Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 15
Neolithic and Bronze Age Settlement in Western Macedonia Author(s): Dimitra Kokkinidou and Katerina Trantalidou Source:

Neolithic and Bronze Age Settlement in Western Macedonia Author(s): Dimitra Kokkinidou and Katerina Trantalidou

Source: The Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. 86 (1991), pp. 93-106

Published by: British School at Athens Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30102875 Accessed: 27-02-2017 19:41 UTC

REFERENCES Linked references are available on JSTOR for this article:


You may need to log in to JSTOR to access the linked references.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://about.jstor.org/terms

Conditions of Use, available at http://about.jstor.org/terms British School at Athens is collaborating with JSTOR to

British School at Athens is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The

Annual of the British School at Athens

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms




It is widely acknowledged that the study of Macedonian prehistory can make a va

contribution to our understanding of the basic problems of Aegean and Balkan preh

Owing to its key position at the crossroads of ancient routes between the Mediterr

world and the Balkan peninsula, Macedonia can provide prehistorians with evidenc

will help to define the chronological relations and the cultural influences exe

between these regions in the course of prehistory. The amount and extent of prehi

research in Macedonia, especially in its western part, compares ill however wit

conducted in southern Greece and Thessaly. Although the foundations of Mace

prehistoric archaeology were laid as early as the mid war period, it was only during the

decades that systematic investigations were started in these hitherto neglected provi

The subject of this paper is the development of human settlement through the ne

and bronze ages in one part of Macedonia: the geographical unit that is defined by rivers Aliakmon and Axios. The choice of the area as the focus of investigation ha

suggested by the hypothesis that geographical zones may form a historical bas

human activity, and cultural zones be identified accordingly with distinct physiogr

units. The area selected for research is one such unit forming consecutive basins wh divided into valley systems by means of mountain ranges.

The work is partly based upon previous field studies as well as upon fieldwork c

out by the authors.2 Certain sections within the study area were chosen for o

fieldwork where a gap in previous research was particularly apparent. These lands

known administratively as the prefectures of Florina and Pella and geographically a

basins of Prespa, Florina and Vegoritis, the Giannitsa plain and the Almopia basin.

decision to conduct fieldwork in these areas was determined by the need to lay som

of foundation for the study of local prehistory which is poorly documented.

The aim of the survey was to identify prehistoric sites and to use information on

types and distribution patterns to form hypotheses about the manner in which th

was inhabited. In the course of the project it became evident that the area in questi contribute to our knowledge of the forms of prehistoric habitation. Tell sites, whi

regarded as typical of Macedonia, proved to be only one of the various types of settl

flat or low sites are quite common in the plain, and in the hill areas different proce

formation have resulted in other types represented by flat-topped ridges or 'acro

settlements. These should provide a rewarding subject of future research. Moreover

' Hellenic Army Geographical Service Map, 1:50,00ooo, Region-

2 We should like to thank Dr Maria Karamanoli-

al series (1970); Geological Map of Greece, 1:500,ooo, Institute

Siganidou, Ephor of Prehistoric and Classical Antiqu

for Geology and Surface Research (i954); L. Faugeres,

for Western Macedonia, for permission to visit sites a

Recherches geomorphologiques en Grece septentrionale, Paris, H.

study material in local museums. We also wish to thank

Champion (1978) 2 vols.

Mr Theodoros Hatjitheodorou for preparing the map.

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms















Prehistoric Sites in Western Macedonia





This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


significance of the region is demonstrated by the evidence for continuous occupat

most sites from prehistoric down to historical times.

Despite the limitations imposed by a single-handed and privately sponsored

which has necessarily been extensive rather than intensive, our original fieldwork

the discovery of thirty two and ten new sites in the prefectures of Florina and respectively. Ninety six sites are included in the catalogue compiled (map and tab

with the exception of nine sites that have produced pottery of undiagnosed phase.

The results presented here should not be regarded as final, but as a basis for f

more comprehensive study which, if combined with systematic excavation w

survey, would make possible the reconstruction of prehistoric settlement patterns

part of Macedonia.


The basin lies in the Greek-Albanian border area and is enclosed by Mts.

east and Mali i Thate, Sua Gora and Morave to the west. Most of th

occupied by Lake Mikri Prespa which seems to have been lower in antiqui

Natural communication with the adjacent basins of Korytsa to the west,

north, Kastoria to the south and Florina to the east is confined to a few n

The earliest known settlements seem to belong to the bronze age.

neolithic habitation may either be due to possible loss of sites as a result o

or to the geographical isolation of the area itself which would not

occupation at this date. Nevertheless, evidence of early neolithic set

neighbouring basins of Korytsa and Pelagonia lends support to the former

Two sites in our area have produced surface hand-made pottery of brow

probably of the late bronze-early iron age. They both lie at an altitude of

fortified (Oxya-Mikrolimni, Trigonon); they may be related to the fortifi

Korytsa, which are attributed to the early iron age, though an earlier d

been suggested.5

'(P.M. H ltoCg, "AgxcOa6TTrTEg XiaLV tvax AUTLxilg

Academie Bulgare des Sciences (1969) 198.

Maxeovcag ADelt, 17, B, XQovtix (1961-62) 225-6.

