Thursday, September 28, 2017

Update Database 0.038 for

The database for the site has been updated.  This is version


Regions around Aigion and Patras in Achaia have been clarified.

The following points have been added:

 C5000 ,  Stylia: Pyrgouthi: Fort 
 C5001 ,  Tarsina: Bouzaka 
 C5002 ,  Krinai: Zakoura 
 C5003 ,  Kryoneri, Kato Bathiza 1 
 C5004 ,  Helike 
 C5005 ,  Kallithea: Cem 
 C5006 ,  Kallithea: Hab 
 C5007 ,  Mylon: Ayios Nikolaos 
 C5008 ,  Keryneia: EH hab 
 C5009 ,  Krini: Ayios Konstantinos 
 C5010 ,  Petroto: Skodreika 
 C5011 ,  Prosilio: Cem 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Finding Prosilio

There has been a lot of excitement about the Chamber Tomb that was discovered in Boeotia near Orchomenos.  I didn't see the announcement until 9/26/17.  I was intrigued by it and set out to look for the site.

Orchomenos is here, on the western edge of what was the Lake of Copais in Boeotia.

The town sits on the eastern end of a long narrow ridge called 'Akontion' because of its resemblance to a spear.  (Here the vertical has been exaggerated.)  The little town of Prosilio, where the chamber tomb was found, sits on the south side of Akontion.  The arrow points to it.

How do we find out exactly where it was found? 

First I looked at the photograph here:

Photo by Yannis Galanakis,  Prosilio Excavation Project

Here's the crew working on what looks like the dromos to the chamber tomb (I'm not certain of this).

I guessed that here the crew is standing on the south side of Akontion and somewhere near Prosilio.  I then tried to recreate this photo in Google Earth.  Here's what I came up with:

The fact that I was able to confirm so many identifying characteristics in the photograph (how many do you recognize?) made me feel certain that I had found the right spot.  It is, in fact, the light-colored patch at the lower right.  Google Earth tells me that at this point I'm just 40 m. above the surface.  When we turn the view around we have this:

Here we're looking west towards the site which is the white patch in the upper center.

The actual site location is 38.501057 N, 22.932393 E       In the Mycenaean Atlas Project it is now C5011.

And just to put the icing on the cake it turns out that Google Street View is available for the road between the site and the light colored house.  Here it is:

The famous light colored house along with the identifiable tree.

Honestly I never get tired of doing this.  Google Earth is a lot more than just a set of maps.  

If you enjoy this kind of photo recreation of Mycenaean sites you might like this previous post where I locate a tholos tomb in Arcadia.

Please don't hesitate to write with reactions to this blog post.  I want to hear from you!

Follow me on Twitter:   @Squinchpix
...and on Google Plus: Robert Consoli

...and remember: Friends don't let friends do Facebook.

The Bronze Age in the Aigialeia

The major rail and roadway projects on the north coast of Achaea just a few years ago led to the discovery and emergency excavation of a number of new sites.  

I'm writing this post in an attempt to clarify some of the locations in this area and their significance.  

In the map above I show nearly the entire Gulf of Corinth.  Our interest is in the area around the classical city of Helike; the area in the red box.

Google has drawn in the major road and rail projects that I was talking about.

A closer picture of the area of interest.  Here we're looking south over part of the coast of northern Achaea. 

  The city of Aigion is just out of view to the right (west).  The rivers have been drawn in; from left to right (east to west) they are the Vouraikos, the Kerynites, and the Selinous.  The rivers have been one of the factors in creating the coastal plain which sits at the foot of the Arcadian massif.   But only one of the factors.  This is an active seismic zone and the coast has been subjected over millenia to both radical uplift and sinking movements of the earth's crust.  
  The most famous of these sinking movements occurred in 373 B.C. when the principal city of Aigialeia, Helike, was destroyed by a sudden sinking of the terrain.  A consequent tsumani flooded the city, killing everyone in it.  According to our sources the only things visible on the day after were the tops of the trees in the sanctuary of Poseidon.  The ruins beneath the waves were still visible in Pausanias' time.[1]  After that, though, the city was silted over, became invisible, and its location lost.  

