Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Works in 2009
Thanks to the generous financial support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation the joint Ephorate for Paleoanthropology-Speleology (hereafter EPSNE) and Southern Euboea Exploration Project (SEEP) archaeological team was able to conduct another field season of excavations in the Ay. Triadha Cave in the vicinity of Karystos, southern Euboea.
The 2009 season was of crucial significance for understanding and reconstructing the past use of the cave. During the previous 2008 season we encountered important Early Bronze Age (EBA) burials in one of the chambers inside the cave (East Chamber). Due to the nature of archaeological deposits that include human remains and with them associated artifacts and other evidence we were forced to proceed with the excavation using extreme caution.
The work in the field during the 2009 season lasted from Monday, June 29 until Friday, August 4. The excavation was carried out successively Monday through Friday while Saturdays were reserved for lab work only. The 2009 field team consisted of the following members: Fanis Mavridis, Zarko Tankosic (project directors), Daisuke Yamaguchi (field/IT director), Lilian Dogiama (lithics specialist/lab director), Giota Ghioni (conservator), Aca Djordjevic (illustrator), Georgia Kotzamani (microbotanist), Eleni-Anna Prevedorou (bioanthropologist), Areti Pendedeka (petrographic analysis), Katerina Triantalidou (zooarchaeology), Thodoris Chatzitheodorou (topographer), Irini Spyropoulou, Varvara Spyropoulou, Davor Cakanic, Renate Storli, Alexandra Edwards, Jonas Smidth Pedersen, and Christina Papoulia (archaeologists). Other specialists (e.g. geologist and speleologist) were present in the field when the situation required it. The team included archaeologists and other specialists from seven different countries from three continents.
During the 2009 excavation season we opened three new trenches (Trenches 9, 10, and 11) in two different areas of the Ay. Triadha cave system and we continued the excavation of one trench (Trench 4) that we began in 2008.
Together with the 2008 trenches we were able to excavate the EBA deposits in approximately 50% of the total extent of the East Chamber. We were able to acquire important data to help us reconstruct the EBA burial ritual, which is significant because very little is known about burial practices from this time period. We have uncovered more osteological material to help us complete the skeletons retrieved during 2008. This is important because it will allow us to say more on the population inhabiting the Karystia during the EBA period. Moreover, strontium isotope, ancient DNA, and other bioanthropological analyses that are in progress will help us determine the origin of people buried at Ay. Triadha and possibly even their social status as it is obvious that their burials differed from the ones reserved for the rest of population.
(Excerpts from the seasonal report submitted to the S. Niarchos Foundation)