' F. Prendi, 'La civilisation prehistorique de Maliq',

The transition from the late neolithic to the early b

age has been attested in Tren Cave at the southea

Studia Albanica 3 (1966) 255-80; Ib., 'Traits du neolithique end of the lake, in Albanian territory, where occup

recent en Albanie, a la lumiere de nouvelles decouvertes

continues until historical times: M. Korkuti and S. Anam-

(la civilisation de Maliq-Kamnik)', Studia Albanica 9 (1972)

3-13; Ib, 'Le ndolithique et l'eneolithique en Albanie', Iliria

6 (1976) 49-87; Ib., 'Aperqu sur la civilisation ndolithique

et l'fige du bronze en Albanie', Studia Albanica 4 (1967)

ali, 'Fouilles archeologiques 1965-1966 en Albanie', Studia

Albanica 4 (1967) 142-5; M. Korkuti, 'Fouilles archiologi-

ques 1967-1969 en Albanie', Studia Albanica 8 (I97I) 134-9;

F. Prendi, 'L'age du bronze en Albanie', Iliria 7-8 (1977-8)

163-82; Ib., 'The prehistory of Albania', CAH 3(1) (1982)

27; lb., CAH, op. cit. 201-6.

187-237; A. Benac, 'Les groupes ndolithiques en You-

goslavie': Actes du Ier Congres International des ltudes

Balkaniques et Sud-Est Europeines, 29/8-1/9-1966. Sofia,

5 G. Karaiskaj, 'Les fortifications illyriennes du premier

age du fer dans les environs de Korc Iliria 6 (1976)

197-221; N. Ceka, personal communication.

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms



The Kastoria basin extends between Mts. Voion to the west-southwest and Mouriki to the

east-southeast and is connected with the neighbouring basins by means of narrow va which are traversed by tributaries of the river Aliakmon. The Kleisoura ridge to the provides access to the Ptolemais basin.

This area has not so far been explored systematically, and the only evidenc

prehistoric occupation, possibly of middle neolithic date, derives from Dispilio on t

southern shore of Kastoria Lake, which came to light as a result of the lake's p

drainage.6 A remarkable architectural feature of the site are the remains of numer

cedar posts (over 500oo), I m in length, which were laid, 0.65-I.50 m below the soil sur

Although pile-dwellings were in use across Macedonia and the Balkans during pr

tory,' it is only Dispilio along with Maliq in Albania that have produced well preser



This geographical unit is formed between a range of mountains including Varnous

Vernon to the west and Voras to the east, and is bordered to the south by the

eminences of Vevi. A route to the basins of Prespa and Kastoria to the west lies th

the Pisoderi ridge, and the Kleidi straits to the south leads to the Vegoritis basin. Be

the Greek-Yugoslavian frontier the Florina basin stretches into the Pelagonian

which is drained by the river Erigon. This is the widest subsidence of the Pelagonian

and the largest plain of Macedonia.'0

6 A. KeqcQttp6xovXXog, "EQFetvL iv AUTxti

1o L. Rey, 'Observations sur les premiers habitats de la

MctaXc6ovLa', HAE (1938) 53-66; K.A. Wardle, 'The

Macedoine', BCH 41-43 (1917-19) 170; L. Faugeres, op.

cultures': M.B. Sakellariou (ed.), Macedonia: 4000 years of

cit., 31.

Greek history and civilization, Athens, Ekdotike Athenon

(1983) 10.

Sixty nine prehistoric settlements have been recorded in

Pelagonia, twenty four being located in the plain south of

7 A. KctjovXXog HAE, op. cit., 58-61; 1.

MaoQLvd&rog, 'OXtLtvctog oLxtoItbg KaOTOQLdg, AAA i

(1968) 162-7; A.K. Av6QEriWtivov tXLt I.H.

ToJdQTooy)oU, "AgactL6T'TeTg xaL tvltvijot 'HtccOlCtg

xCatL AUTLXfg Mctxebovlag', ADelt 24, B2, XQovtxd (1969)

314; Q. Hi(toog, 'AQLoat6TrTEg xa Ltvqjta[i KETvltxfig

Maxcbov(tag', ADelt 24, B2, XQovtx& (1969) 202; lb.,

XQovtiX atQXcatokoytix 1968-70, Maxe6ovexd, 15 (I975)


the river Erigon and the town of Monastiri: L. Rey, op. cit.,

170-5; D. Simoska and V. Sanev, Prehistory in Central

Pelagonia, Bitola, Naroden Mysei (1976). Neolithic occupa-

tion has been attested at forty eight settlements, and

Porodin and Velucina are the key sites for the tracing of

pottery development from the early neolithic: M. Grbi' et

al., Porodin, Kasnoneolitsko naselje kod Bitolja, Bitolj (1960); D.

Simoska and V. Sanev, op. cit.; D. Basler et al., Praihistorija

jugoslavenskih Zemalja, Sarajevo, Akademija Nauk Bosne i

8 RJ. Rodden, 'Excavations at the early neolithic site at

Nea Nikomedeia, Greek Macedonia (1961 season)', PPS 28

(1962) 267-88; D. Simoska et al., 'The settlement of

Crnobuki and the problems concerning the culture of the

same name in the light of new archaeological researches',

Makedonica Acta Archaeologica 2 (1976) 64-83; K. KwTodTxyg,

'AjtoxaTrdomrTao xraT6dpewv acoootaX6nlxTmyv otxqdRmoV

[LE TI 3oOEL0Eto e'xTQovtLXOI TVOXoytocil orqv avctoxctcpl

Mav&dXov A. MaxEbov(ag', Et)aLrrvr, T6tog iurLtTXo6g

yit ov xaOlypIril N. HnXTovao, HQ6dxXto, A'log

HQaxXkelov (1987) 117-24.

