Προϊστορικός οικισμός Φιλίππων "Ντικιλί Τας" : Δέκα χρόνια ανασκαφικής έρευναςPart of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.10, No.Β, 1996, pages 681-704
Excavation of a prehistoric settlement at Dikili Tash, Philippi
In 1986, a new programme of joint Franco-Greek research succeeded that under which, between 1961 and 1970, J. Deshayes and D. Theocharis had ex cavated the prehistoric settlement at the site (known to scholars since the early twentieth century) called Dikili Tas or Megaio Lithari, at Philippi.The new programme is supported, on the Greek side, by the Archaeological Association of Athens and Inspectorate XVIII of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities (based in Kavala), and, on the French side by the French Archaeo logical School and the Foreign Ministry of France.The basic objective of the new programme is to study Neolithic ekistics on the basis of the material produced by the earlier excavations and of the evi dence which emerges from new excavations.Over the period from 1986 to 1996, the new research programme has studied the archaeological material yielded by the earlier excavations and has also carried out the following investigations:A. Geomorphological exploration of the hill of the prehistoric settlement and ofits immediate surroundingsThe geomorphological study included research work to determine the phy siognomy and evolution of the natural landscape in the immediate surround ings of the settlement during the Holocene and to understand the development of the shape of the hill in the period between the first permanent human habitation there and the last phases of occupation.B. A new programme of excavation in the Middle and Late Neolithic archa eological strataThe new programme of excavations concentrated on studying Neolithic ekistics using the architectural traces in the two main excavation sites in Sector V (the French sector), where the ekistics of the early Late Neolithic period was examined, and in Sector VI (the Greek sector), where the last phase of the Late Neolithic era —sometimes called the Copper Age— was excavated, yielding notable architectural traces.In Sector V, no complete floor layouts of houses were discovered. However, the fragmentary traces of the houses which were excavated made it possible to identify a NW-SE axis along which the houses were arranged in parallel rows, with passages or narrow ‘streets’ between them. Ovens were found inside the houses, together with fragments of seats. Of particular interest was the finding of an ox-head, lined and filled out with clay, which must have been attached to a flat surface on a wall inside the house.The construction technique for the clay walls and houses of the houses and of the ovens and other clay artefacts found inside the houses was studied in particular detail, with the use of physical and chemical tests.In Sector VI, the new programme of excavation —which included the trench dug by Theocharis in 1967, exploration of which had not been complet ed at that time— extended horizontally in such a way as to enable identifi cation, for the first time, of complete groups of Neolithic houses which pro - duced reliable information about the ekistic organisation of the settlement, the form of its houses, the manner in which their rooms were arranged and do mestic utensils. It also made possible the dating of the destruction of the Neo lithic settlement.Four Neolithic houses (1-4), built parallel to one another on ‘steps’ on the hillside along a NW-SE axis, were identified and excavated.The excavation finds and radio-dating of material from the destruction stratum of houses 1-4 demonstrated that this part of the settlement, too, had been destroyed by fire during the ‘Copper Age’.Comparative study of the architectural traces of Sectors V and VI has the objective of determining the cultural continuity or discontinuity of ekistics as it developed over time in this Neolithic settlement.