SCY215 : Kalokhorio Pontizos

Extensive Pottery Scatter

Grid reference: 514200/3875000
Cadastral plan: XXXVIII/6
Aerial photograph: 1993, Run 175, No. 229

SCY215: Total Pottery and Tile; Pottery by Period

During the 1995 and 1996 seasons it had become clear to SCSP teams that the alluvial plains of the Akaki and Pedhiaios Rivers contained broad spreads of cultural material which gradually rose and fell in terms of density, but rarely formed any obvious density peaks. We decided to investigate this phenomenon further by selecting specific areas for more intensive survey, using lines of circles as the field methodology. Two of these areas (SCY110, SCY209) clearly had rather high density levels; a third, Kalokhorio Pontizos (SCY215), was chosen precisely because of its low levels.

Pontizos consists of a series of intensively cultivated fields lying on a remnant terrace on the west bank of the Akaki river, ca. 1 km northwest of Kalokhorio. Because of the very low levels of material, we set out 12 circles of 10 m diameter in fields which had good visibility and access. All material was counted, and a representative sample was collected following our usual system.

The total pottery and tile figures show a fairly even, though very low, spread of material across most of the area. Two circles in the northeast corner had very low counts (5 sherds in each, or 0.06 per sq m), but this is a marginal area and may not have been cultivated before the advent of heavy machinery. The other 10 circles have densities ranging from 0.5 to 1 sherd per sq m, including a relatively high proportion of tile. When broken down into periods, it is clear that material from the Medieval to Modern periods predominates, with most densities ranging between 0.2 and 0.4 sherds per sq m. This is exactly the same figure as the low-density 'carpets' of pottery we have elsewhere ascribed to manuring (e.g., SCY110 and SCY209).

The other possible explanation for this situation is that settlements were dumping their refuse out in the fields, a scenario also suggested by the discovery of items such as shoes and fragments of plastic. Pontizos is 1 km from the Medieval to Modern village of Kalokhorio, via the Medieval bridge at Mutoyephiron (SCY302), and 1 km northeast of the small late Ottoman to Modern agricultural settlement at Alonia (SCY130). A breakdown of pottery by period shows a certain weighting, with the precisely datable material consisting of 13 Medieval sherds, 52 Ottoman and 22 Modern. Its spatial distribution is relatively broad and even. Material at Pontizos from earlier periods is too low and unpatterned to be very meaningful, but it seems clear that this area underwent some combination of agriculture and dumping of settlement refuse during the Medieval to Modern periods.