Over the years the city of Helike became a goal of many archaeologists who considered that it must be a kind of Greek Pompeii; a city preserved not by lava but by submersion.  Spiridon Marinatos regarded it as the great unsolved puzzle of Greek archaeology and made strenuous attempts to find it - to no avail.  In the late 1960s Peter Throckmorton worked with Harold Edgerton and Jacques Cousteau in attempts to locate Helike in the waters off the coast but their efforts, too, were not successful.  

   Dora Katsonopoulou (Cornell) and her team tried sonar investigation of the same waters but were also unsuccessful.  Recourse to the original texts that described Helike's destruction convinced Dr. Katsonopoulou and her partner, the physicist Steven Soter, that Helike had been situated not on the coast but inland on a lagoon and consequently the place to search for Helike would be inland on the alluvial plain.[2]  They turned to the land and proceeded to use bore-holes in a systematic attempt to find the city.  By the early 2000's they were turning up evidence that the plain had been densely occupied in every period including the Bronze Age.  The search for classical Helike led to a much better understanding of the Mycenaean period in this area.

The most striking finds, from my perspective, were towns and cemeteries from the Bronze Age.

An EH habitation (C5004)

I started by trying to find the position of the EH town.  There is a detailed map of the bore-hole exploration results and I copied and positioned that map in Google Earth as an overlay.

Here is the map as it appears on the website[3].  The EH occupation site is the brown diamond at the end of the Roman road (the red line).

I overlaid this sketch map in Google Earth to try to get the most accurate position possible.  I show this in the next image.

Overlay of Helike Project map onto the Aigialeia showing the location of the EH site discovery.

Marking the EH settlement and then removing the overlay leaves us this:

The proposed EH site is just a short distance from the modern town of Rizomylo.  

The EH hab that I've been describing turns out not to be the primary focus of EH habitation in this area.  A short time after the discovery I've just been describing another EH discovery was made consequent to the building of the Corinth-Patras highway.  This was of a much larger habitation for which C5004 might have been the port.

The Primary EH habitation site near Rizomylos (C5008)

That rescue operation uncovered a major EH habitation site at the southern end of Nea Keryneia which borders Rizomylos to the NW.[4]  The location of the site can be determined from the Google Earth October 25, 2013 image.  I reproduce it here:

The visible houses at the upper right are in Nea Keryneia.  The highway is the major new Corinth to Patras highway.  This excavation had to be ongoing during 2011 at least because there's a Google Street View of this area from November of that year.

The excavated area shown in these pictures is about 2000 square meters but Dr. Kolias estimates its size at 50,000 square m. or about 5 hectares.  To give you an idea of how large this is I drew a circle of 126 m. radius (area of 50,000 sq. m.) over the site.  This does not give the configuration of the site; it merely suggests how large the site may have been compared to what's been excavated.  

Dr. Kolia says: 'The long period of occupation and the large settlement area indicate its central (administrative) role in the area of Helike during the 3rd millennium. Moreover, it has been established that early proto-urban centers were being formed in the Peloponnese during this period and the extended Early Helladic settlement in Keryneia should be included in that group'.[5]

The LH cemetery and Habitation at Kallithea (C5005)

On the hills overlooking the northward bend of the Kerynites river and not far east of Rizomylo there are two named areas, Lagades and Kallithea.  I show them in the next illustration:

Here we're looking at a close-up of the transition from the inland hills to the coastal plain.  The Kerynites river is at the lower right.  This is where it makes its final bend to the north and the Gulf of Corinth.  Lagades is the area in the upper center.  Kallithea is the continuation of that ridge at the lower left.  Between the two is a major Mycenaean cemetery [6].  

Extent of the Mycenaean Cemetery at Kallithea.  Recreation of Petropoulos [2004], pg. 269, fig. 2.

Giannopoulos says that the construction of a cistern in 1993 destroyed Grave no. 1 in that complex.[7]  The cistern is indicated by an arrow in the above illustration.

The LH Habitation at Kallithea (C5006)

The associated Mycenaean settlement was harder to find.  I found an online journal which described the site.[8]  The next illustration is their picture of it at the time when the excavation was still open.

To find the site I traversed the main highway in Google Earth which stretches from Athens to Patras and just beneath the named area of Kallithea.  I finally found it here:

It's located on the north side of the highway at 38.204560° N, 22.142454° E.  The Google Earth picture shows the site after it was finished and covered (with what looks like sand).

