Προμαχώνας-Topolnica : Νεολιθικός οικισμός Ελληνοβουλγαρικών συνόρωνPart of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.10, No.Β, 1996, pages 745-767
The Promachonas-Topolnica settlement
The Promachonas-Topolnica settlement is located on the SE slopes of Mt Cercine, close to the west bank of the River Strymonas, on a natural pass into the beginning of the valley of the Middle Strymonas.This prehistoric settlement, which lies across the Greek-Bulgarian border (at pyramid 63 on the frontier line), is being jointly investigated by Greek and Bulgarian archaeologists. Ephorate XVII of Prehistoric and Classical Antiqui - ties (based in Kavala) and, on the Bulgarian side, the Archaeological Institute of Sofia and the Petrie Archaeological Museum, are co-ordinating the excav ations with the objective of publishing the findings in both countries as part of inter-Balkan scientific co-operation.The excavation on Bulgarian territory was carried in the period from 1980 to 1990 by Professor Henries Todorova, with her associates J. Bojadziev, Y. Vajsov and V. Draganov.The research project on the Greek side began in 1992, and is continued by C. Koukouli-Chrysanthaki (Kavala Ephorate of Antiquities) in collaboration with I. Aslanis (National Research Foundation), F. Konstantopoulou (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and archaeologists D. Malamidou and M. Valla of Ephorate XVII.The results of the excavations conducted over the period from 1980 to 1996 can be summed up as follows. A combination of surface investigation, excavation and the use of electromagnetic ground probes has determined the extent of the prehistoric settlement, which covered two adjacent hilltops —a total area of 5 hectares — and has left habitation layers of between 0.50 metres and 1.20 metres in depth. To date, excavations on both the Greek and the Bulgarian sides have identified three phases of habitation in the settlement, which was of the sparsely-inhabited open type and was inhabited from the beginning of the fifth millennium BC to its end.The earliest phase (III) is represented by buildings with underground rooms, most of which have been identified as combined dwellings and work areas.In the next phase, some of the dwellings were supported on piles and had roofs and walls of woven reeds or branches coated with clay. Fragments of three terracotta female figures of monumental size were found on a plinth next o the hearth of a pile dwelling (probably with two storeys) in the Bulgarian sector, and had been mounted as reliefs on the inner side of one of the walls of the building.In phases II and III, the site has yielded a wide variety of categories of painted pottery, among which the Akropotamou type (imported and in locally- made imitations), multi-coloured painted pottery and the so-called bitum pottery, where tar is used for decorative purposes, stand out. Also typical of these phases is the making of figurines, with the female form being the predominant subject.The last phase of habitation (I) has been severely damaged by ploughing, and the few traces of buildings to have survived are preserved in better condition in the Greek sector.A study of the excavation finds shows this to have been a settlement of an agricultural and pastoral nature, with cultural continuity through its first two phases of habitation, which date from the early part of the Late Neolithic period (Sitagri Phase II), and one phase in the Stone/Bronze transitional era (Sitagri Phase III).The cultural physiognomy of the settlement was defined by its economic and cultural relations, which, thanks to its position, it developed with the Aegean world, with the Balkan hinterland and with Central Europe.