SIA 2: Klirou Manastirka

The church of Panayia tou Lakhni lies at the top of a small ridge in the centre of a cultivated valley, with a stream immediately to its east and the steep-sided wooded mountain of Vournia 500 m to the west. 2 km to the northwest is the modern village and major Roman settlement of Klirou. The church was substantially rebuilt in 1993 and the top of the knoll bulldozed, but there are rubble piles to the west and a dense scatter of pottery and tile fragments all around. The pottery continues across the surrounding fields, indicating major and long-term human activity in the area. Between the church and the stream, a dense concentration of slag fragments adds to the striking material presence in this area. To the northwest is Klirou Lithinon (SCY201), the steep-sided eastern slope of Vournia, where there was a major Roman cemetery.

Pottery from the Geometric to Classical periods is spread rather sparsely across the whole SIA, which most likely represents general land use. There are three apparent peaks: SCY132, which has a large Archaic component (and the rest could be Archaic or Classical); SCY211, which has very similar proportions of periods but is much more restricted in size, and two units to the west, where the more closely datable pottery is more weighted towards the Classical period.

By contrast to the Iron Age to Classical period, the Hellenistic to Roman material in SIA 2 is much more sparse. This material also shows a general preponderance to the Late Roman period. The fineware sherds show a high proportion of imports, suggesting a certain degree of affluence, and are consistently dated towards the end of the Late Roman period, 5th to 7th century AD.

The Byzantine to Modern periods are dominated by the Modern. There is very little Medieval material, apart from a very light scatter in the southwest corner of the SIA. This is most unusual in the survey area, particularly for an area which has a church and a reasonable scatter of Late Roman pottery. The Ottoman material is clearly concentrated round the church and monastery, and coincides well with the tile distribution.