Let's put these Bronze Age sites all together:

Sites in white are Bronze Age.  Sites in red are modern towns.

In this illustration the four sites I described are labelled in white.  Modern towns are in red.

Positions of Interest:

a. EH Settlement 1 (Port?)  (C5004) 38.217707° N, 22.136815° E

b. EH Settlement (Primary Habitation) (C5008)  38.211994° N, 22.124381° E

c. LH Cemetery (C5005)  38.201882° N,  22.14287° E

b. LH Settlement (C5006) 38.204560° N, 22.142454° E

Please don't hesitate to write with reactions to this blog post.  I want to hear from you!

Follow me on Twitter:   @Squinchpix
...and on Google Plus: Robert Consoli

...and remember: Friends don't let friends do Facebook.


[1] In Strabo, Geography viii, 7. 2 (C384).  (English text here:*.html#ref431)  

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History (xv, 48), says that it happened at night. (English text here:*.html#ref20

Pausanias (vii.24.12-13) in Jones [1933] p. 219.  'The ruins of Helice too are visible, but not so plainly now as they were once, because they are corroded by the salt water.'

[2]  also

[3] And a very similar map in Katsonopoulou [2002], 179.

[4] Kolia [2013], 'IV. Keryneia'.

[5] Ibid.

[6] By Petropoulos in 1991.  See Giannopoulos [2008], 81.

[7] Giannopoulos [2008], 82, 'Nikoleika'.  "Bei Arbeiten für einen Zistemenbau, die 1993 die Gemeinde von Nikoleika ohne die Erlaubnis der Ephorie im Bereich des Gräberfeldes  durchführte, wurde mindestens ein Kammergrab zer­stört  (Grab 1)."

[8] Kolia [2013],  'Archaeological research in eastern Achaea'


Deger-Jalkotzy and Zavadil [2006]:   Deger-Jalkotzy, Sigrid and Michaela Zavadil (edd.), LH III C Chronology And Synchronisms II; LH III C Middle.  Proceedings of the International Workshop held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences at Vienna, October 29th and 30th, 2004.

Giannopoulos [2008]:   Giannopoulos, T., Die Letzte Elite der mykenischen Welt: Achaia in mykenischer Zeit und das Phanomen der Kriegerbestattungen im 12.-11. Jahrhundert v. Chr.Bonn: Habelt.  2008.,  "Nikoleika", 81.  Giannopoulos refers to this cemetery as 'Nikoleika' but it's clear that he means the cemetery between Kallithea and Lagades.

Jones [1933]:  PausaniasDescription of Greece, Volume III: Books 6-8.21 (Elis 2, Achaia, Arcadia). Translated by W. H. S. JonesLoeb Classical Library 272. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1933.

Katsonopoulou [2002]:  Katsonopoulou, Dora, 'Helike and her Territory in Historical Times',  Pallas (58) Habitat et Urbanisme: dans le Monde Grec de la fin des Palais Mycéniens à la prise de Milet (494 av. J.-C.), Table ronde Internationale organisée à Toulouse les 9-10 mars 2001 par le GRACO (Groupe de Recherche sur l'Antiquité Classique et Orientale) (2002), pp. 175-182.  Find it online here

Kolia [2013]:  Kolia, Erofili.  Archaeology & Arts, 'Archaeological research in eastern Achaea', December 16, 2013.

Petropoulos [2004]: Petropoulos, Michalis.   'A Mycenaean Cemetery at Nikoleika near Aigion of Achaia', in Deger-Jalkotzy and Zavadil [2006], pp. 253-285, 2004.  Online here:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

More Mycenaean Gamer Art

One of the pleasures of working in Google Earth is the often spectacular views.  I blogged about this before.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

This first is a view of the southern and central Messenia from the tops of the Taygetus range.  The blue dots are sites in the Mycenaean Atlas Project.  Viewer facing west.

