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Stymphalos, Volume One

Stymphalos, Volume One: The Acropolis Sanctuary

Sandra Garvie-Lok
Christopher Hagerman
Monica Munaretto
Deborah Ruscillo
Gerald P. Schaus
Peter Stone
Mary Sturgeon
Laura Surtees
Robert Weir
Hector Williams
Alexis Young
Volume: T
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 520
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  • Book Info
    Stymphalos, Volume One
    Book Description:

    The buildings and artifacts uncovered by Canadian excavations at Stymphalos (1994-2001) shed light on the history and cult of a small sanctuary on the acropolis of the ancient city. The thirteen detailed studies collected here illuminate a variety of aspects of the site.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6229-2
    Subjects: History, Archaeology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    (pp. xv-2)
    (pp. 3-5)
    Gerald P. Schaus

    Stymphaleia is a term used today to denote the beautiful green valley with a small lake tucked away in northeast Arkadia below the southern and eastern slopes of Mt Kyllene. Canadian excavations at Stymphalos, at the Lower Town site (eastern lakeside area of the ancient city) and in the sanctuary near the summit of the low acropolis (fig. 0.1), began in 1994 as a result of several earlier seasons (1982–4, 1989) of geophysical investigation carried out by Hector Williams of the University of British Columbia. Initially, the goal of the investigation was to discover the plan of the ancient...

  7. 1 Stymphalos: Ancient Sources and Early Travellers
    (pp. 6-11)
    Gerald P. Schaus

    “Stymphalos” is the name most commonly used of the town which lies on and around a southerly spur of Mt Kyllene in the most northeastern of the Arkadian city-states.¹ Corinth is 45 km to the east northeast; Sikyon is 35 km to the northeast; Argos is 45 km to the southeast, and Mantineia is 25 km directly south, in straight line measurements. It lies in a small valley about 600 m above sea level, the floor of which is approximately 12 km long (southwest to northeast) by 1.5 wide, though the entire territory may have been about 180 square kilometres...

  8. 2 The Sanctuary: Site Description
    (pp. 12-35)
    Gerald P. Schaus

    Located on a sloping terrace just east of the summit of the acropolis of Stymphalos, the Sanctuary opens eastward with a view towards the pass leading to Phlious and Nemea and southward with a view of Lake Stymphalos at the foot of the acropolis ridge. It is sheltered below the highest point of the acropolis, which lies 140–50 m west of the Temple and about 25 m higher (see fig. 2.1).¹ The Sanctuary terrace slopes down from northwest (640.5 masl) to southeast (637.4 masl) across outcroppings of bedrock in an area measuring roughly 43 (east-west) × 44.5 m (north-south)...

  9. 3 Sculpture
    (pp. 36-55)
    Mary Sturgeon

    During the 1995 and 1996 excavations in the Temple, parts of two marble statues were discovered, coming to light primarily in the back of the cella. Some surfaces of the marbles were blackened or had a “fried” appearance, which appears to result from proximity to intense fire. Most segments of the statues were found within or beneath a layer of broken roof tiles from the building, which was destroyed in the mid-second century BCE.² There are no signs of intentional breakage of the sculptures, and so it seems likely that the statues were damaged by the weight of the roof...

  10. 4 Coins
    (pp. 56-78)
    Robert Weir

    Canadian excavations in the Sanctuary on the acropolis at Stymphalos between 1994 and 2000 uncovered 98 coins of silver, bronze, and iron that range in date from the fifth century BCE through the twelfth century CE.² After cleaning and conservation, over 90% of the coins were legible, and even some illegible ones were attributable in a general way. Study of the Sanctuary coins begins with an inclusive catalogue and continues with brief discussions of interesting features and individual details. It concludes with some observations about the usefulness of the coins for interpreting the life of the Sanctuary in general.


  11. 5 Weapons: Catapult Bolts, Arrowheads, Javelin and Spear Heads, and Sling Bullets
    (pp. 79-102)
    Christopher Hagerman

    Excavations in the Sanctuary on the acropolis have yielded the remains of 198 projectile weapons. This corpus comprises one of the more remarkable and unexpected outcomes of work in the Sanctuary.¹ Similar pieces have appeared on a wide range of sites across the ancient world, but rarely has such a large collection appeared in so confined an area. Naturally, the projectiles have been of special interest to the excavators. Their presence has significant implications for our understanding of the Sanctuary as well as the history of ancient Stymphalos. For, while some may have been votive offerings, there is good reason...

  12. 6 Jewellery
    (pp. 103-147)
    Alexis Young

    Over 325 jewellery votives from the Late Classical and Hellenistic periods were excavated from the Sanctuary on the acropolis, of which 246 are described in the Catalogue. The jewellery is arranged according to number, type, and function.¹

    Jewellery was one method of displaying status and wealth; thus it was meant to be visible.² Accordingly, primary or personal jewellery adorned the body, head, ear, neck, arm, finger(s), ankles, and feet, whereas secondary jewellery adorned and fastened clothing.³ The majority here are earrings for pierced ears (1–96) and finger rings (97–147), mainly of bronze, with a few of silver and...

