Platia Magoula Zarkou is a Neolithic and Bronze Age tell settlement in the western Thessalian plain excavated between 1976 and 1990. Pottery from the site decisively changed our understanding of Neolithic chronology, making Platia Magoula Zarkou a key site for the study of Neolithic Greece. The well-known house model gives new insight into the Neolithic social structure. This project aims to provide a holistic final publication of the site.
Platia Magoula Zarkou is a Neolithic and Bronze Age tell settlement in the western Thessalian plain, 30 km west of Larissa. The site was excavated between 1976 and 1990 after the discovery of a Late Neolithic cremation burial cemetery nearby.
The excavation on the tell comprised a stratigraphical trench with four major habitational horizons dating from the late Early Neolithic (ca. 6000 BC), Middle Neolithic and Late Neolithic phases (until the first, Tsangli-Larissa, sub-period) to the Bronze Age. The results were presented in preliminary reports, detailing the pottery sequence, specific pottery wares, faunal and archaeobotanical remains, chipped stone tools, as well as a unique house model. Concerning pottery sequence, the stratigraphic co-existence of pottery originally dated to the first (Tsangli) and the last (Larissa) Late Neolithic subphases decisively changed our understanding of Neolithic chronology. Studies on pottery styles and technology indicated a transition in decoration techniques from the Middle to Late Neolithic periods. Moreover, these studies pointed to the existence of early specialisation in pottery production in the area of Platia Magoula Zarkou.
However, a comprehensive and holistic study of this tell settlement, giving an authentic picture of cultural change during these most prosperous periods of early farming culture in the Thessalian plain, is still lacking. Therefore, this project aims at the final publication of the site, focusing on the study of the stratigraphy and finds with regard to the changes observed from the Early to Late Neolithic, and in particular the transition from the Middle to Late Neolithic. In addition, the Early Bronze Age finds are going to be analysed in a dissertation project and put in a wider cultural framework. The project is furthermore extended by a geophysical prospection of the area around the tell.