In the center is the spine of Magnesia.  View is from the top of Olympus and viewer is facing south.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Implementation for WGS84 (lat,lon) conversion to Greek Grid (GGRS87)

In my last  post I said that I had found a site with an algorithm that would convert WGS84 (lat/lon) coordinates to the Greek Grid system (GGRS87).  I successfully converted that algorithm into a .php program and I present it here.  The lines commented out are the lines from the algorithm.  The immediately following line is my php interpretation of this.  As it is it rounds down to the whole meter.  But its accuracy appears to be of the order of one one-thousandth of a meter (millimeter).  Plenty good enough for the likes of us.


// from algorithm at:

//public static double[] ToGreekGrid(double lat, double lng)
function ToGreekGrid($lat, $lng)
//        {
//            lat = lat * Math.PI / 180;
$lat = $lat * M_PI / 180.0;
//            lng = lng * Math.PI / 180;
$lng = $lng * M_PI / 180.0;
//            var a = 6378137;
$a = 6378137;
//            var b = 6356752.31424518;
$b = 6356752.31424518;
//            var e2 = (Math.Pow(a,2) - Math.Pow(b,2)) / Math.Pow(a, 2);
$e2 = ($a * $a - $b * $b) / ($a * $a);
//            var v = a / Math.Sqrt(1 - e2 * (Math.Sin(lat) * Math.Sin(lat)));
$v = $a / sqrt(1 - $e2 * (sin($lat) * sin($lat)));
//            var X = v * Math.Cos(lat) * Math.Cos(lng);
$X = $v * cos($lat) * cos($lng);
//            var Y = v * Math.Cos(lat) * Math.Sin(lng);
$Y = $v * cos($lat) * sin($lng);
//            var Z = (v * (1 - e2)) * Math.Sin(lat);
$Z = ($v * (1.0 - $e2)) * sin($lat);
//            var px = 199.723;
$px = 199.723;
//            var py = -74.03;
$py = -74.03;
//            var pz = -246.018;
$pz = -246.018;
//            var rw = 0;
$rw = 0;
//            var rf = 0;
$rf = 0;
//            var rk = 0;
$rk = 0;
//            var ks = 1;
$ks = 1;
//            var c1 = Math.Cos(rw);
$c1 = cos($rw);
//            var c2 = Math.Cos(rf);
$c2 = cos($rf);
//            var c3 = Math.Cos(rk);
$c3 = cos($rk);
//            var s1 = Math.Sin(rw);
$s1 = sin($rw);
//            var s2 = Math.Sin(rf);
$s2 = sin($rf);
//            var s3 = Math.Sin(rk);
$s3 = sin($rk);
//            var D11 = c2 * c3;
$D11 = $c2 * $c3;

//            var D21 = -c2 * s3;
$D21 = $c2*(-1) * $s3;

//            var D31 = Math.Sin(rf);
$D31 = sin($rf);

//            var D12 = s1 * s2 * c3 + c1 * s3;
$D12 = $s1 * $s2 * $c3 + $c1 * $s3;

//            var D22 = -s1 * s2 * s3 + c1 * c3;
$D22 = $s1*(-1) * $s2 *$s3 + $c1 * $c3;

//            var D32 = -s1 * c2;
$D32 = $s1*(-1) * $c2;

//            var D13 = -c1 * s2 * c3 + s1 * s3;
$D13 = $c1*(-1) * $s2 * $c3 + $s1 * $s3;

//            var D23 = c1 * s2 * s3 + s1 * c3;
$D23 = $c1 * $s2 * $s3 + $s1 * $c3;

//            var D33 = c1 * c2;
$D33 = $c1 * $c2;

//            var X1 = px + ks * (D11 * X + D12 * Y + D13 * Z);
$X1 = $px + $ks * ($D11 * $X + $D12 * $Y + $D13 * $Z);

//            var Y1 = py + ks * (D21 * X + D22 * Y + D23 * Z);
$Y1 = $py + $ks * ($D21 * $X + $D22 * $Y + $D23 * $Z);

//            var Z1 = pz + ks * (D31 * X + D32 * Y + D33 * Z);
$Z1 = $pz + $ks * ($D31 * $X + $D32 * $Y + $D33 * $Z);

//            lng = Math.Atan2(Y1, X1);
$lng = atan2($Y1, $X1);

//            var lat0 = Math.Atan2(Z1, Math.Sqrt(X1 * X1 + Y1 * Y1));
$lat0 = atan2($Z1, sqrt($X1 * $X1 + $Y1 * $Y1));

