Grabungsberichte

Subject: Results of preliminary works carried out in 2005 in the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios and an application for their continuation. Pr. No. 1763/25.10.2005

In accordance with the decision No. YPPO/GDAPK/ARCH/A2/F61/22669/799 of 15.06.2005 of the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organizations and International Matters of the Ministry of Culture, during September 2005 studies and research in the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios commenced. This preliminary investigative survey was conducted by the following team, under my supervision and in collaboration with Professor Manolis Korres: architects Maria Magnisali and Themis Mpilis, architectural student Manos Skoufoglou and archaeologist Stavros Vlizos from the Benaki Museum. However, the successful results and the positive prospects are due in large part to the exceptionally friendly atmosphere and the support given by the V Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities (EPCA) and the 5th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities (EBA), namely to Anastasia Panagiotopoulou and Emilia Bakourou, and Nasos Themos, as well as the personnel of the Archaeological Service of Sparta.
In the period 2-24 September 2005 the following works were carried out:

  • Agia Kyriaki hill and the surrounding area were surveyed in detail by topographers of the National Technical University of Athens, Kostas Zafeiris and Giorgos Souris. The evidence surviving from previous research carried out by Ch. Tsountas (1890/91), A. Furtwängler (1904), E. Fiechter (1907) and E. Buschor (1925), was recorded in the new plans.
  • The existing condition of the archaeological site was mapped and the surviving parts of the crepis of the Throne, of the Peribolos (surrounding retaining wall) as well as the later church of St Kyriaki were documented by measured drawings.M
  • Most of the in-situ architectural members of the Throne and the Altar, which were either stacked in a pile of stones or were dispersed in various places and on the slopes of the hill, were drawn, studied, photographed and identified.
  • All the architectural members from the monuments of the Sanctuary were gathered, sorted in categories and fenced inside the archaeological site and the already expropriated area. Thus, any further deterioration of the marbles’ surface will be avoided and their protection will be ensured until their final enhancement is decided upon. This task was carried out with the valuable assistance of a team from the V EPCA.
  • Many architectural members of the Throne and the Altar, which were incorporated in the fabric of the churches of Prophet Elijah, Sts Theodore and St Nicholas in modern Amykles, as well as in the church of the Virgin in the community of Agios Ioannis, Sparta, were located, photographed and temporarily recorded.
  • Last, those architectural members originating mainly from the Throne and presently kept in the internal courtyard of the Sparta Archaeological Museum were photographed, drawn and studied.

Although the timeframe of the first phase of research was limited, the results can be characterized as absolutely positive. Suffice it to say that, apart from the protection of the material in situ, many members from the upper structure of the buildings of the Sanctuary, which are not included in the publications of E. Fiechter (“Amyklae. Der Thron des Apollon“, JdI 33, 1918, 107-245) and W. von Massow (“Vom Amyklaion“, AM 52, 1927, 1-85), were discovered. Moreover, it was possible to propose a graphic reconstruction of the circular Altar, thanks to Manolis Korres’s study of the only five parts, at present, for which measured drawings have been made. Given the fact that many of the members of the Altar are built into the fabric of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine churches of the region, we have already begun to explore the prospect of an at least partial future restoration of this monument.

Subject: Report of the works completed in 2006 at the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. Pr. No. 1549/20.11.2006

In accordance with the decision No. YPPO/ GDAPK/ARCH/A2/F61/12813/417-1.6.2006 of the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organizations and International Matters of the Ministry of Culture, for the ongoing project in the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo, Amyklaios the following work was accomplished:

