Pheneos is one of the few sites in Arcadia, of which settlement activity during the Middle Bronze Age is known from excavations. On the basis of the pottery found during these excavations, it is possible to reconstruct the changes in the connectivity of the inhabitants of this remote settlement with the outside world in the period from about 2000–1600 BC.

Middle Bronze Age settlement remains were discovered directly underneath the late classical city wall on the eastern plateau of the acropolis of Pheneos. The discovery was made during excavations, which were conducted 2011–2015 under the direction of Konstantinos Kissas and Peter Scherrer as part of the cooperative project of the Εφορεία Αρχαιοτήτων Κορινθίας (former: ΛΖ 'Εφορεία Προϊστορικών και Κλασσικών Αρχαιοτήτων) and the Institute for Antiquity at the University of Graz. Contexts and finds are of particular importance because so far only a few Middle Bronze Age sites from this remote part of the Peloponnese are known, many of which were discovered during a survey of the University of the University of Graz in 1995 and 1996.

Excavations that revealed prehistoric findings had also taken place in the 1960s at the south-eastern foot of the acropolis of Pheneos under the direction of Evangelia Protonotariou-Deïlaki († 2002). The results are only published in preliminary reports, according to which she had excavated a complete Middle Bronze Age settlement sequence.

Also, according to the results of the new excavations the acropolis of Pheneos seems to have been inhabited throughout the Middle Bronze Age. The ceramic repertoire covers the typical range of a settlement assemblage with fine wares, household pottery, cooking vessels and storage containers. Due to their location in the centre of the Peloponnese the inhabitants of Pheneos had few contacts to other regions of Greece, as is indicated by the low occurrence of imported pottery.

Principal investigator


  • Gerhard Forstenpointner, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien (animal bones)
  • Georgia Kordatzaki, Independent Petrographer/Research Associate (Fitch Laboratory, BSA, Athens) (pottery technology, experimental reproduction of some vessels)
  • Christos Matzanas, Εφορεία Αρχαιοτήτων Ηλείας (lithics)
  • Hans Mommsen, Bonn University (Neutron Activation Analysis)
  • Robert Pritz, Universität Graz (metal finds)
  • Michael Schultz, Universität Göttingen (anthropology, palaeopathology)
  • Johannes Sterba, Atominstitut, Technische Universität Wien (Neutron Activation Analysis)
  • Gerald Weissengruber, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien (animal bones)


since 2014