TPS. The Thorikos survey project



Between 2012 and 2015, a Ghent-Utrecht team conducted an intensive survey on the south slopes of the Velatouri, covering the area of the lower town of Thorikos as well as parts of the acropolis. In 2018, a team from Louvain-la- Neuve and Liège resumed the survey, extending it to the north, with the aim of completing the surface investigation of the whole hill. The project has several aims. The main goal is to connect the records of the various, dispersed excavations within a unified documentation to allow for a better understanding of the site’s historical development and shifts in settlement pattern. Secondly, the comprehensive approach will shed light also on remains from understudied periods, most notably the Neolithic through Early Bronze Age and the post- classical period. Finally, the results are expected to increase our understanding of the socio-economic relationships between Thorikos and the wider region. The survey was carried out by field- walking. First, the pre-existing 50×50 m macrosquares were divided in four. Four students then walked each resulting mesosquare for 20 minutes, which enabled the team to scan the entire surface for finds and features, paying equal attention to each square while avoiding dangerous areas – shafts, cliffs, dense maquis etc. Aside from observing the artefact-scatter, close attention was paid to architectural remains, mine shafts and entrances, and rock graffiti. The 2012-15 field- campaigns were followed up by material processing campaigns until 2017, as students and professionals from several European universities joined to classify and document the 56,898 finds. These include metallurgical residues such as slags and litharge, lithics such as grinding stones and obsidian, and ceramics. The pottery chronology is very extensive, spanning the Final Neolithic to the Early Modern period.