The settlement of Kolonna on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf is one of the most important find sites in the central Aegean for the 3rd to 2nd millennium BCE. The aim of the project is the final publication of the stratigraphy, the finds, and contexts from the ›prehistoric city center‹ of Kolonna.
The importance of the settlement of Kolonna on the island of Aegina for the central Aegean in the 3rd and 2nd millennium BCE has been known for a long time; the settlement of Kolonna is the most important site of the entire island. The excavations are carried out as a collaboration project between the University of Salzburg and the OeAI and a continuous stratigraphic sequence was revealed that reaches from the early to the late Bronze Age; continual cultural sequences of this length are exceptional in the central Aegean and only known from very few other sites. The plan is to conclusively publish the stratigraphy and finds from three different excavation areas of Kolonna.
The research was carried out from 1966 to 1979 under the direction of H. Walter and F. Felten in the area of the prehistoric fortification walls of Kolonna and verified six consecutive phases of the fortification of the middle and early Bronze Age III (Kolonna V–X) and thus laid the basis for the stratigraphical assessment of the settlement. The oldest cultural phases (Kolonna I–IV, Neolithic period to the beginning of the early Bronze Age III) were not fortified.
Prehistoric city center
The excavations in the ›prehistoric city center‹ were concentrated on an area that already had been partially excavated before World War II but the results of this research largely remained unpublished. Under the direction of F. Felten and S. Hiller later excavations were carried out from 1993 to 2000 and gained new insights particularly on the early Bronze Age II and III. One of the highlights of these excavations was the discovery of a jewelry hoard with numerous objects made of precious metal.
Under the overall management of F. Felten, W. Gauß and R. Smetana carried out research on the ›south hill‹ from 2002 to 2010 in order to clarify the stratigraphic sequence of the middle and the beginning of the late Bronze Age. One of the most important discoveries of these excavations was the partial excavation of a monumental building of the middle Bronze Age. The finds discovered in the area of the building show clear references to Crete during a specific phase of use.
Stratigraphy and chronology
There are two reasons that Kolonna is of great interest for the study of relative chronology: On the one hand a large quantity of vessels imported from the Greek mainland, from the Cyclades, and from Crete was discovered here in addition to locally produced pottery. On the other hand, pottery had been produced on Aegina since the early Bronze Age and has been found in varying amounts at other find sites beyond the island. Based on the stratigraphical observations, the processing of finds, and the scientific analyses, new results have been gained on the first appearance, frequency, and association of finds of specific types of pottery that are not only of importance for Kolonna but also greatly contributes to the assessment of other find sites.