  • The continuation of the Peribolos (precinct wall) was sought in the north and the southwest part of the Sanctuary, with the cleaning and the investigation of three trenches opened in sectors A2, B2, N8 by E. Fiechter (1907) and E. Buschor (1925). During this work it was confirmed that the function of the Peribolos was essentially that of a retaining wall. It was constructed to a height of approximately 7 metres, in order to retain the large fills of the hill so as to facilitate the construction of the Throne of Apollo at the top. With regard to the continuation of the course of the Peribolos to the southwest (A2), the conclusions of earlier excavations were confirmed. However, the need to extend research westwards, in order to identify its relation to the contiguous wall of rubble masonry became clear. At this point, roughly 5 metres to the north (B2), the west end of a probably previous wall was revealed, a precinct wall perhaps, with parallel direction and corresponding orientation. The investigation of the north part to the west (N8) confirmed the continuity of its course, but the direction it follows is still to be determined. In the course of our research, a host of potsherds dating from the Sub-Mycenaean to the Archaic period, metal sheets and miniature vases – typical finds in other ancient sanctuaries – came to light.
  • The built bench in the portico of the hilltop church of St Kyriaki was dismantled and 20 architectural members of the Throne and the Altar were retrieved, which were transported to the fenced space for protection. The dismantling of the bench revealed a large number of architectural members in the lower part of the wall of the church, built into the masonry in a second use. This called for the removal of the plaster and the careful cleaning of the exterior surface. The church of St Kyriaki was built between 1907 and 1920, with many of the marbles uncovered in Fiechter’s excavations (1904-1907), after the demolition of the earlier church, which covered the surviving part of the Throne’s crepis. It is planned that next year all the architectural members incorporated in the wall will be documented, photographed and drawn. It will be decided which of these members can be removed in order to be used in future restorations and whether the cleaning of the surface of the walls should be continued in the interior of the church. Lastly, the remodelling of the church, so that it does not “offend” the archaeological site will be examined.
  • The new architectural members located and assembled during the works of 2006 fill in, together with the already studied material, the drawings of the circular stepped construction of the Altar, to which Manolis Korres had been led during the first phase of research in 2005 with less material available.
  • The surviving part of the crepis of the Throne with the arch of the Christian basilica was fenced within the already expropriated area, so as to avoid temporarily new vandalizing of the marbles (with incisions, spray paint, etc.), until the final decision is taken regarding the enhancement and protection of the Sanctuary. To this end, the adjacent trees, whose roots have caused serious damage to the monument’s foundations, were felled.
  • The architects Maria Magnisali and Themistoklis Mpilis continued the systematic documenting, measured drawing and photographing of architectural members from the Throne and the Altar, now gathered in the fenced area on Agia Kyriaki hill.
  • The detailed documenting, measured drawing and photographing of architectural members originating from the monuments of the Sanctuary and now gathered in the internal courtyard of the Sparta Archaeological Museum, was continued and completed. Corresponding work for the many other members exhibited in the Museum or kept in its storerooms remains to be done.
  • Manolis Korres located and made measured drawings of two monumental bases from the Throne in form of a lion’s paw, which presently support the lid of a Roman sarcophagus in the garden of the Sparta Archaeological Museum. These new discoveries reinforce the indications deduced also from other architectural members that the Throne designed by Bathykles was in the form of a monumental seat.
  • The search for other architectural members from the monuments of the Sanctuary continued in the wider area of Sparta as well as in the storerooms of the archaeological site of Mystras.

Participants in the research work of 2006, which spectacularly increased our knowledge of the Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios and the form of its monuments, were Professor M. Korres, architects M. Magnisali and Th. Mpilis, and archaeologist Dr Stavros Vlizos, accompanied by a team of six excavation workers.

Subject: Report of the works completed in 2007 at the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. Pr. No. 1517/21.11.2007

In accordance with the decision No. PPO/GDAPK/ARCH/A2/F42/10140/370-16.7.2007 of the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organizations and International Matters of the Ministry of Culture, granting permission to continue research in the sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios in 2007, where it is defined that the project is carried out systematically by the V EPCA under the direction of Professor Angelos Delivorrias, the following works were carried out in the period between 20 August and 30 September 2007:

