The Austrian Archaeological Institute has conducted excavations in the area of the acropolis of Aigeira (Northern Peloponnese – Greece) since 1975. The Department of Prehistory & WANA Archaeology has undertaken the publication of the Premycenaean (5th–3rd millennium BC) and of the postpalatial Mycenaean settlement (12th century BC). As a result, the contextual analysis revealed house complexes, which are characterised by storage, production of goods and consumption in the course of feasting. The high social status of the inhabitants is further evidenced by a cult room. During its final phase, a fortification wall separates the acropolis from the houses on the lower terraces and marks it as the most important part of the settlement area.
Ancient Aigeira is located at the north coast of the Peloponnese at the Corinthian Gulf in the east of the ancient region of Achaia. From 1975 till 1980 the Austrian Archaeological Institute (head: Wilhelm Alzinger) has conducted excavations on the highest elevation of the settlement area which is formed by a plateau of 750 m² at approximately 414 m above sea level. The publication of the prehistoric and Mycenaean finds has been handed to members of the staff of the OREA Institute. Oldest evidence for human habitation was found in bedrock crevices and dates to the Neolithic period, Early Helladic I (4500–2900 BC) as well as Early Helladic III to Middle Helladic (2200–1600 BC). The oldest identifiable walking levels correspond to this horizon as well.
Based on Mycenaean as well as handmade, burnished pottery as well as the settlement is dated to the post-palatial Mycenaean period LH IIIC (12th century BC). A rectangular, west-east oriented half-timbered house, separated by a pathway from a hearth room, dates to the earliest documented settlement phase Ia (early LH III C). Settlement phase Ib, also dating to early LH IIIC, is apparent through a layer of fire debris, which preserved many details of life in the settlement, such as numerous vessels were found in situ, as well as terracotta figurines, bronze knives and spindle whorls. In phase Ib, a major part of the plateau was dominated by the remains of storage facilities and production sites. A pottery kiln was now installed in the ruins of the half-timbered house. In addition, a bronze workshop is likely to have been located in the south of the plateau.
The subsequent settlement phase II can be dated to the advanced phase of LH IIIC due to a large krater with complex ornamentation. The settlement remains have been largely removed by construction works after the Mycenaean period, but a substantial change in the settlement plan can be reconstructed from the foundation walls built into the fire debris of Phase Ib. The plateau was now occupied by a large multi-roomed house enclosed by a fortification wall. Judging from the sparse architectural remains and associated ceramics, however, the settlement lasted until the end of LH IIIC.