  13. 7 Miscellaneous Small Finds
    (pp. 148-183)
    Gerald P. Schaus

    A great variety of objects are catalogued here by material and use. Some are easily recognized from similar objects at other sites; others are not. Since iron objects are generally well preserved at the site, some objects are described, and an illustration provided, even though they cannot be identified, nor for the moment their use determined with any probability. It is hoped that all may be better understood in the future. This especially applies to many of the objects classified as “utilitarian,” and to those listed under “Varia” at the end of the catalogue.

    In the normal detritus of a...

  14. 8 Constructing the Sanctuary: Iron Nails for Building and Binding
    (pp. 184-192)
    Monica Munaretto and Gerald P. Schaus

    In a very careful publication of the fourth-century BCE country house at Vari, in Attika, the British excavators listed various wooden elements believed to be used once in the structure, including upright column shafts and their cushion blocks, lintel beams and possible cross-struts securing them to the walls, wall plates at the top of the mudbrick walls, a timber framework for the tile roof consisting of tie-beams, inclined rafters, and ridge poles, and sheathing of planks or reeds between the rafters and the tiles, as well as wooden doors and window frames.² They also noted, however, that the woodwork was...

  15. 9 Pottery of Building A
    (pp. 193-215)
    Peter Stone

    Only the pottery from Building A, including the West and North Annexes, is presented here, since it provides important information about the use and history of this prominent building in the Sanctuary. Because the total volume of ceramic material in this deposit (and in the Sanctuary as a whole) is not great, and since almost all forms correspond to those published from other sites in the northeast Peloponnese, such as Corinth, Isthmia, and Argos, this study does little to expand formal typologies. Despite the limitation of the sample, the material from Building A is representative of that from the Sanctuary...

  16. 10 Select Pottery from the Sanctuary and Nearby City Wall Area
    (pp. 216-226)
    Gerald P. Schaus

    A small selection of the pottery from the Sanctuary and nearby City Wall area is presented here for several reasons. First, a full study of the material is not yet ready, but because certain discrete pottery types are important for the history of the Sanctuary, it was thought worthwhile that at least some of them could be included in the present volume. Secondly, a careful study of the pottery from Building A with a discussion of its possible use has been presented by Peter Stone in the previous chapter. This includes an overview of the shapes with representative drawings and...

  17. 11 Lamps
    (pp. 227-235)
    Hector Williams

    Excavations in the area of the Sanctuary produced fragments of over 150 different terracotta lamps as well as a few complete ones; they date from the late fifth/early fourth century BCE to the early/mid-sixth century CE.¹ While most are not closely datable or from closed contexts, they do serve as an indicator of activity in the area through the centuries. The majority are wheelmade lamps of the mid-fourth to third century BCE, which were in use during the period of the Sanctuary’s floruit. A striking feature of the collection is the diversity of types represented; indeed for some there are...

  18. 12 Loomweights
    (pp. 236-247)
    Laura Surtees

    Loomweights comprise a large and distinctive group of artifacts found scattered throughout the Sanctuary on the acropolis. The presence of 99 loomweights in a Sanctuary which was dedicated, with some probability, to Athena, goddess of weaving, elicits questions on several levels as to their purpose. On their own, they indicate in a practical way the existence of weaving as an activity at Stymphalos, but because the loomweights were found in a cultic setting, they also require an investigation into possible religious uses or connotations for them. They cannot simply be accepted as tools in a practical manufacturing activity. Based on...

  19. 13 Faunal Remains: Environment and Ritual in the Stymphalos Valley
    (pp. 248-267)
    Deborah Ruscillo

    Since antiquity, the lake has been the centre of activity in the Stymphalos Valley. Bronze Age settlers were drawn to the lake and its natural resources as attested by polished stone celts going back at least to the third millennium BCE. As early as the Archaic period, the lake was made famous in myth by the sixth labour of Herakles, where the hero eradicated the troublesome Stymphalian birds from the area. The lower town site (Stym I), excavated by a team from the University of British Columbia in the 1990s, provides archaeological evidence for the habitation of the site during...

  20. 14 Human Skeletal Remains
    (pp. 268-274)
    Sandra Garvie-Lok

    The two Late Roman/Early Byzantine graves recovered from the Sanctuary area are typical of the burials from this period recovered elsewhere at Stymphalos (fig. 14.1). While few individuals are represented, the remains are still of considerable interest because they offer insights into the health and social lives of the Late Roman/Early Byzantine population of the site.

    Grave 1 (the Temple Grave) was recovered in 1997. A detailed description of the grave may be found in Schaus, chapter 2, pp. 24–5 (see fig. 2.29a–c). Briefly, the skeletal material excavated from the grave includes the largely complete remains of a...

  21. NOTES
    (pp. 275-338)
    (pp. 339-366)
    (pp. 367-494)
  24. Index
    (pp. 495-500)
  25. Back Matter
    (pp. 501-503)