Process

During the 1992 season, in the process of searching for the southern limit of Neopalatial Ashlar Building T, a new excavation area was opened up to the southwest.2 The first stage in the process was to remove by mechanical means the meters of deep, sterile post-Roman sand accumulation3 from above the ancient levels (from ca. +9.17 m to ca. +4.80 m).4 A single trench then located the western end of Ashlar Building P's Gallery 6 as well as the southern, east-west, wall of Building T (see Fig. 1, bottom, center).5 In 1993 we learned that this latter wall was the southern wall of what has come to be called T's South Stoa (Figs. 2-3), with six columns. It faced a similar one, the North Stoa, across the north-south length of the Central Court of Building T. During the same excavation season we discovered a pottery kiln, the subject of this monograph, presumably built within the South Stoa after it had been abandoned (see below). The eastern half

1. The authors would like to express their thanks to the trench-masters who were in charge of excavating the kiln, in particular Josee Sabourin and Kate Walsh (1993), Gordon Nixon (1994), and M. C. Shaw (1995), also to Taylor Dabney for his photography and Julia

Pfaff (assisted by Nicolle Hirschfeld)

for the drawings of the pottery. Aleydis Van de Moortel, Jeremy Rutter, and Alan Johnston were responsible for pottery analysis. Barbara Hamann, Clarissa Hagen-Plettenberg, and Katharine Hall mended the pottery, which was inventoried by Niki Kantzios and Deborah Ruscillo. Giuliana Bianco drew the plans and sections. Thanks are also due to Doniert Evely, Julie Hansen, Ned Rehder, and Jennifer and Tom Shay, who were most helpful during various stages of the kiln study.

The kiln is presently covered with sand until a proper protective shelter can be built over it.

  1. For Building T, see especially J. Shaw 1986, pp. 240-251. For the excavation of the south wing of T, see Shaw and Shaw 1993, pp. 178182.
  2. The nature of this sand accumulation is discussed by John Gifford in Kommos I.1, pp. 51-53, 64-71.
  3. The "+" sign before a number indicates the level above mean sea level, as established originally in 1974 by topographer John Bandekas.
  4. For LM IIIA2 Building P, the third of the monumental buildings in the civic area, see J. Shaw 1986, pp. 255-269, and Shaw and Shaw 1993, p. 182, and also 1999.

of the kiln was then cleared, as well as part of the northernmost channel or flue (channel 1 in Fig. 6).6 In 1994 the western half of the kiln, including the firing pit, was excavated, as well as the second and fourth channels.7 Kiln excavation was completed in 1995 upon the clearing of the third channel.8 During excavation, dry sieving and wet sieving were employed extensively to recover small artifacts and, especially, any charcoal evidence of organic materials used to fire the kiln. Unfortunately, only ash was found, and determining plant/wood type without charcoal is extremely difficult.

  1. Excavation of trench 87B revealed the northeastern sector as well as the channel mentioned in the text (July 21-August 12, directed by J. Sabourin). Trench 90C revealed the southeastern sector (July 28-August 5, directed by K. Walsh).
  2. Trench 95A (June 29-August 12, directed by G. Nixon). Here the term "firing pit" will be used to identify the pit within which the fires were set. "Firing chamber" denotes both the firing pit and the area with the channels/flues. The size of the firing chamber of the Kommos kiln falls in the mid-range of its kiln type (see Table 11, p. 107).
  3. Trench 97F (July 20-28, directed by M. C. Shaw).
Figure 3. Kommos, South Stoa of Ashlar Building T, with kiln (center, left), from northwest. T. Dabney

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