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The Cave of the Cyclops

The Cave of the Cyclops: Mesolithic and Neolithic Networks in the Northern Aegean, Greece, Volume II: Bone Tool Industries, Dietary Resources and the Paleoenvironment, and Archeometrical Studies

Adamantios Sampson
Malgorzata Kaczanowska
Stella Katsarou-Tzeveleki
Georgios B. Koutsouflakis
Janusz K. Kozłowski
Fanis Mavridis
Laia Orphanidis
Nickos A. Poulianos
Volume: 31
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: INSTAP Academic Press
Pages: 340
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  • Book Info
    The Cave of the Cyclops
    Book Description:

    This book completes the two-part series that serves as the final report for the excavation of the Cave of the Cyclops on the island of Youra in the Northern Sporades of Greece, a site that was occasionally occupied from the Mesolithic through Roman period. The second volume contains the results of detailed studies on the archaeological material, organic remains, and archeometric analyses that complete the image of this significant archaeological site. These studies help to further distinguish the main characteristics of the Mesolithic culture in the Aegean basin, including: the intense exploitation of sea resources, limited hunting activities, the collection of native fruits and land snails to supplement the diet, and attempts at domestication by isolated island communities.

    eISBN: 978-1-62303-063-6
    Subjects: Archaeology, History

Table of Contents

  1. 1 Cave Setting and Stratigraphy
    (pp. 1-16)
    Adamantios Sampson

    Northeast of Alonnessos, the Deserted Islands of the Northern Sporades form a unique geographic and cultural assemblage (Figs. 1.1, 1.2). From the coast of Thessaly to Alonnessos, navigation is facilitated across the narrow channels shaped between the islands. However, farther to the north of Alonnessos, the deep sea and wide canal cut off the small islands of Kyra-Panagia (Pelagonisi), Youra, Psathoura, and Piperi. The fact that in ancient times navigation was not easy in this area is proved by the large number of shipwrecks. During the Middle Ages and later, travelers often dealt with the Deserted Islands, which frequently served...

  2. 2 Pottery Analysis of the Neolithic Period
    (pp. 17-68)
    Adamantios Sampson

    This chapter describes and catalogs much of the Neolithic pottery from the Cave of the Cyclops on Youra. Beginning with the Early and Middle Neolithic, a typology of vessels separating out open versus closed shapes, handles and lugs, bases, sherds with holes and decorated sherds is provided for coarse ware (Type I; Fig. 2.1) and monochrome ware (Type II; Figs. 2.2, 2.3), while a brief discussion and accompanying catalog is given for the painted wares of this period. An in-depth discussion and catalog of Red-on-White painted ware is found in Chapter 3. The Late Neolithic pottery, including pottery dating to...

  3. 3 Middle Neolithic Weavers Paint: Red Patterns as Markers of the Local Group’s Identity
    (pp. 69-110)
    Stella Katsarou-Tzeveleki

    Excavation revealed that the earliest post-Mesolithic human activity inside the Cave of the Cyclops occurred in two distinct areas: in the hall of the entrance and in an isolated area of the interior, which is surrounded by high stalactite and stalagmite columns. In the entrance hall, the Early to Middle Neolithic occupants spread their activity across most of the area (Fig. 1.4A), as can be concluded from the presence of a coherent, though variably thick, EN–MN deposit. This activity showed considerable intensity around a locus of successive hearths (Hearths 2, 3, and 4) in Trench B, Rectangle 4 (Fig....

  4. 4 Late Neolithic Painted and Burnished Decorated Wares
    (pp. 111-122)
    Fanis Mavridis

    The fragments of Late Neolithic painted and burnished decorated wares represent only a minor amount of the entire ceramic assemblage from the thick Mesolithic and Neolithic deposits in the Cave of the Cyclops (Sampson 1996a, 1996b, 1996c, 1998a, 1998b). The pottery is discussed and dated on stylistic and typological grounds because the upper levels of deposits had been disturbed in the majority of the trenches due to both ancient and modern activities inside the cave, and also because of the specific character of deposition. Identifying and dating this particularly limited number of LN painted and burnished wares therefore requires comparison...

  5. 5 Pottery Analysis of the Bronze Age and Historical Periods
    (pp. 123-126)
    Adamantios Sampson

    This chapter provides an overview and catalog of the Bronze Age through historical period pottery found in the Cave of the Cyclops. Although limited in number, the pottery discussed here includes Early Helladic, Middle Helladic, Mycenaean, and Geometric wares, as well as pottery from the Classical and Hellenistic periods. The catalog for this chapter continues in the same format as the preceding chapters, with catalog numbers in bold followed by excavation numbers in parentheses. The catalog numbers follow in succession the numbers from Chapter 4.

