painted pottery; the use of sauceboats; stamp seals; and in architecture,...

  13. 6 THE EARLY HELLADIC III PERIOD
    (pp. 441-578)

    After a period of abandonment following the destruction in EH II, the hill of Tsoungiza was reoccupied during the Early Helladic III period. Traces of EH III activity have been found on the crown and in many places on the slopes of the hill, but the evidence discovered by NVAP is usually in the form of secondary deposits. Harland uncovered a densely built village of EH III date on the crown of the hill, but subsequent disturbances had eliminated virtually all traces of this settlement.

    The history of the site and its disturbances has been detailed in the introduction, but...

  14. 7 FIGURINES AND ORNAMENTS
    (pp. 579-590)

    In this chapter are documented terracotta figurines of humans and animals, as well as objects used for adorning the human body. The ornaments are made from a variety of materials. The evidence for the manufacture of textiles, whether as clothing for the body or mats for domestic purposes, is discussed in chapter 8.

    Terracotta animal figurines are found at many Early Bronze Age sites on the mainland, though often not in large numbers. Human figurines other than stone examples of Cycladic type are extremely rare on the mainland during the Early Bronze Age. From Tsoungiza come two terracotta human figurines...

  15. 8 TEXTILES
    (pp. 591-630)

    Our knowledge of textiles at Tsoungiza is limited by the simple fact that we have none preserved; nevertheless, we can examine textile production at Tsoungiza through a number of different types of objects recovered. Careful consideration of spindle whorl morphology, dimensions and weights, and distribution; other equipment possibly associated with textile production such as weights and terracotta “anchors”; and impressions of textiles preserved on clay, lead us to conclude that textile production was an extremely important activity at EBA Tsoungiza. Here I consider the spindle whorls, “anchors,” loomweights, needles, spools, and mat impressions.

    A common category of find at Tsoungiza...

  16. 9 CRAFTS AND PRODUCTS
    (pp. 631-652)

    In this chapter I consider objects in three materials, metal, stone, and bone, which are not included in other chapters. Along with chapter 7 on figurines and ornaments, Chapter 8 on textiles, Chapter 11 on chipped stone, and Chapter 12 on ground stone, this chapter discusses much of the range of nonpottery craftsmanship and products evidenced at Tsoungiza.

    Metal objects were not plentiful among the finds from the EBA levels at Tsoungiza. Only 16 copper-alloy and lead objects, representing primarily ornaments and tools, were found by NVAP; four of those were subsequently found to have been originally excavated by Harland...

  17. 10 CHEMICAL AND LEAD ISOTOPE ANALYSES
    (pp. 653-660)
    Maria Kayafa, Zofia Stos-Gale and Noel Gale

    The extraction of metals from ore minerals requires considerable expertise and a source of ores suitable for a given level of technological ability. In the Aegean, the mineral deposits of copper, lead, and silver are limited in number, and not all of them were suited to Bronze Age extractive metallurgy techniques. As a result, it is a reasonable assumption that there must have been a metal trade network among settlements since the Early Bronze Age. While chemical analyses provide a knowledge of the alloys employed, only lead isotope analyses can lead us to the source of the metallic minerals used....

  18. 11 THE CHIPPED STONE INDUSTRY
    (pp. 661-726)
    Anna Karabatsoli

    The Early Bronze Age chipped stone industry of Tsoungiza studied here is represented by 705 specimens, all derived from the stratified layers of EU 5 as excavated by NVAP.¹ The material belongs primarily to the the Early Helladic period, subdivided in this volume into EH I, EH II Initial, EH II Developed Phase 1, EH II Developed Phase 2, and EH III. Among these, the EH II period yielded the majority of lithics (see Table 11.2, below). Only five FN specimens were recovered (Pit 31, SU 891).

    The study of the Tsoungiza lithics followed the methodology employed by the author...

  19. 12 THE GROUND STONE TOOLS
    (pp. 727-740)
    Kathleen Krattenmaker

    The methods used to recover ground stone tools at Tsoungiza followed those applied to other materials on the site (see the description of procedures and methodology in Chap. 1), with collection by square meter units (SMUs) within stratigraphic units (SUs).¹

    The dates assigned to the stone tools are based on pottery recovered in the individual SUs or SMUs.² Some 132 ground stone pieces were discovered by NVAP in EU 5 or in units elsewhere on the hill with Early Bronze Age material, and 117 are presented here (see Table 12.1 for the chronological distribution of types).³ A large number of...

  20. 13 THE FAUNAL REMAINS
    (pp. 741-804)
    Paul Halstead

    Excavations at Tsoungiza, during the 1980s, yielded ca. 90 kg of animal bone from contexts of sufficiently accurate dating and sufficient chronological integrity to warrant detailed study.¹ The approximate distribution of this material over broad chronological periods is as follows: Early to Late Neolithic (9 kg), Final Neolithic and Early Helladic (28 kg), Middle Helladic to Late Helladic II (28 kg), and Late Helladic III (26 kg). Material spanning such a long time period from an excavation project at a single site, and so subject to relatively uniform methods of excavation and faunal analysis, invites diachronic analysis. Major diachronic issues...

  21. 14 PALAEOETHNOBOTANY
    (pp. 805-892)
    Julie M. Hansen and Susan E. Allen

    From the outset of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project, one of the primary goals was to elucidate the subsistence practices of the inhabitants of Tsoungiza from the earliest period of occupation in the Final Neolithic Period through the Late Bronze Age. To this end james Wright, the director of the project, established a water-sieving system for the recovery of macroscopic plant remains, as well as other materials. In analyzing these remains we sought to identify the crop plants, their associated weeds, wild plant resources, and wood in order to reconstruct the subsistence system and the site’s environment.

    In this chapter...

  22. 15 CONCLUSIONS: TSOUNGIZA AND THE AEGEAN IN THE EARLY BRONZE AGE
    (pp. 893-910)

    The Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age together (ca. 4500–2000 B.C.) is the period when a number of cultural and social features of complex societies become apparent in the archaeological record of the Aegean. These features include increased population; the beginnings of a hierarchy of settlement sizes (and presumed function and importance); the appearance of monumental architecture; incipient administrative systems; the exploitation of new environments and technology for agriculture; increased interactions among regions within (and outside) the Aegean; and the increasing importance of metal objects, especially as signifiers of social status, among other significant changes.¹ Our excavations at Tsoungiza...

  23. APPENDIX 1: THE CIST GRAVE
    (pp. 913-918)
  24. APPENDIX 2: POTTERY SUMMARY FOR DEPOSITS
    (pp. 919-962)
  25. APPENDIX 3.1: NVAP DEPOSIT SUMMARIES
    (pp. 963-974)
  26. APPENDIX 3.2: SUMMARY OF CONTENTS OF PITS EXCAVATED
    (pp. 975-976)
    J. P. HARLAND
  27. NOTES TO CONCORDANCES
    (pp. 979-979)
  28. EXCAVATION UNIT AND DEPOSIT NAME
    (pp. 980-997)
  29. EXCAVATION UNIT, STRATIGRAPHIC UNIT, AND COORDINATES
    (pp. 998-1015)
  30. NVAP INVENTORY NUMBER AND CATALOGUE NUMBER
    (pp. 1016-1024)
  31. NEMEA MUSEUM INVENTORY NUMBER AND NVAP INVENTORY AND CATALOGUE NUMBERS
    (pp. 1025-1026)
  32. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 1029-1036)
  33. INDEX OF OBJECTS
    (pp. 1037-1044)
  34. INDEX OF DEPOSITS AND FEATURES
    (pp. 1045-1048)