SCY209 : Episkopio Kallinikos

Extensive Pottery Scatter

Grid reference: 521500/3877600
Cadastral plan: XXX/49
Aerial photograph: 1993, Run 177, No. 58
Survey units: 3654-3681

SCY209: Total Pottery and Tile; Pottery by Period.

The broad and fertile plain west of Episkopio village is of great interest both for its agricultural potential and for its proximity to the Archaic-Byzantine city of Tamassos. Transects 520.5 and 521.5, surveyed in 1996, revealed considerable quantities of cultural material across this plain, but with no immediately apparent focuses or density peaks. Preliminary GIS analysis in 1997 suggested one potential focus approximately 1 km north of Ayios Mnason. This area showed a general background Pottery Index of 1000-2000 for all periods from Archaic to Modern, but with a notable peak of 10,000 in the Medieval-Modern group of periods, and a rather smaller one of 6000 in the same area (Units 3568-69) during the Geometric-Archaic and Hellenistic-Roman periods.

To investigate this area more intensively we laid out an iron cross of 5-m diameter circles, 20 m apart, with a total of 37 circles, and another east-west line 600 m to the north, consisting of 10 such circles. The iron cross shows one relatively clear peak in the total density figures for pottery and tile, with figures just exceeding four sherds per sq m. The north-south arm appears to have a smaller peak, with the density reaching 2.2 sherds per sq m. This hardly suggests the large peak in Units 3658-59 just 50 m north of the northern end of the line. Compared to Ayios Mnason, where the maximum density is 12.1, these figures are again relatively low. The very low number of tile fragments (17; maximum density 0.2 per sq m) provides another contrast with Ayios Mnason, and a further indication that this material most likely does not represent the remains of a settlement.

When broken down into specific groups of periods, the pottery is predominantly Geometric to Classical, though none of it is certainly Geometric. What is interesting about this distribution is its very even spread across the whole POSI, typically 0.1 to 0.3 sherds per sq m (equivalent to a Pottery Index from the survey units of 1000-2000, a similar correspondence to that from SCY110). The Geometric to Classical material does not seem to be closely correlated with the undated pottery (cf. SCY110), and so is probably fairly representative of the material from this period. Movement due to plough action is unlikely across the field boundaries, so this low but even spread of material would seem to be another good candidate for pottery spread as a result of manuring. It is unsurprising that there should have been intense agriculture 1 km from the rich Archaic to Classical city of Tamassos.

Material from the Hellenistic-Roman periods is much sparser and not so evenly spread. That from the Medieval-Modern periods is rather greater in density but characteristically more patchy in distribution, though the pattern might have been distorted by large numbers of Medieval-Modern sherds which we were unable to identify.