Saturday, January 05, 2008

Middle Aliakmon valley: terraces and Aiani

Below is a abstract from the American Journal of Archaeology with the title Review of Aegean Prehistory V: The Neolithic and Bronze Age of Northern Greece, written from Stelios Andreou, Michael Fotiadis and Kostas Kotsakis and publish in Volume 100 (No. 3. Jul., 1996, pp. 537-597) and has subject the archaelogical site of Aiani.

Middle Aliakmon valley: terraces and Aiani.

The area north of the Aliakmon is a terrace of Tertiary sediments with outcrops of limestone. It rises from 250 masl near the river to 650 masl near Kozani, and is flanked on the west, north, and east by mountains (1,300-1,850 masl). The largest part of that extensive surface (ca. 220 km2) has never been systematically surveyed, yet several sites are known. Some are lo­cated near springs (and old villages), as at Karyditsa and Amygdalia; [208] others occupy eccentric locations (e.g., hill slopes over deep ravines). As far as one can judge, none of the sites antedates the Late Neolithic. Intensive research will, however, be necessary before patterns emerge. [209] The important question is whether the settlement pattern here, in the rela­tively dry Tertiary zone, is different from that in the riverine zone, which has a distinctive —and privileged —pedology, hydrology, and even climate.

Aiani, a major center of the early historical period in Macedonia, is also located in the Tertiary zone (fig. 2:5). The main site, Megali Rahi, is a true acrop­olis, rising 40-80 m above its immediate surround­ings, to 480 masl. Recent excavations of the IZ' Ephoreia [210] indicate that the acropolis appears to have been occupied from the Bronze Age to the first century B.C. The earliest features, in a level area near the summit, are two small oval buildings with stone foundations, one of them with a rectangular hearth in the middle. [211] The buildings are associated with pots —including mugs with two handles —that the excavator compares with those of Armenohori (70 km to the north; fig. 2:1). The latter is "the only site which could date between the Early Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age [previously] excavated in western Macedonia. [212] However fragmentary, the evidence suggests habitation of the acropolis in the later Bronze and Early Iron Age as well. In the saddles and ridges below the acropolis, Karametrou found an abundance of LN (mainly black-burnished) ceram­ics, and a second extensive site of similar date was identified through exploration a few kilometers away. [213] At the northern foot of the acropolis, in a colluviated area, excavation revealed a series of later Bronze/Early Iron Age burials in pits and cists, along with a hearth-like structure and a pile of ca. 80 broken pots. The majority of the pots are "matt-painted," but the pile also included a complete Mycenaean pot and parts of others. At least one of the graves con­tained a Mycenaean alabastron next to a matt-painted bowl and a bronze pin. [214]

The finds of Aiani are important for several rea­sons. [215]
First, the widespread distribution of LN material documented by the excavator raises the possibility of dispersed settlement on the Tertiary terraces around Megali Rahi.
Second, the early build­ings on the acropolis itself suggest occupation dur­ing a period (ca. 2000 B.C.?) for which, in western Macedonia, we know virtually nothing. Radiocarbon dates would, in this case, be extremely useful.
Third, a pile of broken matt-painted pots and a hearth within a cemetery from the end of the Bronze Age raise intricate interpretative questions, as the exca­vator emphasizes.
Fourth, the concurrence, in a few contexts, of local matt-painted and Mycenaean pots is notable, for it is without clear precedents in west­ern Macedonia. The matt-painted pots of Macedonia, Epirus, and Albania have been the subject of much discussion and controversy in the past.