//            b = 6356752.31414036;
$b = 6356752.31414036;

//            e2 = (Math.Pow(a, 2) - Math.Pow(b,2)) / Math.Pow(a, 2);
$e2 = ($a * $a - $b * $b) / ($a * $a);

//            while (Math.Abs(lat - lat0) > 0.0000000001)
while (abs($lat - $lat0) > 0.0000000001)
//            {

//                var No = a / Math.Sqrt(1 - e2 * Math.Sin(lat0) * Math.Sin(lat0));
$No = $a / sqrt(1 - $e2 * sin($lat0) * sin($lat0));

//                var h = Math.Sqrt(X1 * X1 + Y1 * Y1) / Math.Cos(lat0) - No;
$h = sqrt($X1 * $X1 + $Y1 * $Y1) / cos($lat0) - $No;

//                lat = lat0;
$lat = $lat0;

//                lat0 = Math.Atan(Z1 / Math.Sqrt(X1 * X1 + Y1 * Y1) * (1 / (1 - e2 * No / (No+ h))));
$lat0 = atan($Z1 /sqrt($X1 * $X1 + $Y1 * $Y1) * (1 / (1 - $e2 * $No / ($No + $h))));
//            }
//            lng = lng - 24 * Math.PI / 180;
$lng = $lng - 24 * M_PI / 180;

//            var m0 = 0.9996;
$m0 = 0.9996;

//            var es2 = (Math.Pow(a,2) - Math.Pow(b,2)) / (Math.Pow(b,2));
$es2 = ($a * $a - $b * $b) / ($b * $b);

//            var V = Math.Sqrt(1 + es2 * Math.Cos(lat) * Math.Cos(lat));
$V = sqrt(1 + $es2 * cos($lat) * cos($lat));

//            var eta = Math.Sqrt(es2 * Math.Cos(lat) * Math.Cos(lat));
$eta = sqrt($es2 * cos($lat) * cos($lat));

//            var Bf = Math.Atan(Math.Tan(lat) / Math.Cos(V * lng) * (1 + eta * eta / 6 * (1 - 3 * Math.Sin(lat) * Math.Sin(lat)) * lng * lng * lng * lng));
                     $Bf =  atan(tan($lat) / cos($V * $lng) * (1 + $eta * $eta / 6 * (1 - 3 * sin($lat) * sin($lat)) * $lng * $lng * $lng * $lng));

//            var Vf = Math.Sqrt(1 + es2 * Math.Cos(Bf) * Math.Cos(Bf));
$Vf = sqrt(1 + $es2 * cos($Bf) * cos($Bf));

//            var etaf = Math.Sqrt(es2 * Math.Cos(Bf) * Math.Cos(Bf));
$etaf = sqrt($es2 * cos($Bf) * cos($Bf));

//            var n = (a - b) / (a + b);
$n = ($a - $b) / ($a + $b);

//            var r1 = (1 + n * n / 4 + n * n * n * n / 64) * Bf;
$r1 = (1 + $n * $n / 4 + $n * $n * $n * $n / 64) * $Bf;

//            var r2 = 3.0 / 2.0 * n * (1 - n * n / 8) * Math.Sin(2 * Bf);
$r2 = 3.0 / 2.0 * $n * (1 - $n * $n / 8) * sin(2 * $Bf);

//            var r3 = 15.0 / 16.0 * n * n * (1 - n * n / 4) * Math.Sin(4 * Bf);
$r3 = 15.0 / 16.0 * $n * $n * (1 - $n * $n / 4) * sin (4 * $Bf);

//            var r4 = 35.0 / 48.0 * n * n * n * Math.Sin(6 * Bf);
$r4 = 35.0 / 48.0 * $n * $n * $n * sin(6 * $Bf);

//            var r5 = 315.0 / 512.0 * n * n * n * n * Math.Sin(8 * Bf);
$r5 = 315.0 / 512.0 * $n * $n * $n * $n * sin(8 * $Bf);

//            var Northing = a / (1 + n) * (r1 - r2 + r3 - r4 + r5) * m0 - 0.001 + 4202812 - 4207988.1206046063;
$Northing = $a / (1 + $n) * ($r1 - $r2 + $r3 - $r4 + $r5) * $m0 - 0.001 + 4202812 - 4207988.1206046063;