Hercegovine 2, 3 (1979); M.V. Gara'anin, 'The stone age

in the central Balkan area', CAI2 3:1 (1982) 87-Ioo. Later phases have been studied at Mala Toumba (middle neoli-

thic), Velika Toumba (late neolithic), Crnobuki (transi-

tional late neolithic-early bronze age) and Varos (late bronze age): D. Simoska and V. Sanev, op. cit.; M.V.

Garaganin, 'The eneolithic period in the central Balkan

area', CAL2F, 3:1 (1982) 136-62; lb., 'The bronze age in the

central Balkan area', CAlF 3:I (1982) 163-86. In terms of

morphological features the majority of settlements can be

classified to the tell type, a characteristic tall and steep-

' F. Prendi, Studia Albanica (1966) op. cit. 255; lb., CAH,

sided mound, derived from the residues of long occupa-

op. cit., 205.

tion. An average size of 2 to 3 ha and height of up to 8 m

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


In the Florina basin the neolithic period is poorly documented. At Ar

Heurtley had assigned certain vessels to the late neolithic, but his observatio

challenged by modern research." Late neolithic occupation is also hinted at

of the table type, measuring 0.20 ha, which is situated on a ridge southeast of

Meliti. Both sites were inhabited during the early bronze age.

Thirteen settlements were founded in the early bronze age either in the

ridges or low hills at an average of 6oo to 8oo m respectively.12 These are co

or elongated tables measuring 2 ha on average. The average minimum dista

the smaller sites is 2 km, while the larger are distributed from 6 to 13 km a

the abandonment of settlements by the end of the early bronze age is

destruction, as suggested by surface layers of burnt clay, is difficult to dec

the late bronze age introduces a new habitation pattern whose main feature is

sites to natural routes of communication at the outlet of small valleys. Four

can be attributed to this period, and their actual size is difficult to calcula

extensive historical occupation.


Between the rocky eminences of Vevi and Kozani extends a fertile plain en blocks of mountains including Vernon, Mouriki and Askos to the west, Ve

east and Voras to the north, and a range of hills to the south. This area hold

Vegoritis, Petres, Cheimaditis and Zazari, and the floor of Lake Sarig6l or Ki drained in I950s.'3 Natural communication with the basins of Kastoria and G

west is possible through the ridges of Kleisoura and Siatista respectively, w along the shore of Lake Vegoritis leads to the Edessa basin in the east. The

to the north provide access to the Florina basin, and the Kadova passage to t

links upland with lowland Macedonia. Further south a route through the h

leads to the middle Aliakmon valley. Twenty-one prehistoric settlements have been recorded in the lakeland, an

fifteen have been located around the drained marches in Kitrini Limni.14

has been suggested for the majority of the sites: Maxrebovtag D. - OEQxng, YH-IO, AHO (1988), 52.

Simoska and V. Sanev, op. cit. io-- I; M.V. Garaianin, op.

cit. 97.

vrxQor6XkwESB.F. KakoXTllg,'v Ko6v%', H1AE"Avcaoxacil(1950) 291,agaLagpl. 7; Ib.,

" Y. Beguignon, 'Chronique des fouilles et decouvertes

arche'ologiques' BCH 55 (i931) 498-9; W.A. Heurtley,

Prehistoric Macedonia: an archaeological reconnaisance of Greek

Macedonia (west of the Struma) in the neolithic, bronze and early

iron ages, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (1939)

57-58, 76; R. Treuil, Le niolithique et le bronze ancien Ege'ins: les

problemes stratigraphiques et chronologiques, les techniques, Paris,

Bibliothique des Ecoles Franqais d'Athenes et de Rome

(1983) 85-86.

12 K. TQavTaklou, 'HgQOL*oTopoLX oLtxtoo(l g

kexdvEg DktbotLvag xat A tvTaLov', AQXala Maxe6ovta

5, Orooakov(xq, IMXA, in press.

" M. G eLda66g, 'K 'TQtvq AL vogov' KoCdvylg, 1987.

HQoioToQtxilgeQva', To aQXato)oytx6 Eyo arru Maxe-

6ov[a xat &Oerx/, i, 1987, ecooakx, YnouQyEo

"Avaoxaqpil &QXcag vexQoxr6Xo;g kv Kod6v%', HAE

(1958) 96; . H fIrotag, 'MUxrlVCtx~t 6oTQaxa kx Koadv1g

xat Fmtovlag', AE (1953-4) 113-28; lb., XQovtxx

aQXatookoytxd, Maxe6ovtxd, 7 (1966-7) 350; lb., XQovLx&

XQovtx aQXo.okoytx& aQXatokoytxa 1968-70, '1968-70, Maxedovtxd MaxE6ovtxa 14 (1974) i5 236-7; (I975) lb.,

300; M.S.F. Hood, 'Archaeology in Greece, 1954', AR

(0954) 14; lb., 'Archaeology in Greece, 1958', AR, (I959) 13;

Ecole Frantaise, 'Chronique des fouilles et d6couvertes arch6ologiques en Grbce', BCH 79 (1955) 254; G. Daux, 'Chronique des fouilles en 1958', BCH 83 (1959) 605; R.