Thanks to new excavations and to distribution studies carried out in the 1970s, it is now known that comparable techniques of matt-painting appear and disappear at different times in different regions, from Kosovo to southern Italy. [216] In western Macedonia they have been thought to occur both toward the end of the Bronze Age and in the Early Iron Age, yet the evi­dence for the date assigned to specific finds has often been superficial. The Aiani finds do not yet resolve such problems, but they may point to a date for the first local production of matt-painted pots before the 11th century B.C


[208] Hondroyanni-Metoki (supra n. 197); H. Ziota, Arch­Delt 43 B' (1988) 402.[209]The head of a Mycenaean figurine and a Mycenaean amphora also come from the area, but they are without precise context: G. Karametrou-Mentesidi, ArchDelt 39 B' (1984) 267; and Ancient Macedonia (Athens 1988) 135-36.
[210] Initiated by G. Karametrou-Mentesidi in 1983 and continuing to date.
[211] G. Karametrou-Mentesidi, "Από την ανασκαφική έρευνα στην Αιανή, 1989," ΑΕΜΤ 3 (1989) 46 andpi. 5.
[212] Κ.Α. Wardle, "Cultural Groups of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age in Northwest Greece," Godisnjak, Centar za balkanolosha ispitivanja, Sarajevo 15 (1977) 188. For more doubts about the chronology of Armenohori, see Treuil (supra n. 64) 86.
[213] Karametrou-Mentesidi (supra n. 196) 424, 429-30.
[214] Karametrou-Mentesidi (supra n. 211) 49 and figs. 7-9, and Karametrou-Mentesidi, "ΑνασκαφήΑιανής 1990," ΑΕΜΓ 4 (1990) 76 and pis. 1-4; also Karametrou-Mentesidi, Arch­Delt 43 B' (1988) 399. The Mycenaean pots are not assigned to specific phases.
[215] For an older surface find with a mysterious inscrip­tion, see A. Panayotou, "An Inscribed Pithos Fragment fromAiane (W. Macedonia)," Kadmos 25 (1986) 97-101
[216] See esp. A. Hochstetter, "Die mattbemalte Keramik in Nordgriechenland, ihre Herkunft und lokale Auspra-gung," PZ 57 (1982) 201-19, for a discussion of previous views, and for differences between the western and central Macedonian varieties. For distribution maps in western Macedonia and Albania, see respectively K. Romiopoulou, "Some Pottery of the Early Iron Age from Western Mac­edonia," BSA 66 (1971) fig. 7, and K. Kilian, "Zur mattbe-malten Keramik der ausgehenden Bronzezeit und der Friiheisenzeit aus Albanien," ArchKorrBl 2 (1972) 116. For discussion of the Epirotic finds, assigned in their totality to the Iron Age, see Wardle (supra n. 212) 179; K.A. War-die, "The Northern Frontier of Mycenaean Greece," BICS 22 (1975) 207; and I. Vokotopoulou, Βίτσα, τανεκροταφείαμιαςμολοσσικήςκώμης(Athens 1986) 255-76. For finds from sites near Naousa, see Vokotopoulou, "La Macedoine de la protohistoire a l'epoque archa'ique," Magna Grecia, Epiro, e Macedonia. Atti del 24° Convegno di studi sulla Magna Grecia (Taranto 1985) 143-44.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Diachronic the presence of Macedonians in northern Greece.

Clay female figurine from Aiane, mid-6th century BC, Aiani, Archaeological Museum.

The speech of Georgia Karamitroy-Mentesidi in Thessalonica for the archaeological discoveries in Aiani Kozani.

Final answer in the diachronic presence of Macedonians in the North Greece space they give the archaeological discoveries in Aiani Kozani.

They bring down the old theory about cataclysmic invasion of Dorians in the dues of 2nd millenium, which are illfounded in any case, underline the head of L' Eforeias Prehistoric and Classic Antiquities, Karamitroy-Mentesidi.

In her speech, that organised the Company of Macedonian Study (EMS), pointed out that the discoveries of Aianis give final answer that was not exist "Dorians cathode", that is to say Macedonians, which as "barbarian" destroyed the Mykenaean, Achaeans and Greeks.