    Scattered sherds ascribed to Early Helladic II, based mainly on their shape but also on...

  6. 6 Lamps of the Roman Period
    (pp. 127-160)
    Georgios B. Koutsouflakis

    This study includes the lamps of the Roman period discovered during the excavation of the Cave of the Cyclops on Youra island during the 1992–1995 campaigns. A general description of the recovery of the Roman lamps is provided, followed by a typology and catalog of numerous examples found in the cave. In addition, a small catalog and discussion of the signatures and potters’ marks found on the lamps is included. The Roman lamps discovered in the Cave of the Cyclops allow for a discussion of the cult practices in caves during this period. An appendix to the chapter lists...

  7. 7 Ground Stone Tools, Stone Objects, and Miscellaneous Small Finds
    (pp. 161-168)
    Adamantios Sampson and Laia Orphanidis

    This chapter examines the stone tools and stone objects found in the Cave of the Cyclops on Youra. Ground stone utensils, predominantly grinders, from both the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods are cataloged. Other stone objects, including pebbles, pendants, potential slings, and shaft straighteners are described. In addition, L. Orphanidis discusses a marble figurine from the Neolithic period. The 70 objects treated here are cataloged consecutively with the designation “S” for stone, therefore S1–S70.

    Small finds of other materials are also described in this chapter: shell objects; various clay finds including unfired and badly fired pieces, spindle whorls, and an...

  8. 8 Chipped Stone Artifacts
    (pp. 169-178)
    Malgorzata Kaczanowska and Janusz K. Kozłowski

    In this chapter we have taken into account all well-stratified chipped stone artifacts from the excavation of the Cave of the Cyclops based on the final version of the stratigraphical attribution of September 2000. Since this list differs somewhat from preliminary stratigraphic lists, the number of artifacts in various levels in turn differs slightly from our previous reports on the lithic industries from Youra (Sampson, Kozłowski, and Kaczanowska 1998, 2003). The most important differences are that some of the artifacts from levels that were initially thought to be mixed have been reascribed to “pure” stratigraphical units, and that several tools...

  9. 9 Survey in the Deserted Islands of the Northern Sporades
    (pp. 179-186)
    Adamantios Sampson

    A systematic surveying expedition on the large island of Youra and the nearby islands of the Northern Sporades was complementary to the research project of the Cave of the Cyclops (Figs. 1.2, 1.3, 9.1; Sampson 2001b). Since the 1970s, the survey team has carried out periodic investigations on Psathoura and Kyra-Panagia (also called Pelagonisi; see Ch. 1). The scanty surface pottery finds, mainly ascribed to historical times, have not been published however. Also in the 1970s, during the excavation at the settlement of Hagios Petros on Kyra-Panagia, limited investigations were conducted on the island though they did not furnish any...

  10. 10 History of Animal Husbandry and Agriculture on Youra and the Neighboring Islands of the Northern Sporades
    (pp. 187-194)
    Adamantios Sampson

    An investigation into the native flora and fauna, the animal husbandry and agriculture, and the occupation of the island of Youra and the surrounding islands of the Northern Sporades throughout history may provide clues to the use of this area during prehistoric times. The discussion begins with a description of herding and cultivation on Youra, and continues with an outline of these activities on Pappous, Koumbi, and Gramiza; Piperi and Skantzoura; Psathoura and Psathonisi; Kyra-Panagia; and Alonnessos. When examined in this way, an ethnoarchaeological model of the way of life in the Northern Sporades is formed.

    The earliest information regarding...

  11. 11 A Mesolithic Cranial Vault and Other Human Remains
    (pp. 195-198)
    Nickos A. Poulianos

    During the 1995 excavation of the Cave of the Cyclops, a human cranial vault (calvarium) was discovered at a depth of 3.10 m in Rectangle 2 of Level 21 of Trench CEast (see Fig. 1.15B). It is estimated to be about 10,000–11,000 years old (Sampson 1996a, 1998a). The calvarium was deposited as an isolated fragment, since no other remains of its skeleton were found. This is the first remnant of an individual of such an advanced age found in the Greek islands. Other human bone fragments have also been excavated, however from later cultural levels.

    The human cranial vault...

  12. 12 Conclusions
    (pp. 199-226)
    Adamantios Sampson

    Gathering together the evidence collected from the excavation of the Cave of the Cyclops on Youra, the study of the artifacts and organic remains (see also Sampson, forthcoming), and the survey of the surrounding islands provides a comprehensive picture of the human occupation of the site. Drawing upon the archaeological, historical, and ethnological evidence for human activity in the Northern Sporades and particularly on the island of Youra, an image of the use of the cave over time and its place in the prehistory and history of the Northern Sporades as well as Greece is formed. An understanding of the...