The Stratigraphic Context Of The Kiln

In order to understand the sequence of ancient activity in the kiln area, it is worthwhile summarizing various discrete stages of architectural use here:

  1. Protopalatial period: A large civic structure (AA), the first of three in the southern area, is built upon a leveled platform. On the east, the general ground level is raised by means of walls that functioned like compartments to retain clay and earth brought in from elsewhere.9
  2. MM III: Ashlar Building T is constructed early in the period. Its southern wall (the southern wall of the South Stoa) is set upon a wall of earlier MM building AA.
  3. LM IA (advanced): The kiln is constructed. Since, as is proposed here (see below), it was covered by a roof, perhaps a domelike roof of clay, and the southernmost channel is tangent to T's ashlar wall, then the southern wall of the kiln, now destroyed, must have rested upon the ashlar wall, perhaps at the level of that wall as now preserved (as in Figs. 2 and 6) or a few courses higher. Therefore a portion of the southern wall of Building T here, as well as the colonnade, had probably already collapsed by the time the kiln was built, assuming that the stoa was actually completed. It is possible that the kiln's builders removed part of the still-standing ashlar wall in order to set the southern kiln wall upon one of the lower courses.

The kiln builders evidently created a low mound of earth and rubble, rising from west to east to +3.42 m (max.) (Fig. 8: section B-B). Upon this they set their eastern wall, the bottom of which is at +3.42 m, seen some 0.40 m above the floor level of the earlier stoa in Figure 12 (the scale is lying on the stoa's floor). A similar effect would have resulted if the kiln had been partially built upon the collapsed stoa remains. Entrance to the firing pit was on the west, in any case, from close to the stoa's floor level (+2.80 m). The kiln's bowl-like firing pit was excavated by its builders to some 0.40 m below stoa floor level.

  1. LM IA (end)-LM IIIA1: Hiatus. Settlement continues in the houses north of the civic area,10 but the civic area itself was used only
  2. Shaw and Shaw 1993, pp. 166170, fig. 10:b. In the area of the later South Stoa, a wide east-west wall directly under the Neopalatial southern wall, also built to raise the ground level, was set in.
  3. House X, for example, for which see Shaw and Shaw 1993, pp. 131-161, and Kommos I.2, passim.
Figure 4 (left). Kiln partially excavated, with superposed rubble fallen from south wall of stoa, from west. T. Dabney

Figure 5 (right). Later LM III oven, from south (see also Fig. 11).

  1. W. Shaw
  2. For various reasons Van de Moortel prefers LM IA as the time that the kiln was leveled (see below).
  3. The floor of Gallery 6 of Building P, some meters east of the kiln, was at +3.60 m, below the level of the top of the kiln after it had been leveled. On the other hand, the same gallery was blocked by a rough north-south retaining wall, its top at +4.08 m. Thus someone entering P6 from the west would have stepped down from the level of the court into the gallery.
  4. For those on the slope, see Shaw and Shaw 1993, p. 182, fig. 15 and pl. 43:a. For the type, see M. Shaw 1990, passim.
  5. For Y, see Shaw and Shaw 1993, p. 183.
  6. Apparently the South Stoa remained unused (there is very little LM IB-LM IIIA1 pottery there), with the kiln abandoned, although there is a clear LM IB use level in Gallery P6 east of here. The leveling of the kiln (down to +4.00 m) took place between LM IA (the final use of the kiln) and LM IIIA2, when the court in front of the galleried building, P, was constructed.11 The pottery immediately above the kiln collapse is of LM IIIA2/B date.
  7. LM IIIA2-B: Construction of Building P in LM IIIA2, largely with blocks reused from Building T. During LM IIIB part of the stillstanding southern wall of the South Stoa, south and southwest of the firing pit, collapsed to the north, over the pit and its entrance, as seen in Figure 4. Perhaps this wall collapse brought about the destruction of the kiln roof, but the latter may have collapsed earlier. The Central Court of T then became the West Court of Building P, with the court level raised significantly in the area of the South Stoa and kiln from about +2.80 m to perhaps as much as +4.00 m.12 At some point during this period a series of clay ovens was built here. Two were set above the remains of the ashlar wall of the stoa (Figs. 5-6), and others on the slope farther south.13
  8. LM IIIB-4th century b.c.: The kiln was gradually covered over by sand and alluvium. LM IIIB pottery in the South Stoa area, immediately above the kiln, is followed by Archaic and then 5th- and 4th-century levels with no LM IIIC/Geometric pottery, which can be found farther to the north near the temples. An Archaic slab platform and a shallow depression lined with cobbles are the only semipermanent features in the area until base Y, probably part of a statue base, was constructed during the 4th century b.c. on a rising ground level at +4.60 m.14 Site desertion followed, ca. a.d. 200, and was accompanied by sand accumulation.
Figure 6. Kiln plan showing sections.

G. Bianco

SECTION F-F

SECTION A - A
SECTION B-B

Figure 7. Kiln sections. G. Bianco

SECTION C-C

channels 2 3

present ground

south wa II of T

south wa II of T

SECTION D-D

channels 12 3

J south wan of T

SECTION E-E

giuliona Dionco 1995

TABLE 1. APPROXIMATE DIMENSIONS OF THE KILN

Pres. Height

Kiln

Firing pit

Channel 1 Channel 2 Channel 3 Channel 4

1.00

  1. 70 2.90 2.70 2.80
  2. 70 (int.) 3.20 (ext.)

1.30

1.23

  1. 00 (to east end of channels)
  2. 00 (west)* 0.67 (east)* 0.94 (west)* 0.44 (east)* 0.83 (west)* 0.40 (east)* — (west) 0.45 (east)*

All dimensions in meters.

*Measurement down from horizontal plastered surface between channels 2 and 3 (at +3.91 in Fig. 6, a in Fig. 14).

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