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Early Bronze Age

Beginning in the last third of the 4th millennium BCE, Tsoungiza was resettled. Carbon 14 dates, pottery, and stratigraphy indicate that people began to live atop the hill at the beginning of the pottery phase known as Final Neolithic continuously into the Early Bronze Age, known on Mainland Greece as the Early Helladic I phase (pottery at left) when architecture begins to appear. Our radiocarbon date (timeline of site) from a deep cistern or latrine is between 3326 and 3102 BCE.

    Architectural remains, a burnt floor and a substantial building with roof tiles mark settlement of the phase Early Helladic II. Radiocarbon dates from this period are bracketed between 2565 and 2364 BCE.
 

EH II drinking bowls and other 
pottery from a burnt floor


Mixing, serving and drinking 
vessels from a pit

An EH II copper dagger with rivets for handle

 
 
    The most striking building of this period is Building A, with walls over 1 m. in thickness and to which belonged terra- cotta roof tiles. Special objects came perhaps from this building: a lid of a steatite jewelry box and a rare conical lead seal with the design of a St. Andrew's cross. Along with some probable Cycladic pottery, these artifacts are indicative of the extent to which this settlement was linked to the wider world through trade. This building was followed by Building B, which belongs to the developed phase of Early Helladic II.
    Late phases of Early Helladic II, such as are known at the site of Lerna in the Argolid, have not been recovered on Tsoungiza. It may be that the settlement was abandoned, perhaps for come 500 years, since the next phase present falls within developed Early Helladic III. A number of pits belong to this period.
    An unusual feature of the site is the so-called "cistern", a meter in diameter shaft with footholds cut into its side. The shaft proceeds through the marl bedrock to a depth of 13 m (ca. 43 feet), but it does not reach the water table and could not have been a well. Originally it may have been a large storage chamber. When excavated it was filled with debris, including Early Helladic III pottery.
    Other evidence of Early Helladic settlement is known throughout the site from the following areas, which may be located on the plan of the site:
Excavation Unit 2--sounding
Excavation Unit 3--sounding
Excavation Unit 6--sounding
                    Excavation Unit 7--sounding and two pits
Excavation Unit 8--sounding
  Excavation Unit 10--sounding

    These demonstrate that the site had been enclosed by two deep ravines throughout most of the Early Bronze Age.  Excavation into these ravines (see soundings above) defined their form.  The ravines were filled in by the end of the Early Helladic III period and buildings of the next period were located atop the fill. 


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