//            var ys = Math.Tan(lng) * Math.Cos(Bf) / Vf * (1 + etaf * etaf * lng * lng * Math.Cos(Bf) * Math.Cos(Bf) * (etaf * etaf / 6 + lng * lng / 10));

$ys = tan($lng) * cos($Bf) / $Vf * (1 + $etaf * $etaf * $lng * $lng * cos($Bf) * cos($Bf) * ($etaf * $etaf / 6 + $lng * $lng / 10));

//            ys = Math.Log(ys + Math.Sqrt(ys * ys + 1));
$ys = log($ys + sqrt($ys * $ys + 1));

//            var Easting = m0 * Math.Pow(a,2) / b * ys + 500000;
$Easting = $m0 * pow($a, 2) / $b * $ys + 500000;

$Northing = $Northing + 5176.122; // Added correction per comments

// echo $Easting.PHP_EOL;
// echo $Northing.PHP_EOL.PHP_EOL;

return array(0 => round($Easting), 1 => round($Northing));

//        }

/// main

//ToGreekGrid (37.97412198000, 22.59898503000);

list ($Easting, $Northing) = ToGreekGrid(37.97412198000, 22.59898503000);

echo $Easting.PHP_EOL;
echo $Northing;



You'll need a php interpreter to run this, of course.  If you want to copy this stand-alone program from Google Drive then click on this.

The main routine does nothing but call the routine ToGreekGrid and print out the Easting and Northing results.  You'll modify that, of  course.  I see no barrier now to my adding the GGRS87 coordinates to every entry  in the Mycenaean Atlas Project.

If you try this then let me know what you think.

Yannis Lolos and the GGRS87

I was fortunate to receive Yannis Lolos’ Land of Sikyon a few days ago.  This is an investigation of the territory formerly dominated by Sicyon in the western Corinthia.  Not only is the book a valuable reference but it’s a joy just as a physical object – a beautifully made book.

One of its features is a gazetteer of all the find spots in the territory of Sicyon from the Neolithic to the Early Modern.  Each place is described and precisely located.  Only one problem.  Dr. Lolos’ does not give the coordinates in ordinary lat/lon form (technically the WGS84 projection) but in the Greek Grid system (GGRS87/EGSA87) which will be incomprehensible to most readers.  

What to do?

I found an easy-to-use site that will allow you to convert coordinate pairs from the GGRS87 projection to the WGS84 (what humans use).  It is here: 

To use this site you enter the GGRS coordinates in the upper right-hand box separated by commas.  You press the convert button and the lat/lon pair shows up in the upper left-hand box.  

So let's use a little Mycenaean settlement called 'Klimenti, Mastrogianni'  (Lolos [2011], p. 425, 'HS-11', 'Klimenti, Mastrogianni') as an example.  This is a small area (about 0.7 ha.) for which Dr. Lolos gives us the four corner points in GGRS 87 easting/northing pairs.  The first coordinate is 376799, 4203582.  You enter it into the conversion interface like this:

The conversion screen.  Enter the GGRS pair in the  right upper window (center),
press the 'Convert' button, and read the lat/lon (WGS84) pair in the upper left window.

The illustration shows you the conversion process for that point.  It maps to point 1 in this Google Earth image:

Four corner points for the site of Klimenti, Mastrogianni (HS-11).
Coordinates are numbered in the order in which Lolos presents them on p. 425.

Our first coordinate is the white arrow numbered '1' in the image above.   The set of four coordinates is this:

                    Easting                  Northing                    Lat                 Lon
376799 4203582 37.97412198 22.59898503
376648 4203590 37.97417358 22.59726491
376653 4203631 37.97454367 22.59731479
376800 4203636 37.97460867 22.59898716

The 'file' button on this interface allows you to save a set of converted lat/lon pairs that have been converted to GGRS87 but I don't see that there's a way to create a file of GGRS87 points and have them converted all at once to WGS84.

I find an algorithm for converting from WGS84 to the Greek system at this web page:

This would have to be coded if I wanted, for example, to add the GGRS87 coordinate pairs to the 2000+ points in the Mycenaean Atlas Project, for example.  

I'll think about it.