  • The entire course of the monumental retaining wall (“Peribolos”) was revealed on the south side of the Sanctuary. Its east side was cleaned and its end was sought at the north side (Section X 7), where, however the excavation was not completed. Concurrently, the thickness and structure of this wall in its upper courses was revealed in sectors A3-A8, so that architect Themis Mpilis could make a measured drawing of the monument and the possibility of a future partial restoration could be studied (see fold-out). In the course of removing the landfill at this point, copious sherds of pottery, mainly of the Geometric period, were found, as well as two bronze statuettes of a standing male figure, of the same period, which were conserved in the laboratory of the V EPCA. It was confirmed that later repairs had been made on the east side of the Peribolos, using lime plaster, clay and small stones. The precise dating of these interventions will be attempted with the continuation of the research. Last, in order to facilitate the access of equipment essential for the works, a spacious passage was formed along the south side of the hill and three olive trees were felled.
  • During investigation of sectors B3, G 2-3 and B5, the existence of a hitherto unknown retaining wall (W. 1) was confirmed. Built of rude stones and 1.80 m. thick, it probably dates from the Geometric period, as is deduced from the large quantities of sherds found in its fill. Its west end had been uncovered for a length of 1.50 m. in 2006. The large amount of stones found on both its inner and outer face indicates that it was a sizeable construction. As investigations in sector B5 have shown, its course curves slightly at this point in order to end at the southeast corner of the “Archaic” Peribolos, which will be confirmed by the continuation of the excavation.
  • The documenting, photographing and measured drawing of the architectural members incorporated in the fabric of the church of St Kyriaki, as well as of architectural material from the monuments of the Sanctuary, now in the Sparta Archaeological Museum, continued.
  • The fencing inside the area already expropriated by the Greek State was extended, so as to deter temporarily any damage or vandalisms of the marbles, until the final enhancement and protection of the sanctuary takes place.
  • Photographing of the bronze finds from the earlier excavations was completed both in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, and the Sparta Archaeological Museum.
  • In December, the relevant decision No. YPPO/SYNT/F44/5091/109026-5.11.2007, granting permission to take samples from the stones of the Sanctuary’s monuments, so as to facilitate tracing the ancient quarries, as well as studying possible restorations, will be implemented.

A collaboration has begun with Professor Yannis Pikoulas, on searching for the access and the road that connected the Sanctuary with ancient Sparta.
Participants in the research work of 2007 were Professor M. Korres, architects M. Magnisali and Th. Mpilis, archaeologist Dr Stavros Vlizos, and a team of six excavation workers.
Pending works: Since the decision of the Ministry of Culture did not include the request for replacement of certain architectural members of the Throne and the Altar, which had been used as building material in the churches of Prophet Elijah and Sts Theodore in the village of Amykles (Sklavochori), these works were not carried out, even though the necessary funding had been secured. For the same reason, the plasters were not removed from the church of St Nicholas in Amykles, incorporated in the fabric of which, according to valid information, are many architectural members from the monuments of the Sanctuary.

Subject: Report of the works completed in 2008 at the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. Pr. No 1695/18.11.2008

In accordance with the decision No. YPPO/GDAPK/ARCH/A2/F42/76784/2341-10.10.2008 of the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organizations and International Matters of the Ministry of Culture, regarding the ongoing research project in the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios, the following works were carried out in 2008:

  • The measured drawing and the architectural study of the monumental external Peribolos was completed. Aim of these works, inter alia, is the possibility of a future partial restoration, and the detailed architectural study prepared by the architects Maria Magnisali and Themistoklis Mpilis. Concurrently, excavations to find the northwest end of this wall continued. In this sector (X7), the last surviving course of stones was put back in place on the preserved part of the foundation. Located in the same area (Sectors N3, X3-4) were traces from later constructions, a cistern and a drain in which the lower half of a Late Roman inscribed herm had been used as building material, and part of the stylobate of an Archaic Doric colonnade, from the architectural members of the Throne of Apollo. The remains of the later constructions should be associated with the poorly investigated Early Christian basilica, which Christos Tsountas had located in 1890. During removal of the fill of the Peribolos, abundant sherds were collected, mainly dating from the Geometric period, and in the later buildings two coins and a finger ring were found.
  • The excavation was completed on the south side of the Sanctuary, aimed at revealing the previous, also monumental, internal retaining wall of the Geometric period (W. 1), of length 30 m. and thickness 1.80 m. Its dimensions as well as the large number of stones found fallen on both its inner and outer face, confirm that it is a construction of monumental size. During removal of the fill, apart from the abundance of pottery, mainly of the Geometric period, a large number of bronze objects of the same period was found, among which statuettes of a standing female figure and of a bull, an axe of small dimensions and a pin, which were conserved in the laboratory of the V EPCA.
  • Systematic checking of the dump from Tsountas’s excavations, which ran along the east side of Agia Kyriaki hill, at a distance of 5 m. from the external Peribolos, was completed. With these works, a path 3.00 - 8.00 m. wide was formed, suitable even for the occasional visit and tour of the archaeological site. From the sieving of the soil, several finds were retrieved, among them a bronze bowl (phiale), fragments of roof tiles with stamped inscriptions in which traces of the words ΑΠΟΛΛΛΩΝΟΣ ΕΝ ΑΜΥΚΛAΙΟΙ can be detected, as well as parts of glass vessels from the Roman period.
  • Professor Manolis Korres, in collaboration with the architects Th. Mpilis and M. Magnisali, thoroughly studied the limestone blocks of the colossal pedestal that supported the 13 m.-high cult statue of Apollo and had been reused in the foundation of the Early Christian basilica uncovered in sectors D 4, 6-7.
  • The measured drawing, photographing and documenting of the architectural members incorporated in the fabric of the church of St Kyriaki continued.
  • For the protection of the archaeological site, the expropriated area was fenced in its entirety, so as to deter temporarily any damages and other vandalisms, until the final enhancement of the Sanctuary is decided.
  • The measured drawing, photographing and documenting of the architectural members deposited in the courtyard of the Sparta Archaeological Museum continued.
  • Dr Kokkorou-Alevras, Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Athens and Dr G. Maniatis, Head of the Archaeometry Laboratory of the National Research Centre “DIMOKRITOS”, completed the works on locating and identifying the quarries from which the marble structural elements of the buildings in the Sanctuary came. Specifically, there are two quarries on Mt Taygetos, at the localities “Gynaika” and “Platyvouni”. Appended are the results of the preliminary examination carried out by G. Maniatis and D. Tambakopoulos. This research will be useful for finding the necessary material when the imminent restoration of monuments is decided.
  • In the framework of research aimed at locating additional architectural members from the monuments of the Sanctuary, a database was created and the sites of the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monuments in the wider area were plotted on a general map. This work is in progress.
  • In October this year, the head of the excavation, Dr Stavros Vlizos, presented the conclusions of research over the period 2005-2008, in lectures delivered at the archaeological institutes of the universities of Mainz, Berlin, Bonn, Munich and Vienna.

Participants in the research works of 2008 were Professor M. Korres, architects M. Magnisali and Th. Mpilis, archaeologist Dr Stavros Vlizos, students Erna Müller and Sophia Nomicos (University of Münster), and a team of ten excavation workers.

Subject: Report of the works completed in 2009 at the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. Pr. No .1327/27.10.2009

In accordance with the decision No. YPPO/GDAPK/ARCH/A2/F42/18142/673/18.9.2009 approval of the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organizations and International Matters of the Ministry of Culture, regarding the ongoing research project in the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios, the following works were carried out in 2009:

  • A systematic surface survey was made of the top of Agia Kyriaki hill, aimed at locating possible traces (cuttings) of the foundation of the Throne of Bathykles in sectors E, H 4-9. Due to the particularly disturbed area and the absence of thick deposits, the survey was exceptionally careful, in order to locate and investigate the earlier excavation trenches opened by Ch. Tsountas (1890) and E. Fiechter (1907). Six shallow, unfurnished pit graves were found, of dimensions approximately 1.75 x 0.55 m., two likewise unfurnished tomb of dimensions 3.00 x 2.30 m. each comprising two chambers, as well as six empty circular pits of dimensions of 1.20 x 0.60 m., in two of which two obsidian flakes were found. An intact Early Helladic vase was collected from the fill and without context.
  • Investigations were continued in the northwest part of the hill and in sectors M4, N3-7, X 3, 5, with the further excavation of the remains from Late Antique constructions brought to light last year. Traces of walls (W. 2, 3, 4) and of later constructions were revealed, along with two unfurnished cist graves (T1 and 2 in N5), of dimensions 1.70 x 0.55 m.. The capstone and the walls of grave 1 consisted of parts of architectural members from the Throne of Apollo, from which resulted, for first time, two intact architectural members of the monument (one dokis and one voluminous orthostat). Bones from eight skeletons were found inside the grave and permission was requested to transport these to a laboratory in Athens, in order to acquire anthropological and other information. A copper coin of the 6th century AD was recovered from the fill of the area where the later constructions meet the preserved part of the Peribolos.
  • The conservation and mending of broken parts from five architectural members of the Throne gathered at the archaeological site was completed. Tubular scaffolding and a lifting device with a 6 m.-long horizontal beam were installed for the needs of the task. The work was done by specialist marble craftsmen under the supervision of the architect Th. Mpilis and in accordance with the international standards governing this kind of intervention, both with regard to the materials and the execution.
  • The architects Maria Magnisali and Themistoklis Mpilis initiated a programme of test placements of the architectural members in certain ensembles of the monument. Aim of this work is the certain identification of the scattered material and its correlation with the extant ruin of the Throne. This work resulted in new data for the study of the representation of the Throne. Stones from the steps of a colonnade and the floor of the pteron were placed in groups, as well as of one wall of the monument with its euthynteria. Also, a test placement was made of correlated stones of the circular altar. Last, a model of the profile of the bases in the form of a lion’s foot was made and thus these particular architectural members, which are presently in the courtyard of the Sparta Archaeological Museum, were correlated with the steps of the Throne.
  • The programme of immediate measures of preventive conservation of the Geometric Peribolos (W.1) was completed. This was mandatory for the direct protection of the ruin, which was frail and exposed to the environmental conditions of the area because of its construction and its position on the hill slope. The application was in accordance with the international established principles governing analogous archaeological works.
  • The documenting, measured drawing and photographing of the new excavation trenches, of the architectural members as well as of this season’s finds continued.
  • The digitalization of architectural drawings was continued.
  • A geodetic or total station was used to create a dense network of benchmarks on the revealed remains, and the grid of the excavation sectors was applied in the field.
  • Professor Manolis Korres, in collaboration with the architects Th. Mpilis and M. Magnisali, studied thoroughly the limestone blocks of the colossal pedestal that supported 13 m.-high cult statue of Apollo and had been reused in a later building (Sectors Δ-Ε 4, 6-7). During this work, bronze nails that held in place the metal plates which adorned the exterior of the construction were located. The stones were drawn in large scale, resulting in the more detailed approach to the form of the dismembered pedestal of the cult statue.
  • The measured drawing, photographing and documenting of architectural members incorporated in the fabric of the church of St Kyriaki, as well as of the members in the storeroom of the Sparta Archaeological Museum, continued. For the church in particular, it should be noted that there are over 60 fragments in its walls! Many of them had been measured by E. Fiechter, the first scholar involved with the Throne, and had been included in his study of its representation. However, instead of being safeguarded, this material was fragmented and included as building material in the walls of the modern church of St Kyriaki in 1930. For the architectural members in the Sparta Archaeological Museum, the photographing and the measured drawing of the unseen surfaces of stones in the exhibition and in the storeroom are pending, since this work requires the moving of the material.
  • A cadastral table, essential for buying the properties surrounding the archaeological site today, was compiled, aimed at the new mapping of the limits of the archaeological site, its protection and its enhancement.
  • Steps were taken to purchase two properties, of the parish of Agia Kyriaki and of Mr Evangelos Tragkas, approximately 5 acres in total, which border the archaeological site to the north, for the sum of 12,500 euros.
  • At the beginning of this year’s research, it was evident that the temporary fencing of the site had been violated and the walls of the church had been vandalized with slogans in red spray paint, which harmed also the built-in architectural members of the monuments. We cleaned the exterior surfaces of church and repaired and extended the temporary fencing, including the newly acquired areas that border to the north.
  • In the framework of research aimed at locating further architectural members from the buildings of the Sanctuary, visits to sites of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monuments in the wider area continued. This work is ongoing. Concurrently, and in accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Culture (YPPO) regarding this year’s work, the plaster from the small church of St Nicholas at Amykles was removed and repositioned again, leaving visible only the architectural members certainly from the monuments the Sanctuary. Stones from the Throne and the Peribolos of the Sanctuary were located and documented, and measured drawings were made of the outside of the small church.
  • Entering of information into the database and its updating with those data resulting from the sum of the works carried out in the framework of the research project (excavation trenches, finds, architectural drawings, topographical data, photographs, etc,) continued.
  • A web page was created for the Research Project (in Greek and English) where all the information regarding the Sanctuary of Amyklai is reported in detail: http://amykles-research-project.wikidot.com/start.
  • The head of excavations, Dr Stavros Vlizos, presented the conclusions of research over the period 2008-2009 in a lecture delivered in the Archaeological Institute of the University of Göttingen.

