Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Achaia-Klauss and environs in the Prehistoric

Achaia has benefitted from much recent scholarship that demonstrates how pervasive Mycenaean culture was during the Late Helladic.  However, enthusiasts, and even scholars, when attempting to learn about Achaia in the Bronze Age, are faced with confusing and unclear maps as well as multiply-named sites that make it difficult to get a clear picture of Mycenaean influence in this time and place.  

It is time for a series of clear blog posts that look at the important sites and which use clear maps for the purpose.  This post is the first in that series.  I have begun with the area covered by the orange rectangle in this next aerial photo.  Let's call this the Achaia-Klauss complex.

C494Koukoura/Achaia  Klauss38.19613321.774009Cemetery
C7531Skondreika38.19430521.778006 Settlement
C500Petroto: Tholos38.19381721.76769Tholos
C7532Hagios Konstantinos Β38.18690821.764875Cem
C5009Hagios Konstantinos Α38.18567421.766758Cem

Many more details about these sites are available at the ID field links.

The region shown in the map is on the western foothills  of Mt. Panakaikos.  In this area the foothills take the form of long ridges orientated primarily NW-SE.  On the NW edges of these ridges, about 5 km.  from the ocean on the WNW and overlooking the plain of Patrai, a series of settlements sprang up in the Middle and Late Helladic.  Mygdalia (C3148) was, perhaps, the earliest of these settlements; its presence is attested as early as MH III.  A tomb associated with it (C7530) was constructed in 'early Mycenaean times'.  A second settlement at Skondreika (C7531) on the hill of Koukoura may have been a later contemporary of Mygdalia.  The owner of this site has refused access to investigators and little is known about it.  In the immediate vicinity there are two known cemeteries.  One is the well-known chamber tomb cemetery (C494) at the eastern edge of the Klauss vineyard.  The other (C500) is of tholos form and located at the west edge of the hill on which sits the Klauss winery.  The first  use of this tomb is given as LH II.

Two additional cemeteries are nearby and it is thought probable that they are associated with C3148 or C7531.  The first of these is Hagios Konstantinos Α (C5009) and the second is Hagios Konstantinos Β (C7532).  Panagiotopoulos suggests that the chamber tombs here were used from LH IIIA to C.

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