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Excavation Reports

2007 Report

23-07-2007 13:26

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.

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.

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