Hope-Simpson, 'A gazetteer and atlas of mycenaean sites',

Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, University of

London, supp. 16 (1965) 113; Ib., Mycenaean Greece, New

Jersey, Noyes Press (1981) 178; D.H. French, 'Pottery

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


In Kitrini Limni the habitation pattern consists of large low-spreading mou

above the surrounding plain as well as flat sites, 7oo m a.s.1.; and two settle

hills overlooking the plain at an altitude of 8oo m.

Maximum height is 3 m, and site size ranges from 2 to 8.50 ha, or 5 ha o similar pattern can be seen in the Vegoritis area where settlements possess

shallow mounds or flat sites in the plain of an average height of 2 m; four si

founded on natural ridges. The average size is 2 ha, with the exception of Veg

measures to ha, and minimum distance is 2 km.

Evidence for early neolithic occupation has been produced by the mou Dimitrios-Koilada in Kitrini Limni. The middle neolithic period is repres

sites; a find-spot has been identified north of Lake Cheimaditis (Anargyroi

rest are located in Kitrini Limni. The late neolithic is attested at twenty-two s

in Kitrini Limni). During the early bronze age there was a decrease in site nu

part of the basin, unlike the Vegoritis area. Eleven and sixteen settlements

can be attributed to the early bronze age, and habitation becomes sparse

bronze age which is found at eight sites including only two in Kitrini Limni.

Environmental reasons may lie behind the abandonment of the settlemen Limni by the end of the early bronze age. A possible formation of the lake

phase could have cause flooding of previous arable land and forced the o

different types of sites in the vicinity of the old settlement such as terraced

Other factors may include movement to upland grazing as a result of a larg

component in the economy, or a truncation of the catchment territories, sinc minimum distance between settlements is less than 1.5 km.

On the basis of the ceramic evidence certain cultural links can be established between

the neolithic settlements in Kitrini Limni and the Thessalian tradition. During th

neolithic, in particular, the Thessalian influence is manifested by the occurr

polychrome or painted pottery of the Arapi and classic Dimini classes.16

In the Vegoritis area three early bronze age sites continued to be occupied, and

new sites were founded in the late bronze age. There is no apparent change in

distribution in relation to that observed in the preceding periods.

In addition to settlement sites, a burial site is reported from the lakeland. This is

circle of ten cist graves which has been described as belonging to a middle bronze

double tumulus;17 the burials appeared temporarily near the village of Arnissa as a

of a lowering of the level of Lake Vegoritis.18

distributions and the geographical regions of Macedonia',

"7 N.G.L. Hammond, An history of Macedonia: historical

Zbornik Narodnog Muzeia, 6 (1970) 5-19; X. KouxoIX6i-

geography and prehistory, Oxford, Clarendon Press, i (1972)

XQUGovO(x1, 'H Avttxil Maxea oylv HIQooJToQla.

NEotOtxij ' eroox', TQ ro vvideto IarogQag,

266-7; lb., 'Grave circles in Albania and Macedonia': R.A.

Crossland and A. Birchall (eds), Bronze age migrations in the

Aaoyapag, FAwuooouooyag, HaQadootaxrg

AQxtrexrovtxg r rg Boiaxg Eariag OEoa)aoveXrg

(1982) 98-128; F. KagagilrgoV-MEvTceoJLq,

Aegean: archaeological and linguistic problems in Greek prehistory,

London, Duckworth (i973) 190.

" J.M. Cook and J. Boardman, 'Archaeology in Greece,

'lfQoioTOQLtxo otixtoLXGL uTg K(`fLtvVg ALgvrqg (captyxyt6k)

Kodvlg', Ayr7rdg, Tutflx6g 6Tog yta Tov xaoyydh'ril M.

AvQ6vtLxo, E)ooxakovLxfl, i, (1987) 391-416; M.

(oWtta6qg, AyrT6g, op. cit.; K. TQavTaVX8ov, op. cit.

1 M. qortLdtg, op. cit. 59.

16 D.H. French, Zbornik Narodnog Muzeia, op. cit.; X.

k TQLTo Uvtbo IolToQ(Llag ,

op. cit.; F. KQaQ TQOV-MEVTE A~rp6g, op. cit.

1953', ]HS 74 (1954) 159; Ecole Frangaise, 'Chronique des

fouilles et decouvertes archeologiques en Grece en 1953', BCH 78 (i954) 95-224; G. Daux, 'Chronique des fouilles et

d6couvertes archdologiques en 1959', BCH 84 (1960) 767;

F. Schachermeyr, 'Forschungsbericht uber die Ausra-

bungen und Neufunde zur Agaischen Frfihzeit 1957-60',

AA I (1962) 187; . HI-I'octg, Max-E6ovtxad 7, op. cit., 308.

The nature of the middle bronze age is little understood

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms



Ringed by chains of mountains, Pindos to the west, Vourinos to the east

south and a range of hills to the north, this valley is crossed by active Aliakmon, with its source in the mountain massif between Pindos and G

down from the northwest and finally turns to the southeast, and in the tributaries, Venetikos and Greveniotikos, flow from the west and join th

river approaches lowland Macedonia by means of a practically impassabl

the lower slopes of Pieria and Vermion near Velvendos. A route to Thessa

wide watershed ridge between the Aliakmon and Sarantaporos, a tributa

which connects western Macedonia with the Elasson basin.

