Προμαχώνας-Topolnica 2000Part of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.14, No.1, 2000, pages 87-98
This paper presents the results of the excavation in the Greek sector of the Neolithic settlement on the Greek-Bulgarian border in 2000 (PI. 1; Fig. 1). With a view to completing the investigation of the large circular subterranean building which had been located during the 1999 excavation in grid squares I and Ια (PI. 2, 3), the excavation was extended into 2 new grid squares, ΙΣΤ and IZ (pi. 4; Fig. 2). In these new squares, we investigated the upper habitation layers of the Neolithic settlement (Promahonas I and Promahonas II), which overlie the large circular (?) subterranean building (Promahonas III)*.The new grid squares yielded no architectural remains from the settlement’s last habitation phase (Promahonas I), which corresponds to phase II at Dikili Tash and phase III at Sitagra. This phase was identified in the surface layer with the accumulations of stones (PI. 5) only by the presence of scattered pottery conncted with phase II at Dikili Tash, phase III at Sitagra, and Gradesnica in the Balkan interior (PI. 6).However, the deeper layers in squares ΙΣΤ and IZ yielded remains of buildings which had been built on top of the fill which had covered the circular (?) subterranean building of the previous phase. In IZ we found a ruined hearth (PI. 9) on top of successive habitation floors (PI. 10, 11); and in ΙΣΤ successive habitation floors (PI. 7, 8) overlying a pile building (PI. 12). The excavation of the building remains from phase II, which overlies the phase of the subterranean building, was not completed. Under the floor of the pile building in square ΙΣΤ, we expect to find another habitation floor, to which belongs the obliquely fallen hearth (?) uncovered during the 1999 excavation (PI. 12).Concurrently with the excavations, the study of the pottery (PI. 16, 17, 18), the figurines (PI. 19, 20, 21), and the stone, bone, and horn tools (Figs. 3, 4) continued in 2000. This year, we also had the first radio datings from the Demokritos University, which show that the settlement was inhabited continuously in the 1st and 2nd half of the 5th millennium BC (fig. 5).In the framework of this year's excavation programme, we also continued to investigate the remnants of ancient bronze processing which last year’s excavation had located (PI. 22). This year, Ioannis Basiakos, a researcher in the Archaeometry Laboratory of the Demokritos University, took samples from the small round depressions in grid square B containing successive layers of severely burnt clay with a view to further investigating their metallurgical nature (PI. 23). The investigation is being carried out in the Archaeometry Laboratory of the Demokritos University and has not yet been completed. The remnants of bronze metallurgy at Promahonas/Topolnica date to the 1st half of the 5th millennium BC and are the oldest examples to date of bronze smelting without slag in Europe.
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