Participants in the research works of 2009 were Professor M. Korres, architects M. Magnisali and Th. Mpilis, archaeologist Dr Stavros Vlizos, students Erna Müller and Sophia Nomicos, (University of Münster), A. Finkbeiner and K. Müller (University of Munich) C. Graml (University of Heidelberg), and a team of eleven excavation workers.

Subject: Report of the works completed in 2010 at the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. Pr. No . 1738/22.11.2010.

In 2010 and in accordance with the decision No. YPPO/GDAPK/ARCH/A2/F42/97724/ 2959/29.8.2010 of the Department of Greek and Foreign Scientific Institutions, Organizations and International Matters of the Ministry of Culture, regarding the ongoing project in the Spartan Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios, the following works were carried out:

  • The surface of the top of Agia Kyriaki hill was surveyed systematically in sectors H-Θ 1-2, with the aim of locating possible cuttings for the foundation of the circular stepped Altar (fig. 102). The stratigraphy of the area was badly disturbed, due also to the earlier excavations by Ch. Tsountas in 1890 and Ernst Fiechter in 1907. The volume of soil removed, ranging in thickness from 0.20 m. to 1.00 m., belonged entirely to a layer of more recent fill, with many modern objects, such as nails, fragments of roof tiles, pieces of lime plaster and shells from bullets. Under this fill and over the whole excavated area, a compact layer of pebbles was revealed, in which no traces from the foundation of the altar are preserved. However, just as in the area of the throne, which was investigated last year, it was ascertained that this layer represents the upper level of the bedrock of the hill. Nonetheless, for the present the thickness of the overlying layer has not been verified. Along the east limit of sectors H-Θ 1-2 and at a distance of roughly 0.20 m. to the west, some of the lowest courses of stones and traces of the foundation of a wall orientated north-south were found (fig. 103). Its construction with large limestone blocks in second use and lime plaster as mortar, suggests a dating in Late Antiquity or the Early Byzantine period. The north end was located in the northeast corner of sector K2, where the excavation was extended to include also sector I 2. As was verified in sector K2, this wall is founded on two of the three empty circular pits that were found there, together with an empty cist grave. The excavated part of the wall is 20 m. long, 0.40-0.60 m. wide and of maximum preserved height 1.10 m.
  • Between this wall and the east edge of sectors H-Θ2, three destroyed burials were located, of which only one partly preserves walls of rude stones. A little further to the west, two more circular empty pits were excavated, similar to the seven that had been found between the crepis of the Throne and the church of St Kyriaki during the works in the last few years. A fragment of an ivory plaque with representation of a female figure, of the Archaic period, was recovered from the recent fill of the southernmost pit. This is an exceptionally important find, the first known one of this category, which obviously had been an oversight of the previous excavations. In the southwest corner of sector I 3 and at the level of the foundation of the later wall, two intact architectural members from the Throne building were found, part of an entablature and a threshold, which were transported to the area where the architectural material is gathered.
  • In order to unify the areas in which the two most significant buildings of the Sanctuary stood, the Throne and the Altar, as well as to continue the investigation of the hill top, the excavation was extended in sectors H-Θ3 and Z-H4. After the modern fill was removed, approx. 0.20 m. thick, the same compact layer of pebbles was revealed here too, with no traces of the foundation of any construction.
  • In order to locate parts of the recently-found earlier Peribolos – retaining wall –of rude stones, as well as to answer questions regarding the dating of the already known Peribolos of big conglomerate blocks, the continuation of these walls was sought to the east, in sectors Γ 8-10, Δ9-10. Due to the nature of the terrain, that is the steep east slope of the hill, excavation was by no means easy. After the removal of the modern fill, the artificially levelled surface of the poros bedrock was revealed for a length of 25.00 m. and a width of 15.00 m.
  • The construction of the two Periboloi at the lower level of the hill should be linked with all the interventions made in Antiquity, in order to create terraces, which are connected with its similarly formed south side. The two terraces surrounding the hill in a semicircle from south and east to north are approx. 5.00 m. wide and the maximum difference in height is 2.00 m. On the lower is the foundation of the later Peribolos with conglomerate blocks. Along the upper terrace ran a shallow ditch, 0.40 m. wide and 0.17 m. deep, from where a thin layer of yellowish grey clayey soil was removed, along with a large quantity of Early Helladic pottery and one intact, two-handled cup of the same period. The remaining excavated area was covered by a layer of contemporary fill, with sherds of Late Geometric pottery decorated with representations of human figures, a fragment of an Archaic cup with incised letters, an Archaic bas-relief ivory leg of a male figure with greave and holes for its attachment to a wooden surface, terracotta figurines of animals and other objects.