The British excavations at Servia and Platanaki (Boubousti) have provided so

information on the nature of prehistoric settlement, but these matters will become

when the results of a systematic survey, currently being conducted, are fully published

Prehistoric habitation has been identified at six sites on hillslopes or rocky emi

350 a.s.l., and a linear settlement pattern can be seen along the river's course. Exca

at Servia has brought to light the remains of a farming community with phases sp from the early neolithic to the early bronze age.20 The settlement lay on the easter

of the Aliakmon and was a low-spreading mound i ha in size and 4 m in height; i longer visible being below the surface of the artificial lake of Polyfyto. The mai

produced only a very small amount of early neolithic material, but levels of this da

uncovered 500oo m downstream on the lower river terraces (Servia V). In addition to Ser

middle neolithic occupation has been recognised at Profitis Ilias Cave, a limestone

on a rocky eminence.21 Both sites continued to be occupied through the late neolit

early bronze ages. The latter phases are also represented at Velvendos, an elongated

i ha in size and 8 m in height, which stands on the foothills of Pieria.22 Early bro

finds appeared after a trial excavation at Neraida, a precipitous hill north of the

carrying the Kozani-Larisa road.23

in Macedonia as a whole, since this phase is still difficult

poulou, 'Prehistoric settlement of Servia (West Macedo-

to distinguish stratigraphically. Grey Minyan ware, the

nia). Excavation 1971', AAA 5 (1972) 27-34; K.

hallmark of the middle Helladic period in mainland

Rhomiopoulou et al., 'Prehistoric settlement of Servia

Greece (D.H. French, 'Migrations and "Minyan" pottery

(West Macedonia). Excavations 1972', AAA 6 (1973)

in Western Anatolia and the Aegean': R.A. Crossland and

419-26; K. Rhomiopoulou and C. Ridley, 'Prehistoric

A. Birchall, op. cit., 51-7) is rare in Macedonia, being

settlement of Servia (West Macedonia). Excavations

restricted to some wheel-made imports on the coast: W.A.

1973', AAA 7 (1974) 351-60; C. Ridley and K.A. Wardle,

Heurtley and C.A.R. Radford, 'Two prehistoric sites in

(1966) io6, fig. 3. The transition to the middle bronze age

'Servia 1973', ADelt 29, B3, XQovxt' (i1973-4) 727-8; Ib.,

report'. BSA 74 (I979) 185-230.

21 K. Pa.tooiotOou, "AQXaOt6t Xrg xat v l a

Chalcidice', BSA 29 (1927-8) 165-6; D.H. French, 'Some 'Rescue excavations at Servia 1971-73: a preliminary

problems in Macedonian prehistory', Balkan Studies, 7

was probably gradual, since pottery development conti-

AUTLxrg MaxeboviLtag', ADelt, 28, B2, XQovtLX& (1972) 519.

nues without drastic change from the early to the late

bronze age: E. Hanschmann and V. Milojcic, Die deutschen

Ausgrabungen auf der Argissa-Magula in Thessalien. Die friihe

22 A.K. 'Av8QELomivov Xat II.H. TouQdTooykov,

"CXcat6treg xcat tvC~w tca 'HltaOlag xcat Avtix~g

Maxebovlag', ADelt, 24, B2, XQovtx& (1969) 331; F.

und Beginnende mittlere Bronzezeit, Bonn, Rudolf

Habelt, 3 (1976) 217-22.

MactxEkdxxqg, 'ToO Bcotoidg l 96Xn', Max6edovtxOv

HpegoAoytov (1969) 53-57.

19 N. Wilkie, 'Grevena project (in nomos of Grevena,

23 M. KcgEacttv6'kq-Ltyavl6ov, "AQgcat6tteg xCat

SW Macedonia)', Workshop on systematic survey in Greece,

University of Illinois, Chicago, March 1988 (information


20 W.A. Heurtley, 'Excavations at Servia in Western

Macedonia', A] 12 (1932) 227-38; Ib., Prehistoric Macedonia,

op. cit., 43-56, 136-51, 190-i; C. Ridley and K. Rhomio-

tvIREoat AUTLxilg McxxebovL;ag', ADelt, 31, B2, XQOVLXC

(1976) 264; H. HfIdvTog, "AgCot6TrLTEg XQL RtVlEL

AVuTLx~g MaxE8ovltag', ADelt, 32, BI-2, XQovtLX (1977) 228-9; G. Touchais, 'Chronique des fouilles et decouvertes

archdologiques en Grace en 1984', BCH iog (1985) 812.

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


Owing to their geographical location these sites cou

Thessaly. Indeed, the ceramic assemblage testifies

tradition which was transmitted through the Aliakmon

By the end of the early bronze age the older-establi

at present there is no evidence for newly founded, e

of the basin. This is a very small mound measuring with occupation levels attributable to the end of th



The large alluvial plain stretching from the Thermaic gulf inland is the

Macedonia. On the sides framed by mountains the plain itself rises at first very g

then more noticeably as the terrace lands and foothills are approached. This lo

enclosed to the west by Mt. Vermion and to the north by the Voras Range, and

ridge continues to the east and southeast forming Mts. Tzena and Paikon respe

The southern boundaries are the hills of Pydna.

