Neolithic finds from the excavation area ›Solon‹ in Aigeira

Immediately below the acropolis of Aigeira large quantities of Neolithic and Chalcolithic pottery were discovered during the excavations in the area ›Solon‹ between 2007 and 2010 and have completely changed our knowledge about the earliest settlement of Aigeira. The objective is to publish the prehistoric finds from the area ›Solon‹.

Find circumstances and find site


The numerous finds of pottery from the late middle Neolithic, the late Neolithic, and the Chalcolithic were exceptional because they appeared completely unexpectedly during the excavations in the foundation of the Hellenistic public building in the excavation area ›Solon‹. The area with the name ›Solon‹ is located directly underneath the steeply rising acropolis on a terrace that was used for agricultural purposes until the early 20th century. Individual middle and late Neolithic finds were also discovered during the most recent excavations in the area of the ›saddle‹.

The prehistoric pottery from ›Solon‹ comes from a hard and homogenous layer ascending from north to south up to the acropolis and situated immediately on top of the natural soil and underneath the foundations of the Hellenistic building. The finds were heavily encrusted with earth and sintering due to their deposition and, therefore, required intricate cleaning. In 2014, the systematic review of the prehistoric contexts and the recording of the finds was begun. Floor horizons or architectural remains that could be associated with the pottery finds are lacking entirely and it is not impossible that the prehistoric finds are in a secondary deposition. This assumption is backed up according to our present knowledge by the often heavily fragmented condition of the pieces, the low number of discovered joining fragments, and the relatively high minimum number of individuals per stratigraphic unit.

Vessel spectrum


The prehistoric pottery mainly consists of open vessels on a high conical foot and are usually completely painted or decorated with simple geometric designs in a matte and dark color on a dark background. Another smaller part of the reviewed finds is Chalcolithic and differs from the older middle and late Neolithic pottery through a different, considerably coarser fabric as well as through different vessel shapes, particularly bucket-like closed vessels with sculptured decoration.

Dating


The newly discovered prehistoric finds from ›Solon‹ are considerably older than the mainly Chalcolithic finds from the acropolis which entirely changes the history of the earliest settlement of Aigeira which now reaches back to the mid-6th millennium BCE.