  • On the northwest part of the hill, in sectors N 3-4, investigation of the remains of Late Antique constructions revealed in the years of 2008-2009 continued. The destruction layer, approximately 0.20 m. thick, with a host of fragments of roof tiles and some sherds of undecorated pottery, was removed from the west part of sector N 4. The revealed remains can be attributed to two buildings of unspecified shape and different chronological periods. What appears to be the earlier one, which is totally covered by the destruction layer, is founded on the bedrock of the hill. Indeed, it seems that it extended more to the west of the wall that crosses sectors N-Ξ 4 from south to north as central axis. During works in sector Ξ 4, in 2009, part of the north section of the excavated building and the wall had appeared, on the bedding surface of which sporadic traces of hydraulic plaster are preserved. Above the destruction layer, a floor was uncovered with square terracotta tiles and lime plaster, which must be related to the small, brick-built rectangular cistern and the drain in sector Ξ 4. This floor appears to belong to a second building, which extends into sectors N Ξ 4-5 and which, according to the inscribed herm of early 4th century AD found incorporated in the drain, is dated after the mid-4th century AD. On present evidence, such as the hydraulic plaster, the floor with terracotta tiles and the brick-built cistern with the drain, it may be assumed that there were water-collecting installations in this area in Late Antiquity.
  • Directly westward, in sector N3, a tomb was revealed, comprising two chambers of dimensions 2.00 m. x 1.30 m. and approximately 0.70 m. deep, the outline of which had already appeared in 2009. In the lower part of its walls is a zone of medium-size and large rude stones, 0.40 m. high, above which are successive courses of bricks, stone slabs and lime plaster. This last material has also been used to cover the whole surface of the floor. Dark soft soil mixed with small and big stones, crumbled bones and many fragments of roof tiles were removed from the interior of the tomb, confirming that it had been excavated in the past.
  • During 2010, the mending of fragments from architectural members of the Throne continued both at the archaeological site and in the storerooms of the V EPCA. Aim of this work is to restore the structural independence of the monument’s components. Titanium coils of different thickness were used, along with white cement (Portland type) and fine-grained quartz sand, while, wherever necessary, some plaster casts were made in order to complete the missing parts with new marble. Specifically, the following were mended:
  1. two (2) fragments from an orthostat of the Throne (No 28).
  2. three (3) fragments (No. 6 a, b, c) from an orthostat of the Throne (No A 09) completed new material.
  3. two (2) groups of orthostats with three (3) and four (4) fragments respectively (with various inventory numbers).
  4. four (4) fragments from the cornice of the Throne (Nos M5ABCD, Λ417-Λ416-Λ415, Λ395).
  5. two (2) fragments (No M20-M19) from the cornice of the Throne, with small completions in new material.
  6. three (3) s fragments from the sima of the Throne (Nos M3 ABCD).
  • In addition, one stone from the circular stepped Altar was restored partially (No 18) with the necessary completion in new material and the two parts of the herm were joined, the lower part of which had been found in the 2008 excavations and the upper part was identified by Nasos Themos in the storeroom of the Sparta Archaeological Museum.
  • The architects Maria Magnisali and Themistoklis Mpilis continued the test placements of architectural members in certain groups from the structural elements of the Throne and Altar that could be used for the suggestive enhancement of these monuments in the final configuration of the archaeological site. This work and the study of the relevant material yielded new data not only for the identification of scattered architectural members, but also for the representation of the monuments. In order to facilitate the works, two (2) flat platforms of dimensions 5.00 m. x 5.00 m. were created in the site.
