Koutroulou Magoula in Phthiotida, Central Greece: A Middle Neolithic Tell Site in Context

Yannis Hamilakis, Nina Kyparissi-Apostolika, Thomas Loughlin, Tristan Carter, James Cole, Yorgos Facorellis, Stella Katsarou, Aggeliki Kaznesi, Areti Pentedeka, Vasileios Tsamis, Nicolas Zorzin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

Abstract

In this chapter, we present some of the main preliminary results of the Koutroulou Magoula Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography Project (begun in 2009), centered around the tell site of Koutroulou Magoula in northern Phthiotida, central Greece. The main occupation phase dates to the first two centuries of the sixth millennium B.C. This proved to be an extremely well-preserved, architecturally elaborate site, the inhabitants of which shaped its space of habitation through a range of substantial and probably communal works, such as terraces and perimeter ditches. The site is also materially rich, and various categories of data are currently under analysis and study, including a large and diverse collection of clay figurines (ca. 350 items to date). We then continue by placing the Middle Neolithic tell settlement in its wider social context, relying in particular on two categories of data: chipped stone and pottery (examined both macroscopically and through petrographic study). The analysis of chipped stone to date has shown that the site participated in a wide network of exchange and circulation of materials, information, and ideas. More than half of the assemblage (58 percent) is made of obsidian, most (if not all) of which has all the visual characteristics of coming from the Cycladic island of Melos. The rest of the material consists of different kinds of flint coming from various distant localities: from the Pindus Mountains to Albania and Bulgaria, and even further to the north. The analysis of pottery, on the other hand, attests to a more localized pattern of circulation and exchange. Painted pottery in particular gives the impression of a local production, with affinities to Achilleion, but also to pottery from Tzani Magoula, Pazaraki, and areas belonging to the so-called West Thessalian group. In pottery terms, Koutroulou Magoula seemed to have interacted more with the Thessalian tradition, and not with that of southern central Greece. An exception here is the few drinking vessels that show decoration patterns pointing to other “cultural” traditions (e.g. geometric patterns from southern central Greece). This macroscopic picture seems to be confirmed by petrographic analysis of both pottery vessels and figurines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunities, Landscapes, and Interaction in Neolithic Greece
EditorsA. Sarris, E. Kalogiropoulou, T. Kalayci, L. Karimali
Place of PublicationAnn Arbor, Michigan, USA
PublisherInternational Monographs in Prehistory
Pages81-96
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781879621473
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameArchaeological Series

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