Status of the Mycenaean Atlas Project:

I uploaded a new DB to  The specifications are: 

Database Update: Rev. 36. (MAP_Rev_0.036__09_13_17_Test)

Of the 1500 points in Dr. Murray's DB that I have targetted for initial integration I have completed about 1200.  There are currently 2055 separate sites in the Mycenaean Atlas Project DB.

Anyone who would like to have a copy of the MAP database can send an e-mail to bobconsoli 'at' or leave a comment on any of my posts.  To run the MAP database requires a SQL server running on your desktop computer.   MySQL is such a server and it is powerful, industry-standard, and free.   Anyone who has a version of the DB from more than a month ago should request a new one.

I can and will make .kml or .kmz files, which can be opened directly in Google Earth, available to those who would like them.
I can also create .csv files for people who would like to import Mycenaean Atlas Project data into Google Earth but would like it in tabular form.  I do recommend that you use the website at      Most of your needs can probably be met on that site and you can generate .kmz files for maps that you create.

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Lolos [2011]:      Lolos, Yannis A.   Land of Sikyon: Archaeology and History of a Greek City-State. Hesperia supplements, 39.   Princeton:  American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2011.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Psila Alonia Papers

The toponym 'Psila Alonia' appears several times on the map of Greece. Two of those places are identified with Mycenaean remains. In order to cut through the confusion I thought that I would make a list of places with this name.The first five are geographic features merely and have no BA connection of which I am aware. I include them for completeness’ sake.

A) A ridge at 38.077344, 22.60433. A north-facing ridge in the Corinthia. It is one km. south-west of the town of Xilokastro.

B) A ridge at 38.290027, 23.817217. A south and east-facing ridge in northern Attica. It is about 350 m. directly to the W of Markopoulo Oropou.

C) A low hill at 38.958275, 21.178778. It is part of a N-S running hill in Aetolo-Acharnania. It is about 1 km. north of Krikellos and about 3 km. E of the Gulf of Ambracia.

D) A ridge running NW-SE in Aetolo-Acharnania. 38.6768, 21.837039. It is about 850 m. W of the north branch of the Evinos Reservoir.

E) Part of an E-W running ridge system in Elis. 37.990816, 21.493335. The road from Mataranga to Michoi runs around the ridge on its S side.

Five completely insignificant places named Psila Alonia.

F) The Psila Alonia at Aigeira consists of two plundered LH IIIB-C chamber tombs. They were discovered in the mid-1950s and described by Verdelis. The acropolis of ancient Aigeira (C487, Iliad 2.573) is located on an acropolis ridge in the Corinthia here: 38.126664° N, 22.374290° E. Find a bibliography about this site in Papadopoulos [1979], p. 37, no. 69 Aigeira. It is an extensive site with building remains still visible and a theater at 38.128610° N, 22.377849° E. Interested readers can get a good view of it in Google Street View from the road from Lambinos to Eghes which runs around it on the E. On the S and E side of Aigeira (and on the E side of the road) there is a deep gully, perhaps some 100 ft. Across that gulley is another area called Psila Alonia. This Psila Alonia is the location of two LH chamber tombs. As Papadopoulos says ‘ the location Psila Alonia, the late Ephor Verdelis excavated a Mycenaean chamber tomb with burial pits both in the chamber and in the dromos. About 10 metres to the south another chamber tomb was excavated, but without dromos, and three pits dug in its floor. … The finds included bronzes and vases of LHIIIB-C.[1] The BCH gives the directions as follows: ‘Mr. Verdélis a fouillé une tombe á chambre au lieudit Psila Halonia (...), près de Derveni, á vingt minutes a l'Ouest des ruines de l'antique Aigeira; ...' [2]

Proposed location for Psila Alonia (C681, lower left) at Aigeira (center).  North to upper right.

