Η «σπηλιά της Δράκαινας» : πρόσφατη έρευνα στον Πόρο Κεφαλονιάς (1992-1993)Part of : Αρχαιολογικά ανάλεκτα εξ Αθηνών ; Vol.XXII, No.1, 1989, pages 31-60
The Drakaina cave : recent investigations at Poros on Kefalonia (1992-1993)
The Drakaina Cave in the commune of Poros on Kefalonia, on the southeast coast of the island, became known to the Archaeological Service in the summer of 1992 after the chairman of the commune reported an attempted illicit excavation by unknown persons. An initial inspection of the cave and the subsequent trial excavation in October of the same year showed that the illegal excavation was limited in extent and that the ancient cave fill was completely undisturbed by recent activities.A large part of the roof has collapsed and today the cave presents the appearance of a rock shelter; its total area is 190 m2. It is located at an altitude of 70 m. in the precipitous south side of the Vochyna gorge (Steno or Sténos), through which the public road passes linking Poros with Ar-gostoli and the rest of the island. The laborious ascent, taking between 15 and 30 minutes, is by a path that starts from the Sténos bridge, 500 m. west of the village.The short excavations, lasting only a few days, by the Ephoria of Paleoanthropology and Speleology in collaboration with the VI Ephoria of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Patras in the years 1992 and 1993, showed that the cave was used for some form of habitation in the prehistoric period and as a cult place in historical times.The thickness of the fill that was removed was no more than 1 m. in depth. The upper layers contained finds (pottery and a very few figurine fragments) dating to the Late Archaic (2nd half of the 6th c. to the first decades of the 5th c. BC) and the Hellenistic (3rd and 2nd c. BC) periods. From the kind of pottery (fine Corinthian and a few Attic drinking and perfume vases) and the fragments of figurines (female figures, hand-made cultic dances), as well as from the large numbers of sheep and goat bones found together with ashes in a limited area within the cave, it can be concluded that the place was used for the practice of some popular cult. We hope that the continuation of the excavation, and particularly the completion of the investigation of the depository that was discovered in the last days of the 1993 excavation, will produce more evidence for the identification of the deity or deities to whom the cave was dedicated. In any case it is highly probable that it was connected with the Nymphs, whose cult in caves was very widespread in western Greece and the Ionian islands.The thickness of the underlying prehistoric fill remains unknown. At the present stage of the excavation we know that the cave was in use during the EB II, EB I and Late Neolithic II (= Final Neolithic or Chalcolithic) periods.The use of the cave during EB I and II isfor the moment attested solely by the presence of pottery typical of these periods (Figs 12-18), which comes from the highest part of the prehistoric fill.The LN II remains are abundant and would appear to be preserved over a large area of the remaining part of the cave: successive living surfaces were uncovered, on which there were structures (e.g. round hearth, remains of walling) and concentrations of products of stone working on the spot. These layers of fill also contained food remains (animal and fish bones, shells and a few seeds) and domestic utensils such as pottery (monochrome, burnished, ware with incised, impressed and plastic decoration) (Figs 13-17) and stone tools (Fig. 19).The planned systematic excavation of the prehistoric fill in area (horizontally) and depth (vertically), the multilevel study of the archaeological data and the paleo- geographical reconstruction will contribute to the widest possible reproduction of the picture of the ways in which the cave was exploited in the course of its prehistoric use.
Περιέχει χάρτες, εικόνες και βιβλιογραφία, Μετά την ανασκαφή του 1992, το σπήλαιο του Πόρου παρουσιάστηκε υπό μορφή poster και με τον τίτλο «Η Σπηλιά της Δράκαινας Πόρου Κεφαλληνίας» στο Α' Πανελλήνιο Σπηλαιολογικό Συνέδριο, 26-29 Νοεμβρίου 1992 (Πρακτικά υπό εκτύπωση)