The hydrography of the region is dominated by the rivers Aliakmon and Axios

main communications routes follow their courses. The former approaches the pl

the northwest; the latter, which marks the eastern boundary of the plain, flows

Skopje area and enters the Greek territory through a defile between Gev

Axioupolis. Smaller rivers are the Loudias and Moglenitsas. North of the Vermi

the river Edessaios provides access to a north-south orientated upland basin

(Edessa basin). The dominant feature of the plain was the large, shallow lake of

or Loudias, a modern remnant of a former inlet of the Thermaic gulf, which was dra the 1920s.25

Twenty nine settlements have been discovered as a result of survey proj

excavations at Nea Nikomideia, Mandalo and Giannitsa have shed further lig

nature of prehistoric culture, especially in the neolithic and early bronz

Settlements are mainly located either on the margins of the plain between the marshes and the foothills, or on ridges and slopes that are normally not far f former shoreline at an altitude of up to Ioo-150 m. In the area of Giannitsa an

settlements are spaced along Via Egnatia, probably a very ancient route. Th

confirms a varied habitation pattern involving flat or low sites, tall mounds, fl

ridges and 'acropolis' type sites as well as two caves (Rodochori, Flamouria)

varies from 0.50 to 5 ha, or 2 ha on average, and the maximum height of mound The average minimum distance between settlements is 4 km.

24 W.A. Heurtley, 'A prehistoric site in Western

Macedonia and the Dorian invasion', BSA 28 (1926-7)

158-94; Ib., Prehistoric Macedonia, op. cit., 40-43, 227-9.

neolithic and bronze ages in Central-Western Macedonia: A study of

the period from the mid sixth to the end of the second millennium B.C. in the area between the rivers Axios and Aliakmon in Northern

25 Admiralty, 'Greece: Regional Geography', Geogra-

Greece, Ph.D. thesis, Birmingham, University of

phical Handbook Series, Naval Intelligence Service

Division, 3 (1945) 118-19.

Birmingham (1989); A. Koxxtvl(bov, H rQoiToroQia aTro

XbOo roy vopoo Hl2lag. Karoi~xari xat opvatx6

26 D.H. French, Index of prehistoric sites in central Macedonia

and catalogue of sherd material in the University of Thessaloniki,

Athens (1967) privately circulated. D. Kokkinidou, The

.(eQtf/dAAov orr veoAtOtx7 "xat vw erox4 Toy XoAxoP,

'EbEooa (1990).

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


The rich plain attracted occupation from the sixth millennium B.C. Five sites wer

founded during this period which has been studied in detail at Nea Nikomedeia,27 and early neolithic finds are reported from Giannitsa.28 The majority of the early neolithi

sites seem to have been abandoned in the middle neolithic, a phase which is still

under-represented over the whole region, being restricted to a couple of sites in th

southern part of the plain (Archondiko, Giannitsa). Habitation becomes denser during th

late neolithic which is represented at nineteen sites including five that were occupied at a

earlier date. Fifth millennium B.C. levels have been uncovered at Mandalo. At this site

late neolithic occupation terminated after a conflagration which led to the deser

settlement for a millennium and was resumed in the early bronze age.29 In ad seven new settlements, twelve earlier sites continued to be occupied through t

bronze age.

During the late bronze age there is a steady decrease in site numbers; only two new settlements can be assigned to this phase, and occupation continues on five sites of the

preceding period. The sparsity of late bronze age habitation is a striking feature which

contrasts with the large arable potential of the region. On the other hand, settlements of

this date are plentiful in the neighbouring valley of the Axios.2o It is likely that the silting

up of this part of the plain commenced earlier than has been suggested,3" and by the later

bronze age had already advanced enough to inhibit arable agriculture and large scale


Local culture appears to combine native traits with influences from cultural groups in

adjacent territories, especially in Thessaly and northern Macedonia. Imports of neolithic

painted pottery tend to be concentrated in the southern and western parts of the plain,

probably as a result of closer connections of these areas with the ceramic tradition of Thessaly. The Thessalian penetration becomes weaker as one proceeds northwards. The ceramic assemblage from Mandalo, in particular, points to a different cultural tradition

whose main feature is the profusion of monochrome wares. At the same site what is

remarkable is the use of copper, documented in late fifth millennium layers.33 Metal

27 R.J. Rodden, 'Excavations at the early neolithic site at

Nea Nikomedeia, Greek Macedonia (1961 season)', PPS 28

(1962) 267-88, lb., 'Recent discoveries from prehistoric

Macedonia (an interim report)', Balkan Studies 5 (1964)

I 10-24; lb., 'An early neolithic village in Greece', Scientific

American 212(4) (1965) 83-91; R.J. Rodden and J.M.

Rodden, 'A European link with Chatal Huyuk: uncovering

a 7th millennium settlement in Macedonia. Part I. Site

and pottery', Illustrated London News, April IX (1964) 564-7;

lb., 'A European link with Chatal Huyuk: the 7th millen-

nium site of Nea Nikomedeia in Macedonia. Part II.

&edxm, op. cit., 173-80; lb., 'NkE g otvtoctrXpLXg EQEUveg

oo Mdvbtko AOxtilg MaxEbovcag, 1985-86', Eyvaria i,

EnETL'ba T o I otxo(D Xat AQXCatokoytxo1 Rog

To. A.H.E. (1989) 15-28; K. Kotsakis et al., 'Carbon 14

dates from Mandalo, W. Macedonia', Archaeometry,

Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium,

Amsterdam, Elsevier (1989) 679-85.

3o D.H. French, Index

, op. cit.; D. Kokkinidou, The

early bronze age in Macedonia: A study of human settlement with particular reference to the Axios valley, M. Phil, thesis, Birming-

ham, University of Birmingham (1986): lb., Ph.D. thesis,

Burials and shrine', Illustrated London News, April 18 op. (1964), cit.