 See also Desborough, ‘…at Derveni, in hilly country on the borders of Corinthia and Achaea, where a most interesting chamber tomb was discovered recently, …’ [3]. Simpson describes the site also: ‘Chamber tombs were found at Psila Alonia, about 1.5 km. to east-southeast of the acropolis, on the opposite side of a deep ravine.’ He dates them to LH IIIB-C based on similarities to some tombs (Metaxata (C585) and Lakkithra (C583)) on Kephallenia.[4] Giannopoulos gives a good description of Psila Alonia [5]: ‘Ca. 1,5 km südöstlich der Akropolis von Aigeira und jenseits einer tiefen Schlucht grub Verdelis zunächst ein W-O orientiertes Grab aus, das trotz des intakt gefundenen Trockenmauerwekverschlusses bereits durch das eingestürzte Dach geplündert worden war.’ Given this information I have placed the location of Psila Alonia (Aigeira) (C681) along the road which traverses the edge of the ravine, which borders Aigeira on the south, at 38.119677° N, 22.378763° E. This should be accurate to within 100 m.

G) Psila Alonia is the name of a square in Aigion which is a city on the south edge of the Gulf of Corinth. There is a significant LH chamber tomb cemetery (C488) just off to its west edge of the square at 38.252366° N, 22.080606° E. (It is signposted.) These chamber tombs are dug directly into the hill slope which is steep at this point. 

Photo of Gymnasion and Psila Alonia cemetery (C488) overlaid with diagram from Giannopoulos [2008] (Abb. 16, p. 77.  Taken, I think, from Papadopoulos [1976]). showing location of the cemetery.  The street is Solomou which is available in Google Street View.  Psila Alonia Square is just off-photo to the left.

 It was discovered by Yialouris in the late 1930’s and it was announced at that time. The intervening war prevented its excavation which did not take place until the 1950’s.  It was properly published in 1976 by A.J. Papadopoulos.  Giannopoulos says: ‘Im Gegensatz zu diesen kontextlosen Funden ermöglicht die systematische Ausgrabung und Publikation eines Teils des gleichen mykenischen Gräberfelds (Kallithea), das bereits als das Gräberfeld von Psila Alonia (Gymnasion) bezeichnet wird, bessere Einblicke in die Entwicklung der mykenischen Besiedlung dieser Region.’[6]  

The Psila Alonia Chamber Tomb complex at Aigion (C488).  Google Street View.  The Gymnasion is just on the other side of this slope.

Here Giannopoulos suggests that the names Psila Alonia, Kallithea, and Gymnasion refer to the same complex of graves.  The Psila Alonia cemetery complex, as distinct from the square, is in fact built into the side of a hill on which the modern Gymnasion (high school?) is situated ( 38.251639° N, 22.080340° E).  Giannopoulos continues: 'Die Gräber wurden am Nordhang eines Hügels angelegt, dessen Plateau für die Errichtung des Gymnasions eingeebnet wurde.'[7]

H) Psila Alonia is the name of a square in Patras in Achaia (38.241116° N, 21.735160° E).  It is not far from LH cemetery complexes near the Patras Odeion (C686) but it has no specific connection to BA finds that I am aware of.


[1] Papadopoulos [1979], no. 70. Dherveni (Psila Alonia), p. 37. And the useful bibliography.
[2] In Georges Daux, ‘Chronique de fouilles’, BCH (82), p. 726. Under ‘Dervéni’. 1958.
[3] Desborough [1964/2007], p. 86.
[4] Simpson [1981], no. D 22 Derveni: Solos (Ancient Aigeira), p. 89.
[5] Giannopoulos [2008], ‘Derveni’, pp. 93-4.
[6] Ibid., 76

[7] Idem.

Desborough [1964/2007]: Desborough, V.R.d'A., The Last Mycenaeans and Their Successors: An Archaeological Survey, c. 1200 - c. 1000 B.C., Wipf & Stock, 2007. Originally published in 1964 by Oxford University Press.
Giannopoulos, T., Die Letzte Elite der mykenischen Welt: Achaia in mykenischer Zeit und das Phanomen der Kriegerbestattungen im 12.-11. Jahrhundert v. Chr., Bonn: Habelt. 2008.
Papadopoulos [1976]: Papadopoulos, A.J.  Excavations at Aigion-1970.  Göteborg, 1976.  (I have not consulted this work.)

Papadopoulos [1979]: Papadopoulos, Thanasis J., Mycenaean Achaea; Part 1: Text. Paul Åströms Förlag, Göteborg, Sweden. 1979. Vol 1. ISBN: 91-85058-83-1.
Simpson [1981]: Simpson, Richard Hope. Mycenaean Greece. Park Ridge, New Jersey: Noyes Press, 1981.