There is no doubt for the southern origin of Macedonian ceramics, which come back north-northwestern (15th cent. bc in Aiani) then from their very previous (round 2000 bc) way down, or from continuous locomotions, because of the veterinary surgeon character of economy and the nomadic way of life. These are not other than the Macedonians of historical years, which the filological delivery connects immediately with Dorians.

Consequently,underlines G. Karamitroy-Mentesidi, with the discovery of Aianis is acquired the most powerful argument for the reject of old theory about cataclysmic invasion of Dorians in the dues of 2nd millenium. The big crowd and the types of mykenaean discoveries, stress, compel the scientific community to revise her opinions for the limits of Mykenaean world and his relations with Macedonian and Dorian seces, while the opinion for Mykenaeans permanent installation in the region is argued continuously more. The acne of Aianis in the archaic and classic years proves that organised cities with public buildings existed hundred and more years before Philippos [b]', in which the historians attributed the foundation of first cities centres in Ano-Macedonia. Thus was revised the opinion about cultural isolation of Ano-Macedonia.

The public buildings and the private residences ancient Aianis, as well as the precocious signs, testify a city with built-up organisation and political growth from the late-archaic and classic years (beginnings 5th and 4th century bc, while also the 6th century bc is represented with ceramics).

The new historical physiognomy of Ano(Upper)-Macedonia, and more generally all Macedonia, owes many, or rather most, in Aiani, points out G. Karamitroy-Mentesidi. Aiani -means city eternal-, immense, existed capital of kingdom of Elimeias and it constituted for a lot of centuries most important economic, commercial, cultural and intellectual centre of the wider region of Ano-Macedonia. The city participates actively, in step with the cities-central and southern Greece, in the blossoming of Greek world that begins from the archaic years, climaxes in classic and expands in entire the known world at the hellenistic period. Her royal house had always narrow relations and continuous contacts with the royal house of Timenidon of down Macedonia (Aiges and Pella), that is often testified in the texts of ancient historians.

The public buildings of city distinguish for their monumental character, their impressive architecture and their rich decor. Between them it distinguishes Stoic Building, two-storied with Dorian colonnade in the ground floor and ionian in the floor, which is interpreted as department of ancient agora, and was already in use from the 5th c.bc. the revelation the public and private buildings shapes already the picture of organised city from the beginning of 5th c.bc, which supplements the wealth by the excavation of royal necropolis and remainder classic and hellenistic cemeteries round this.

In the royal necropolis of the archaic and classic years have been revealed 12 big constructed and smaller graves. Resplendently funeral monuments, as signals of eminent deads, as statues of lions, statues of kouron and kores, statue of bearded, painted ionian columns render unique the necropolis of Aianis in the North Greece space.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Historical Topography of Ancient macedonia

Cities and other Settlement-cities in the late Classical and Hellenistic period

by the archaelogist Maria Girzy

This study deals with the development of cities and other settlement-sites of Macedonia, during the late Classical and Hellenistic period. It takes into account the different districts incorporated into the Macedonian State (dividing them into three major areas i.e. the Lower Macedonia, the Upper Macedonia, and the Eastern districts), studying the mythology, the geographical location and the boundaries, the geophysical appearance and the natural resources, the ethnography, and the history of each district, along with the sites recorded in the ancient sources, that can be attributed to each of them (examining also the location, the archaeology and the history of each site).

It thus discusses the geographical, historical, ethnographic and political context under which cities and other communities existed. The study concludes by taking into consideration the different criteria that favoured or dictated the foundation of the previously mentioned Macedonian sites, their distribution on the Macedonian map and their communication links, and their political status as contrasted with the conventional form of the Greek "city" and the sites founded by Alexander and his Successors in the Hellenistic Kingdoms outside Macedonia.

I suggest to those that deal with ancient Macedonia history to buy this book and with compound of Nicholas Hammond volumes History of Macedonia (a epic historical work) the searchers will have a complete Historical geographical view in this great part of the ancient Greek History.