SCY124 : Agrokipia Moutti ton Spitoudhion

Grid reference: 513470/3877140
Cadastral plan:
Survey units: 2657, 2669

Together with Agrokipia Mavroyia (SCY128), this POSI contained eight concentrated clusters and over 600 invidivual lithics, and there are other scatters still to be investigated, and an abundance of raw material in the area. A water course and a small strip of arable land lies 100 meters to the south in the valley bottom, but otherwise the surrounding area is open and stony, with some scrubby hawthorne and spiny burnet, thistle, and isolated patches of grass. The underlying basalt appears frequently in eroding dykes, and produces the raw materials used in the flaked stone assemblages: yellow, brown, blue-green, tan and multi-colored cherts, and white to milky chalcedony.

Agrokipia Moutti ton Spitoudhion (SCY124) lies on a moderate slope with a southwesterly aspect, just ten meters below the top of the ridge; it has an extensive view to the south. Three lithics clusters were discovered, two of which (A and B) lay within meters of each other, and a third (C) about 60 meters to the southwest. To record the clusters and the flakes lying scattered in the general area, a 2 x 2 m grid was laid down and all lithics counted and examined. Of the 140 lithics from this POSI, 117 were found within the actual clusters, each of which was less than one meter across. Cluster B, after being recorded and photographed, was collected in its entirety and brought back to the laboratory in order to study reduction sequences.

The clusters of lithics were remarkable for their concentration and apparently intact preservation. This is demonstrated by their distribution within the fixed grid. Clusters 4 and 5, with a large number of tiny flakes, are immediately distinguishable, and on the completely flat, grassy hilltop no movement is likely. There is then a decided break, with little else on the hilltop, but rather a wider and sparser scatter down the moderate slope to the southeast. The slope is not badly eroded, and it has a ground cover of spiny burnet and small patches of grass or wild oats; even so there are bare patches and some apparent movement of artifacts, so that the clusters are no longer distinguishable. The steeper parts of the slope have a much sparser distribution of lithics, apart from clusters 1 and 3. The first of these is on a slight shelf, but even so is much more spread out than clusters 4 and 5.

Only 21 sherds of mainly undiagnostic pottery were recovered at Agrokipia Mavroyia. Their distribution showed no correlation with the distribution of the lithics, so there is no discernible relationship between the two. Several lines of well-embedded stones (each typically 20cm across), formed 'paths' and 'enclosures' across much of the hillside, probably the remnants of modern military exercises in this region. We must consider it likely that the lithic scatter here is the result of dhoukani manufacture subsequent to the military activity (such activity would have severely disturbed any earlier activity on this hill).

Among the lithics analysed from Moutti ton Spitoudhion was Cluster 4, an in situ reduction scatter composed of light brown-yellow chert. Nine cores were measured, the percentage of cortex noted, and the platforms and flaking scars were identified. The remaining 214 lithics consisted of flakes and shatter: they were divided into six categories of size and the percentage of cortex was determined. None of the 223 lithic pieces from Cluster 4 exhibited any use-wear such as retouch, polish, or grinding scars; this same absence was seen in the other lithic clusters. The lithic material from both Agrokipia Mavroyia and Agrokipia Moutti ton Spitoudhion, therefore, is notable for its almost total lack of flaked stone tools.

This absence of tools combined with the large quantities of raw material suggests that the two POSIs were quarrying and manufacturing sites. Given the quantity of flakes and debris in this area, and in light of the wide availability of raw material, it seems likely that these ridgetops were intensively exploited for their lithic resources.