The settlement of Kolonna on the island of Aigina, located in the Saronic Gulf, is one of the most important sites in the Aegean region in the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. Within the framework of this project, the stratigraphy and chronology of the Early and Middle Bronze Age settlement in the area of the so-called prehistoric inner city and on the southern hill will be investigated and the livelihoods of the settlement will be researched.

The importance of the prehistoric settlement of Kolonna has been known for a long time. Excavations carried out by the University of Salzburg since 1969 have uncovered a continuous stratigraphic sequence ranging from the Early to the Late Bronze Age. This is remarkable in view of the fact that continuous cultural sequences over such a long period of time are unusual in the central Aegean region and are so far only known from very few sites. The Early, Middle and beginning Late Bronze Age mark the peak phase of Kolonna. In the Early Bronze Age III phase, the first fortification wall was built and continuously strengthened and extended in the following phases, making Kolonna one of the best fortified settlements in the Aegean.

›Prehstoric Inner Settlement‹

Parts of the prehistoric inner city had already been excavated before the Second World War, but the results of these investigations remained unpublished. New excavations were carried out in this area between 1993 and 2000 under the direction of F. Felten and S. Hiller that produced significant findings, especially concerning the Early Bronze Age II and III phases. Of particular importance are numerous completely preserved vessels found in a destruction layer of the Early Bronze Age III phase. Another highlight was the discovery of a hoard with numerous pieces of jewellery made of precious metals and gemstones, which prove Aigina's involvement in far-reaching trade networks.

›South Slope‹

As part of the FWF project SCIEM 2000, which focused on the stratigraphy of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC in the eastern Mediterranean, a monumental building of the Middle Bronze Age was uncovered between 2002 and 2010 under the direction of W. Gauß on the so-called South Hill, the dimensions of which exceed the previously known houses of the settlement many times over. The monumental architecture and rich finds, which show clear references to the Minoan lifestyle during a certain phase of use, indicate that it was the seat of an elite group. This is reflected, among other things, in the use of ceramics of Minoan origin or Minoan ceramics produced on Aigina, as well as in drinking and dining customs of Minoan style.

Stratigraphy and Chronology

The finds from these two areas - the 'prehistoric inner city' and the south slope - due to their quality, originality and wide provenance from around the entire Aegean region are of utmost importance, not only for research into the chronological sequence, settlement structure and consumer behaviour in Kolonna itself, but for the entire Central Aegean area. The stratigraphic observations, scientific investigations and findings that first appear at Kolonna, the frequency or the association of finds of certain pottery classes obtained there, all contribute significantly to the study and assessment of less prominent sites.

Principal investigator


since 2011


  • SFB SCIEM 2000
  • INSTAP (Institute of Aegean Prehistory)