28 EqppFgQa MaxE6ovia, EJtLXoykg (XETr*t[Ptog

1990) I186-7.

29 A. Hl-HlaXraoQpLov et al., 'Nog JtQpoLo*ToQLXo6g

otxtoi6g Goo Mdvobtko trig ATLXilg MaxEb6ovag',

AQXala Maxedovia 4, voo IMXA (1986)

451-65; A. Hfjoao pLov -HonavOt0ov, 'Tglet

vrotXLOLXd a6EL0oXLt wt6 TO MdvatXo Tg MaxehovLctg',

Etcamivi, op. cit., 171-7; A. HItcsIvOuvtLov-HatctvO(ioU

xct A. HLXtdkiX-HtcoarTEQLov, 'Avacoxaccpg GoT Mcaako', To ag atoAoytx6 igyo arrn MaxEcovta xat

31 J.L. Bintliff, 'The plain of western Macedonia and the

neolithic site of Nea Nikomedeia, PPS 42 (1976) 241-62.

32 M.R. Jarman et al., Early European agriculture: Its founda-

tions and development, Cambridge, Cambridge University

Press (1982) 152.

1 A. HxutoLo-HrtanavOLou xatL A. HLXkdkClX-

IaoXtcoteg(ov, 'O pToioT0QLtx6g otxtoO6g Tov MavbdXov

AUTxilg MaXE8ovLCtg licoOt oTE RtOXLTLOTLX'td 7tXCCLOLt tig

Uo(reTg veoXLOLx'g', Extro AteOvig vyrdato Atytauxg

HQoiaroQtag, in press.

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


working seems to have been important for the m

suggested also by surface objects of gold from A



North of the Edessa plateau, at an altitude of 300 m, extends the Almopia basin

by Mts. Voras, Tzena and Paikon and traversed by the river Moglenitsas.

The area has so far yielded very little evidence for prehistoric occupation, and

possible that the sparsity of sites is related to the presence of a lake which occup

of the basin until later prehistory.35 Neolithic remains, including pottery

engravings, have recently been identified at Loutraki, a complex of limestone cav

the foothills of Voras Mt.36 Hand-made monochrome pottery, probably of the bro

can be collected at Aloron and Margarita, two sites of the 'acropolis' type,

occupation continues until Byzantine times.


This paper has attempted to outline the evolution of prehistoric habitation in w Macedonia. The limitations imposed by the paucity of excavation data must qual

conclusions suggested here.

The existing data show a settlement record consisted of tall, conical or ov

low-spreading mounds, flat sites, elongated tables and naturally defensible location

as caves. The foundation of settlements is linked to a number of predictable factor

locational preference for riverine environments, selection of fertile soils for agr

exploitation, and proximity to water sources and lines of natural communication.

The observed density of occupation tends to increase from the early neolithic

early bronze age. In reality original density must have been greater if we t

consideration the fact that many early sites have been destroyed, or buried by al

or remain undetected. The appearance of numerous late neolithic and early bron sites may reflect an increase of local population which led to the utilisation of

unsettled lands.

During the late bronze age an interruption of settlement continuity is observab

followed by a sharp decline in site numbers. Identical evidence is reported from easte

Macedonia where decrease of late bronze age sites is accompanied by a change in s

distribution and settlement shifts to higher grounds, probably as a result of the need

defensible locations.37 On the contrary, in the Axios valley there is a steady increase

34 A. FQaRggvog, NeoitOtxEg gevveg UrrTv KEvTQLXit

xat AvaroAtx4 Maxe6ovia, ALrbaXTOQLX1 LTQLP3

EOoakXovtxTl, A.H1

TQOTQLXV OLXLoi Tv ~lTY; AvaQTOxilg Maxeboviag', H

Kafidaa axat 1i reQtoX rqng, eooaXov(xl, IMXA (1980)

(1984) 11i, 148; H AyeooutxdL

235-47; B. Blouet, 'Development of the settlement

(Nop6;g HE"Wig), AQZato)oya i8 (1986), 8i.

3' D. Kokkinidou, Ph.D. thesis, op. cit., 192.

36 Eqcp'EQgLa Maxedovia, EttXoyEg (AiyovoTog 1990)


pattern': C. Renfrew et al. (eds.) Excavations at Sitagroi: a

prehistoric village in northeast Greece, Monumenta

Archaeologic, 13, Los Angeles, The University of

California, The Institute of Archaeology, 133-43.

7 A. FQact~d-vog, 'I v [tCQLtCTTtOToI w R XEIT 6(OV

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


site numbers which resulted in dense spacing, and comparative evidence suggests this pattern is rather a local phenomenon.38 Whether the abandonment of early

age sites in our area is due to environmental changes or social disturbances is diffic

decide. It may be assumed, however, that the population increase, as observed

Axios valley during the late bronze age, is related to movements of inhabitants f

abandoned sites of the Giannitsa plain.