  • Gathered on one platform was material that constituted the Throne’s crepis, as it is presented in photographs from 1920 in the German Archaeological Institute, before its looting for the construction of the more recent church of St Kyriaki. Placed on the same platform were stones from an entrance, from the steps of a stylobate with the contiguous internal floor, and from a wall with its eythynteria. The restoration of a wall entablature comprising numerous stones, most probably from the east wall of the Throne, took place in the storeroom of the V EPCA. In order to correlate the walls and the colonnades of the Throne’s wings (ptera), the traces from the contact of the small beams with the wall entablature and the cornices were detected, investigated and interpreted. This work will allow us to calculate the width of one of the wings of the Throne, as well as to proceed to the graphic restoration of at least one of the groups of small beams, for which we do not have the initial length. Gathered on the second platform and assembled in test placement were some of the correlated stones of the circular stepped altar.
  • Progress was made in the photographing, measured drawing and documenting of the architectural members incorporated in the fabric of the church of St Kyriaki, as well as of those in the Sparta Archaeological Museum. The fragments incorporated in the church, many of which had been measured, drawn and included in the study of the representation of the Throne by Ernst Fiechter, are more than 60. Instead of being safeguarded, this material was fragmented and used as building material in the walls of the modern church of St Kyriaki in 1930. For the architectural members in the Sparta Archaeological Museum, the photographing and the measured drawing of the unseen surfaces of stones in the exhibition and in the storeroom are pending, since this work requires the moving of the material.
  • The study of the conglomerate stones composing the conch of the earlier church of St Kyriaki continued. Indeed, the hypothesis that they might have initially constituted a continuous foundation in the internal structure of the Throne, for the bearing elements of its walls and the pedestal of the cult statue, is being investigated. These stones were scattered when the later buildings revealed in sectors Θ-I 2 and N-Ξ 3-6 were constructed. Based on their difficult interpretation and the even more difficult interpretation and dating of the conch, some data may emerge on the destruction of the Throne and the pedestal of the cult statue.
  • The excavation trenches, the architectural members, and the finds from this year’s work, were documented with drawings and photographs, which have been digitalized. For a more integrated mapping of the archaeological site and the works completed so far, the aerial photographing of Agia Kyriaki hill and the surrounding area was carried out by the photographer Kostas Xenikakis (cf. attached photographs).
  • In 2009, in the framework of the research project and in order to facilitate the works in progress on Agia Kyriaki hill, the Benaki Museum undertook (in accordance also with the approval YPPO/GDAPK/ARCH, A2/F42/76784/2341/10.10.2008) the compilation of a cadastral table, which is essential for the expropriation of properties surrounding the site. Aim of this necessary work is the mapping of the new boundaries of the archaeological site, for its protection and final enhancement. In February 2010, the process of purchasing two (2) properties (fields), of total area five (5) acres, was completed; these are adjacent to each other to the east and belonged to the parish of Zoodochos Pigi Ribiotissa and to Mr Evangelos Tragkas. Concurrently, all required actions for their transfer and donation through the V EPCA to the Ministry of Culture were completed, while the process of purchasing an area bordering the archaeological site to the south also began. A rubble masonry wall of dimensions 20 m. x 1.50 m. x 0.50 m. was built along the new east boundary, in order to retain the earth from the excavations.
  • Due to the reaction of the 5th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in Sparta, of the Holy Diocese of Monemvasia and Sparta, and of the Association of Greek Archaeologists, it has not been possible to remove the architectural members from the churches of Prophet Elijah and Sts Theodore, despite the approval of the relevant study by the Central Archaeological Council in May 2010.
  • The Research Project website (Greek, English, German) was updated with all the new information on the progress of the works: http://amykles-research-project.wikidot.com/start.
  • On 1 October 2010, the director of the Amyklai Research Project, Professor Angelos Delivorrias, presented the conclusions of research over the 5-year period 2005-2010 in a lecture organized and hosted by the Cultural Centre of Sparta.

Participants in the research works of 2010 were Professor M. Korres, architects M. Magnisali and Th. Mpilis, archaeologist Dr Stavros Vlizos, students Anne Haselhof and Sophia Nomicos (University of Münster), Uta-Paula Wenzel and Katrin Müller (University of Munich), Marc Tietz (University of Mainz), John Tully (University of Princeton), and a team of fifteen excavation workers.

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