Accurate figures of site size and population by period are difficult to obtain, since

very limited number of settlements have been subject to excavation, and calcu

cannot be representative. Thus, the extent of sherd scatter is conventionally taken

size of non-excavated sites. An estimate of 2 ha on average is proposed for the siz

settlements in western Macedonia, with the exception of sites in Kitrini Limni whi

considerably larger and lower measuring 5 ha and 2 m on average. The tallest mou

5.5 m on average, are to be found in the Giannitsa plain, and there seems to be a re proportion between the size and height of a site. The restricted size of tells is som considered as indicative of long occupation. Nevertheless, our evidence suggests tha or low sites were equally long-lived, and perhaps the most important difference be

the two groups is that unenclosed settlements were subjects to no artificial restrict

regard to the extent of their occupation and growth. Such sites, possibly related

greater mobility of population, may be the result of partial horizontal displacement

settlement, following short spells of occupation, which prevented the format

mounds. On the other hand, the steep profile of mounds may be the product of sp

constructional practices such as mud-brick buildings, terraces and fortifications wh

a marked feature of late bronze age architecture in central and eastern Macedonia.3

observation now proves to be valid for earlier periods as well. At Mandalo, a typic

site, excavation has brought to light the remains of an enclosure wall of unu

substantial construction, founded in late neolithic levels, which may have been of

defensive nature.u





i. Oxya-Mikrolimni LB 2. Trigonon LB


i. Dispilio MN


i. Ano

Kleinai I LB

2. Ano Kleinai II EB

3. Florina LB


D. Kokkinidou, Ph.


SK.A. Wardle, 'Assir


A. Ha








This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


4. Skopos I EB

5. Skopos II EB 6. Skopos III EB 7. Lofoi I EB

8. Lofoi II EB


9. Niki

io. Niki II EB ii. Niki III EB

I12. Kladorachi EB

13. Papagiannis LB

14. Neochoraki LB

15. Meliti LN


16. Armenochori LN


17. Palaistra EB

18. Perasma EB

19. Agios Vartholomaios EB


i. Agras EB

2. Petres


3. Agios Panteleimon I LN EB 4. Agios Panteleimon II EB

5. Vegora I LB

6. Vegora II EB 7. Vegora III LN EB LB

8. Vegora IV


9. Filotas EB

io. Maniaki LB

I i. Fanos


12. Fanos II LN

13. Rodon




14. Limnochori I LN EB

15. Limnochori II LN EB

16. Valtonera EB

17. Anargyroi I LB 18. Anargyroi II LN EB 19. Anargyroi III MN LN EB LB

20. Variko I LN


21. Variko II LN


22. Maurodendri MN


23. Pontokomi LN

24. Drepano MN LN


25. Akrini LN


26. Mikro Nisi MN



27. Chamboula Toumba MN LN EB

28. Keramidia MN


29. Megalo Nisi MN LN EB

30. Agios Dimitrios - Koilada EN MN LN

31. Agios Dimitrios MN LN EB

32. Xeropigado LN EB

33. Tetralofos MN

34. Kremasti LN



35. Agios Eleutherios LN EB LB

36. Kozani EB


This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms



i. Neraida EB 2. Profitis Ilias MN LN EB

3. Servia EN MN LN EB

4. Servia V EN

5. Velvendos LN


6. Platanaki LB


i. Edessa LN

2. Longos LN

3. Flamouria LN

4. Rizari EN




5- Skydra EB

6. Arseni LN


7. Polyplatanos LN

8. Episkopi EB

9. Rodochori LN

10. Giannisa LN

Si. Agios Georgios EN LN


13. Nea Nikomedeia EN LN

12. Trilofos EN


14. Nea Nikomedeia II LN EB

15. Vergina EB LB

16. Kypseli LB

17. Fakos LB

18. Giannitsa EN MN LN

19. Archontiko MN LN EB LB

20. Pentaplatanos EB LB

21. Damiano LN


22. Agrosykia LN EB LB

23. Leptokarya EB

24. Filyria EB

25. Aravissos LN EB




29. Mandalo II EB

28. Mandalo LN

26. Plagiari LN

27. Drosero LN


i. Loutraki NE 2. Aloron


3. Margarita BA


I: Site distrib

Total of sites : 96

P- Mikri Prespa : 2

K- Kastoria




= 2%


F- Florina : 19

= 20%

PV- Ptolemais-Vegoritis : 36 = 38%

A- Aliakmon : 6 = 6%

G- Giannitsa : 29 = 30%

AL- Almopia : 3 = 3%

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms


TABLE 2: Phases represented

(% in number of sites by region)







= 3%

2 =33%

5 = 17.0%

MN: 10o = 28%





= 7.0%

LN : 2 = o10.5% 22 = 61% 3 = 50% i9 = 65.5%


: 15



27 = 75%




19 = 65-5%

LB: 4 = 21.0%


= 22%




7 = 24.0%

TABLE 3: New sites

(% in number of sites by region)







2 =33% 5 = I7.0%

MN: 9






2 = 3.5%








: 13 = 68%

13 = 36%

9 = 25%

: 4

= 21%




I =


1i = 17%

14 = 48.5%

7 = 24.o%

I =



= 7.0%

TABLE 4: Settlement continuity

(% in number of sites of preceding period by re

Florina Aliakmon


: 2 to EB

: 2 = 100%


: 2 to MN: I = 50%

EB : 15 to LB : o = o% MN: 2 to LN : 2 = 10oo0%

LN : 3to EB : 3 = 100%

Ptolemais -Vegoritis EB : 4to LB : o = o%

EN : i to MN: I = 0Ioo%

MN: io to LN : 9 = 90% Giannitsa


: 22 to EB : 18 = 82%


: 5to MN: I = 20%

EB : 27 to LB : 4 = 15% MN: 2 to LN : 2 = 100% LN : 19to EB : 12 = 63%

EB : I9gto LB : 4 = 21%

This content downloaded from on Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:41:21 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms