Archaeological sites OLYNTHOS (Ancient city) HALKIDIKI - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Listed 11 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites for destination: "OLYNTHOS Ancient city HALKIDIKI".


Archaeological sites (11)

Ancient towns

Olynthos

  Olynthos, whose pre-Hellenic name means wild fig-tree, was founded in the 7th century BC in Chalkidike by the Bottiaioi. The city, built on a hill according to the free system of town-planning, was destroyed in 479 BC by the Persians, who turned it over to the Chalkidians.
  In 432 BC the king of Macedonia Perdikkas II persuaded the Chalkidian cities to desert the Athenian Confederacy and form the Chalkidian League. The inhabitants of these cities abandoned their homes for security reasons and settled at Olynthos.
  In order to accommodate the Chalkidians, the city was rebuilt on a hill north of its former site. There, as seat of the Chalkidian League, it prospered. At the end of the 5th century BC it had 15,000 inhabitants, and in the first half of the following century it became the foremost city of the Chalkidian Peninsula.
  Classical Olynthos was laid out according to the Hippodameian system and was surrounded by walls. The wide avenues and large well-built houses, decorated with mosaic floors and plastered walls, indicate the prosperity of the city. Olynthos tried to resist the expansionist schemes of Philip II, and as a result was entirely destroyed in 348 BC.

By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.


Perseus Site Catalog

Olynthos

Region: Macedonia
Periods: Neolithic, Archaic, Classical
Type: Fortified city
Summary: Grid planned city, capital of the Chalcidic League

Physical Description:
    Olynthus is located between the westernmost and central "fingers" of the Chalcidic peninsula, about 2.5 km. inland from the sea. The country immediately surrounding the city is rolling fields, well drained and plentifully supplied with water. To the north, the Polygyros hills rise to some 3000 feet. The city was built on two flat-topped hills rising about 30-40 m. above the surrounding plain (the North and South Hills). In addition, houses were built to the east of the two hills, down on the plain in the area known as the "Villa Section." A narrow ridge extending southwards from the southeast corner of the North Hill is known as the East Spur Hill (ESH). The South Hill was probably occupied as early as the seventh century, and continued to be densely inhabited throughout the life of the town. By contrast, the North Hill was not inhabited until the anoikismos of 432 or shortly thereafter (below). The western fortification wall was uncovered by the excavation in a number of places. The clearest stretch is along the west side of the North Hill, where it forms the back walls of the houses along the brow of the hill (cf. Plat. Laws 779b). The line of the wall along the east side of the hill, however, is not as easy to determine. Possible traces of a fortification wall were discovered on the brow of the East Spur Hill, and the arrangement of houses and buildings in that area, suggest that the east brow of the hill formed the original limit of the city, with the wall ringed inside by a row of houses analogous to that in Rows A. This section of fortification wall probably belongs with the layout of the North Hill in 432 BC. A section of fortification wall was uncovered at the north end of the South Hill; but whether this wall is part of the enclosure that also ringed the North Hill or part of an earlier circuit that protected only the South Hill before the anoikismos is uncertain. The South Hill must have been fortified in both periods, however: Artabazus' siege of Olynthus in 479 BC shows that it was fortified at least that early (Hdt. 8.128). The South Hill has an area of some 7 hectares. The North and East Spur Hills together measure some 17 ha., including the valley between the two hills. The extent of the Villa Section was not determined: roughly 16 ha. can be documented, but the section may continue considerably farther. The area documented by the excavations therefore totals about 40 ha., with the Villa Section a wild card. By contrast, the built-up area of the city of Priene, for instance, encompasses only some 15 ha., although the walls enclose about 37 ha. Of this area, about 4 ha. was actually excavated. This is a fairly small proportion of the whole town, but is more than almost any other Greek urban site. The North Hill was laid out in an orthogonal plan which, with some irregularities, filled the entire area of the hill. Houses were mostly grouped in blocks of ten, comprised of two rows of five houses separated by a narrow alley. On the east side of the city, however, the blocks were shortened to allow the roads to follow the topography of the hill. The streets are oriented almost due north-south and east-west. The north-south arteries were labelled "avenues" A, B, C etc. by the excavators, the east-west arteries "streets" i, ii, iii etc. Blocks were identified by the intersection of street and avenue at their southwest corner. Within the blocks, houses are numbered from the northwest: house A v 1 is at the northwest corner of block A v; A v 2 is at the southwest corner of A v; A v 3 is the second house from the west on the north half of A v, and so forth. Towards the eastern part of the city the grid plan becomes more irregular. The plan of the Villa Section was not completely established; all the houses in the blocks were probably not built, but space was left open around some of the houses. The grid here on the plain is oriented 2-3 degrees nearer to magnetic north than the grid on the North Hill, and is probably a later extension. Most of the houses of Olynthus conform to a basically similar ground plan, commonly referred to as a "pastas house." They are roughly square, averaging about 17.2 m. across. Two important axes cross the house from east to west: one near the midpoint of the house divides it into two nearly equal parts, the second divides the northern half into two portions. These axes govern the placement of walls and pillars, which had to be aligned to support the common roof which ran over the northern half of the entire row of houses. Like most Greek houses, they are based around a central courtyard, often paved. The court was nearly always located on the southern half of the house (cf. Xen. Mem. 3.8.9-10; Aesch. PB 450-453). Opening onto the north side of the court is a long portico, identified by Graham as the "pastas" mentioned in ancient sources. These two areas, the court and pastas, are the main unifying elements of the house, and also seem to be the foci for most of the household activities: well-lit and airy but sheltered from the sun and rain, the pastas in particular offers a convenient and comfortable work area. Most of the other rooms open directly onto either the court or the pastas. The organization of rooms in typical Olynthian houses is thus paratactic or non-hierarchical: that is, there are relatively few "back rooms" on the ground floor to which access is restricted by an intermediate room. Nor is there a single dominant room or axis, as there is in the "prostas" type of house, as well as in the typical Roman house. A number of different room types are commonly found in Olynthian houses. A "kitchen complex" consisting of a large chamber, sometimes with a built hearth, and one or two smaller spaces partly divided from it on one side, is one such unit. One of the smaller rooms usually served as a bathroom, with bathtubs frequently found in situ. The other small room seems to have been used for cooking; in most cases these rooms could be entered from the court or pastas, and they often contained ashes and many artifacts. Another distinctive suite of rooms is the andron-anteroom complex. Androns, or formal dining rooms, are well attested both in literary sources and archaeologically, not only at Olynthus but at many other sites (e.g. Xen. Sym. 1.13; Aristoph. Eccl. 675ff; Murray 1990; Hoepfner & Schwandner 1986). At Olynthus, the androns are usually square, most often about 4.8 x 4.8 m., with a cement floor (occasionally decorated with mosaic) and plastered and painted walls. They are normally the most elaborately decorated of the rooms of the house. A raised border about 0.85-1.0 m. wide runs around the sides of the room. Dining couches or klinai were set on this border around the walls of the room; most androns probably held seven couches. Because of the arrangement of couches, the doors of most androns were off-center. The floor was frequently drained by a channel or pipe let through one of the walls, either into the street or occasionally into a catchbasin in the anteroom; this would facilitate washing down the floor after the boisterous and messy revelry that went on in these rooms. A number of houses have special workrooms and shops, opening onto the street (e.g. A iv 9 , A vii 4 ). Within this very regular plan, however, there is considerable variation, and the apparent uniformity of the house plans is, on closer inspection, somewhat deceptive. Some houses devote a lot of space to androns, kitchens and other specialized rooms; others have more general-purpose spaces; others have many shops, and so forth. Moreover, the houses on one block tend to be more similar to one another than they are to houses on other blocks. Houses with many shops are mostly found along Avenue B, which probably formed a major commercial artery through the city. The houses of block A vi have more androns, more kitchens, and more decorated rooms than those of A v, while the north half of block A vii is much more irregularly planned than the south half. The coherence of house blocks may result from social ties among the households who built the block. The blocks thus form social as well as physical building units of the city. And the differing uses of space, equipment, and assemblages in houses in different parts of the city shows that the city was organized in different sorts of neighborhoods, and that households of different neighborhoods engaged in different trades and economies. On the South Hill, two public areas were excavated. At the north tip of the hill was a rather poorly-preserved area with two "arsenals" or stoas and fragments of other large buildings. To the south of this area is the "Civic Center," consisting of a large building built of ashlars which may have been a bouleuterion or other meeting place. Another public area is located towards the south end of the North Hill. This consists of an open plaza, about 85 m. wide and perhaps 130 m. long, which was apparently free of building. Three public buildings surround the north side and northeast corner of this plaza: a poorly preserved stoa-like building along the north side, a building with central colonnade at A iv 10 (so-called "bouleuterion"), and a fountain house at A iii 9. This open space was probably the agora of the city. The fountain house in the northeast corner of the agora (building A iii 9) was fed by a large terracotta pressure pipe set some six meters below the surface at the bottom of a subterranean tunnel. The pipe continued northward beneath Avenue A, leaving the city through the gate at the northern end of the avenue. The pipe was apparently fed from sources in the hills to the north, some 12 km. away. No sanctuaries have been found in the city; the main sanctuary of the city may have been outside the city walls. Three cemeteries were partly explored by Robinson's team. Some 560 graves were excavated at the main one, known as the Riverside Cemetery, which was located just to the west of the city. To the north, the North Cemetery produced only some 30 graves, more widely scattered than at the Riverside Cemetery. The third burial ground was the East Cemetery, located on a small knoll some 700 m. east of the tip of the South Hill. In addition, a Macedonian-type chamber tomb was excavated some 2 km west of the city. Robinson believed that these three graveyards were the only ones used by the Olynthians.
Description:
   
The urban history of Olynthus can be divided into fairly distinct periods. There is an early phase, little known either historically or archaeologically; the rebellion from Athens of 432 BC and the anoikismos ("moving inland"), in which the populations of some of the neighboring Chalcidian cities moved inland to Olynthus to form a larger and more defensible city; the growth of Olynthus and of the Chalcidic state in the fourth century, and finally the destruction of the city by Philip of Macedon in 348 BC. In the Neolithic period there was a small settlement on the South Hill. No Bronze Age remains are preserved on the site, but nearby Agios Mamas was inhabited during that era. Archaic occupation begins in about the seventh century, when a town was founded on the South Hill (Olynthus, 5, 15-61). At some point this town was taken, according to Herodotus, by the Bottiaeans, a local tribe which had been driven here by the Macedonians (Hdt. 8.127). Together with the other towns in the area, Olynthus supplied troops and ships to Xerxes in 480. But during the Persian retreat from Greece in 479 BC, Artabazus besieged and captured the city, suspecting that it would revolt from the King (Hdt. 8.127; Hdt. 7.122). Artabazus probably did not kill all the Bottiaeans living at Olynthus, since they seem to have been an important element of the citizen body later on, and even minted their own coinage in parallel with the Chalcidic. The archaeological remains from this early period, down to the last third of the fifth century, are exclusively concentrated on the South Hill. In 432 BC, in the face of Athenian aggression, Perdiccas, the king of Macedon, persuaded a number of Chalcidic cities to move inland and form a single, fortified city at Olynthus (Thuc. 1.58). This anoikismos, or "moving inland," is generally thought to have been the impetus behind the expansion of the old town of Olynthus on the South Hill onto the broad, flat-topped hill to the north, and the laying out of a new grid-planned section of the city there. It is thus the most critical single event in the urban history of Olynthus. At some time before 382, the Chalcidians formed a League with Olynthus as its capital (see Xen. Hell. 5.2.11-20). Various dates have been proposed, from before 479 BC, to 432 BC, to the end of the fifth century. The nature of this League, whether a true confederacy of independent poleis or a single unitary state with a single set of laws and citizenship, is also debated (see Olynthus, 9, 115; Zahrnt 1971, 80-84). Olynthus was sacked and burned by Philip of Macedon in 348 BC, and this destruction is responsible for the unusually fine preservation of the houses and their contents (Dem. 9.11; Dem. 9.26; Dem. 19.267; Diod. Sic. 16.52ff.). A number of houses showed evidence of intense burning; most contained large numbers of objects still in situ on the floors. Evidence of the siege and fighting at the walls and in the city was quite widespread: slingbullets and arrowheads, many bearing the names of Philip and his generals, were found throughout the site, particularly on the east side of the South Hill. A small area of the site at the north end of the North Hill was reoccupied after 348 BC: early Hellenistic coins were found in considerable numbers there, as well as in the public buildings which were apparently robbed by the late settlers. There has been some doubt about how complete the abandonment was in recent years, and it has been claimed that most of the site was reoccupied after Philip's destruction. This author's analysis of the coins and other data from the site, however, suggests that while a small area was undoubtedly reoccupied, the greater part of the site was definitively abandoned.
Exploration:
   
The site was excavated in four seasons between 1928 and 1939 by D.M. Robinson. Recent excavations and restorations are being undertaken by Dr. J. Vokotoulou.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 93 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Perseus Building Catalog

Olynthus, House A 11

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: Irregularly planned house near the Agora of Olynthus
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
Rather irregular plan with rooms ranged irregularly around a small courtyard; built against the western fortification wall of the city.

Other Notes:
The southern three houses in Row A, houses A 11 - A 13, are irregular in plan but rather similar to one another. Like the other houses in Row A, house A 11 is larger than the average Olynthian house, measuring 17.7 x 21.3 m, including the alley between it and A 12, and is built against the west fortification wall of the city. It is irregular in plan, consisting of a series of architecturally unspecialized rooms arranged around a courtyard (g), with no kitchen, andron, or other specialized spaces. The house has no pastas; all of its rooms seem fairly enclosed. Half of the rooms are roughly the same size: a, d, e, h, i and j are all about 4.9 x 4.5 m; the other rooms somewhat smaller. The rooms are arranged in a more hierarchical fashion than those of "typical" houses: for instance, the only entrance into room e is through rooms h and i, and the only entrance into room k is through l. The walls are unplastered and unpainted; the floors all earth. The entrance to the house is not certain, since its east wall was not preserved above its foundations, but was probably through the "alley," room m. There is no evidence for a second floor. The house thus shows a less organized and "typical" architectural arrangement of space than the more regular houses at Olynthus. To judge from the distribution of artifacts in the rooms, the use of space was less organized as well. Some activities are restricted to specific rooms, for instance weaving in room d, where 25 loomweights were found. But other types of artifacts and activities seem distributed all over the house. The rooms in the northwestern part of the house, for instance, contained storage amphoras in roughly equal numbers: five rooms (c, d, e, h, and k) each contained two amphoras, while a sixth (i) contained four. Whatever these amphoras were used to store, no single space seems to have been designated for storage, but instead that function was distributed through many rooms. Likewise, no room has a great concentration of vases: tablewares are found, in moderate numbers, in rooms e, f, g, h, k, l and m, but there is no specific room where household equipment was stored, as there was, for instance, in house A iv 9 or the House of Many Colors . Other notable artifacts in the house include a lower grindstone which was found in room h; "pithos lids or table tops" in e and h; a louter base in b and a louter and base in j. And in the western part of the court was found a cache of at least eight plastic vases and terracottas, including a head of Dionysus and a faun head, two male heads, a female mask, and three female figures. Such caches are not uncommon in the courts and porticoes of houses at Olynthus. Finally, this house, like its neighbors A 12 and A 13, contained a large number of coins. Room j had a hoard of 10 bronze coins, and the whole house contained some 96 coins, including six silver coins; this is second only to house A iv 9 , which contained 100 coins. A sales inscription (or, more precisely, an inscription recording a "sale on condition that the seller may release the property from the buyer's claim on it," or a "security in the form of a conditional sale," one of the many roundabout ways the Greeks negotiated loans) was found in the courtyard, recording that this house was used as security on a 2000 dr. loan to Archidamus, son of Metrichus. The inscription lists the neighbors as Polyxenus the son of Telagrus and Pythion, the son of Diodorus; Polyxenus and Pythion also served as witnesses to the transaction. It is notable that among the magistrates of the Chalcidic mint were men named Archidamus and Polyxenus. If these are the same men as those named in this inscription, it is interesting that they were neighbors, and that these prominent men would own such irregular and architecturally undistinguished houses.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, House A iv 9

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: Well-built house near the Agora of Olynthus, with three shops.
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
Domestic portion of house fairly regular in plan, with very small paved court, pastas, kitchen complex and storerooms in SW; unusual "light well" (?) entrance; three large shops take up east part of house; second story with separate entrance from lower.

Other Notes:
A iv 9 lies in as the center of downtown Olynthus, adjoining the agora and opening onto Avenue B. It was well preserved under between 1 and 1.8 m of fill. The hill slopes off to the east here, and the the eastern part of the house lies at a lower level than the west, the house being terraced at two levels. The eastern third of the house, facing onto Avenue B, was taken up by three shops (d, f, l), of roughly equal size. The rest of the house conforms more or less to standard layout: a small court, a pastas extending the width of the domestic area of the house; one "North Room" (a) and an interesting suite (b-c); a kitchen complex south of the court and two rooms, g and i, in the southwest corner of the house. The construction is better than usual, with drafted ashlar masonry on the east and part of the north wall, two rooms with painted walls, and a number of stone architectural elements. The entrance to the house leads into room c. The door was of the prothyron type, whose four bases are still preserved; but extending from the southeastern base is another series of worked stones. This is probably a stairbase, but here opening to the outside of the house, rather than to the interior. The upper floor, therefore, may have been either a separate dwelling with its own entrance from the street, or some other kind of separate space. The pastas was originally divided from the court by a colonnade, but the intercolumniations were later partly walled off, perhaps to a height of only about a meter or so, leaving a doorway just west of the central pillar. Its walls were painted red with a white baseboard. Against the south wall of the pastas, just east of the door into room g, was found a terracotta louter base in situ, whose basin was found across the room near the door to room a. A storage amphora rested nearby against the south wall, as at the House of Many Colors, and perhaps for the same purpose, to hold water for washing. However, there were no portable altars in the pastas, and this louter was probably used for domestic washing and other tasks rather than for ritual purification. There is less evidence of furniture here than at some other houses at Olynthus, but the distribution of finds near the walls suggests that the east and west walls had shelves or other furniture: part of a red-figure pelike was found in the northeast corner, a one-handled cup in the southeast corner, while three lamps were found against the west wall. Three shallow bowls were also found in the pastas, as well as three loomweights and a spindle whorl, a swinging handle attachment from a bronze vessel, and seven coins. While the pastas does not show the quantity and variety of finds and so, presumably, of activities as some others, its uses seem in general similar, including washing and shelving of some domestic vases and equipment. Room a, painted red with a buff baseboard, was apparently used for weaving: thirty-one loomweights, or about one loom's worth, were found in the room. The room also contained a mold for a terracotta figurine -- another was found in the court, and it is possible that figurines were produced in this house. Rooms b and c probably formed a light well like those at the House of Many Colors and the Villa of the Bronzes. There were few finds in either of these rooms. In the southeast corner of room c was a peculiar hollow rectangle of stone and mudbrick, plastered in places, and drained by an open drain of reused rooftiles, which, at least as preserved, did not continue all the way out the door of the house. Graham suggested first that the rectangle might be the foundation of a cupboard, and later that it might have supported the stairs to the upper story; but it is far too flimsy to have supported the weight of a staircase. Within this rectangle were found the base of a marble louter, standing upright, and a portable altar. The reconstruction of the structure is problematic, but it might have formed or supported a kind of domestic shrine, the louter here used for ritual rather than general domestic washing, and the drain, which in any case could not have handled large amounts of runoff, intended for liquid offerings. The assemblage might thus be similar to those in the pastades of the House of Many Colors and the Villa of the Bronzes. The court of this house was rather small, but well cobbled and drained by a pipe leading out the front door of the house. Pithoi were set into the floor in two corners, to catch water from the gutters. A marble louter base, inscribed --]OS --]ENE --]ENIOS, was set against the north wall of the court; and nearby was a plastic vase of a Silenus. Another mold for a terracotta figurine was found in the court, the second in this house, suggesting that the owner was in some way connected with coroplasty.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 3 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, House A v 10

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: House on the North Hill of Olynthus, with shops and olive press.
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
Domestic portion of house fairly regular in plan, with courtyard, pastas, kitchen complex. Three shops take up much of the eastern part of the house. Probably had a second story.

Other Notes:
House A v 10 is rather similar in plan to house A iv 9 . It has a well-defined pastas and courtyard, a kitchen complex, and three shops fronting onto Avenue B. It may have had a second story: a small gap in the pavement of the court against the west wall might once have held a stone base supporting a stair ascending to the south. The house was entered through double doors on Street v, like those in the Villa of the Bronzes: the entrance on the right is about 2.1 m. broad, probably for carts and wheeled traffic, and the second, narrower door on the left, only 1.2 m. broad, was probably for pedestrians. Another door led into the shop (f) on Avenue B. The open court was fairly small, only 3.5 x 3.8 m., and was drained to the south by a drain made of stone slabs. South of the paved court was an unpaved area which must have been a covered exedra, its roof supported by a single base. The area northeast of the court was also roofed. Together, these three areas seem to have seen a wide range of activities. The court or exedra contained a large fragment of an olive crusher or orbis. The stone was broken and there was no trace of the rest of the crushing apparatus; but while we cannot be completely certain that this stone was part of a complete machine set up here, the wide double doorway into the house, appropriate for carts and heavy loads and found in many houses where agricultural products were processed, and the findspot of the piece on the floor of the court or exedra, where such a machine would most likely have been set up, help confirm the significance of this fragment. Probably the less damaged pieces were salvaged and reused after the destruction. Two terracotta louters found here might also have been used in olive crushing. Two groups of loomweights, one containing 23 weights, the other 38, document weaving somewhere in the house, but the room(s) in which they were found were not recorded. Unlike some houses at Olynthus such as the House of Many Colors or the Villa of the Bronzes , the pastas of house A v 10 contained only a few objects, and may therefore not have been used for such a range of activities. Perhaps the covered exedra, being architecturally similar to the pastas, took on some of its functions. The kitchen complex (rooms b, c and the unlabeled bathroom) is slightly irregular in design, the wall dividing the bath from the flue being skew, and the flue having a door into the kitchen rather than into the pastas or court, as is usually the case. As so often, the kitchen contained only a few, rather miscellaneous finds: a fragment of a bronze grater, a lamp, a saucer, a few pieces of hardware. A number of fragments of a bathtub were found in the bath and more in the flue. As in house A iv 9 , the eastern part of the house was taken up by three shops fronting on Avenue B. The central shop had doors to the street, to the domestic part of the house and to the shop to its north, while the southern shop had only a door to the street. The connection between the main house and the northern two shops shows that these at least belonged to the owner of the house. This conclusion is supported by the sales inscription. The northern shop (d) contained a hoard of ten bronze coins and sixteen other scattered coins, not from the hoard. As in the shops of A iv 9 , this is a large number of coins for a single room. A bronze stylus is perhaps also evidence of trade. In addition, however, the room contained a number of pieces of jewelry and vases. The middle shop contained few finds, and was perhaps more of an entrance and anteroom than a shop per se. The southern shop, however, contained two more styli, eight coins, and a lead weight, an assemblage similar to that of the northern shop. The shop also contained a number of tablewares and coarse vases, seven loomweights, a large terracotta female head, a knife and a spearhead, and other domestic and miscellaneous objects. A sales inscription found in room g records that Dionysius, son of Ithyras bought this house, together with the storeroom (ho pitheon) and "all the things that bring income" (t?a? m?i[sth]ophora panta), for 5300 drachmas. The price is the highest documented value for a house at Olynthus or, for that matter, in the entire Chalcidice; other houses at Olynthus sold for between 410 and 4500 dr., and a roughly comparable house, the House of Zoilos , sold in the same year for less than a quarter of this price, 1200 dr. No pithoi were found in the house, and so the storeroom cannot be identified: either they were salvaged from the house after the destruction, or removed between the time the house was sold and when it was finally destroyed, or perhaps the pitheon was located outside the house. But the reason for the unusually high price is probably the inclusion of t?a? m?i[sth]ophora, which might include the three income-bringing shops on the east side of the house and the olive-crushing equipment in the court of the house. The fact that they were specifically mentioned in this sale shows that in other circumstances they might not be included with the house -- shops might be rented out or sold, and other equipment sold separately -- but included with the house, they probably increased its value considerably. Domestic functions are not as well documented in this house as in some others, perhaps because it was excavated somewhat hastily. But the scarcity of equipment in the pastas and kitchen complex is probably not due simply to poor preservation or excavation; it rather suggests a different form of organization. Instead of the pastas, the court and roofed exedra took over some domestic functions. The site(s) of weaving are uncertain, but the household certainly produced its own cloth, as was normal in a Greek household. Most interesting, however, is the variety of other sorts of work that went on in the house. An olive crusher is too great an investment for most houses to have made or needed; just like today, only a few specialists in the community actually owned such expensive machinery, and most olive growers would have rented time on the equipment when their olives were harvested (Forbes & Foxhall conservatively estimate one press per ten households in antiquity [Expedition 21 (1978) 37-47]). This house, like a number of houses in Row A and elsewhere, seems to have specialized in such agricultural processing, and been built accordingly, with wide double doors able to accommodate carts and beasts of burden. The absence of a press to extract the oil from the crushed olive pulp is not too surprising, since these could be made of wood and leave few traces. The shops might have been part of this agricultural processing or perhaps involved with another side of the family business. The sales inscription associates ho pitheon with t?a? m?i[sth]ophora panta and it is tempting to speculate that one of the shops served as a storeroom for olives or oil (its pithoi later salvaged), and so could belong with the olive-crushing enterprise. In any case, these features seem to have been considered among the most important in the house, enough to rate special mention in the sales inscription, and probably to increase the price of the house well above average.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 5 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, House A v 9

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: House on the North Hill of Olynthus, with three shops facing Avenue B.
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
Domestic portion of house somewhat irregular, with very small court, small "pastas"-like room, possible kitchen-complex. Three shops take up much of the eastern part of the house.

Other Notes:
This house was, in its final form, rather irregular in plan, with a very small court (i), a short "pastas," a kitchen complex, and a number of rather irregular rooms which do not fit the standard Olynthian design. It seems to have been remodelled, though: in the walls between f, j, e and i were built three reused olive crushers and a reused threshold block. The house was therefore probably more regular in its original form. Unlike most of the other houses on its block, it had two stories, with a stairbase in the pastas (room e). The small paved area (i) seems to have been the only part of the house open to the sky. In the northwest corner was a jar set into the floor for catching rainwater, like the two in house A iv 9 ; there were no other finds. The area to the south of this was not paved, and two stones along its southern side could have served as rough pillar bases supporting a roof over this area. The space would thus be open both to the court and to the alley, into which rainwater from the roof would drain. In this exedra were found 19 loomweights at floor level, suggesting that a loom had been set up here. Not far away was a bronze "probe" with pointed ends, perhaps actually a weaving tool. The alley here was paved, apparently by the owners of this house since the pavement ends at the east end of the house. Unlike the alleys in some other houses, this area seems to have been kept fairly clean and not used for the disposal of refuse (probably because it was open to the exedra). Besides the exedra, three other rooms contained large numbers of loomweights. Room h contained 22 loomweights, as well as an inscribed lead weight. Room j had 18 loomweights, and room e, the "pastas," 24. Each group probably represents the debris from one loom. All these rooms adjoined the court, and could have been lit by windows; they would therefore be suitable for weaving. Four looms is more than would be needed for household use, and with all the well-lit space adjoining the court used for weaving, amounting to about a third of the area of the house, this house seems to have been producing textiles on a relatively large scale. Room e corresponds to the pastas of the house, although in its final form it was entered from the court through a door rather than a colonnade. As in other houses, this room was an important workspace, housing a variety of activities in this sheltered and relatively well-lit space. In addition to weaving, the pastas was used for preparing food. A grindstone was found near the center of the room, together with a number of vases and other artifacts. In the southeast corner was a large stone mortar, buried up to its rim below the floor; and a terracotta louter base was found in the room as well. This might actually be part of a kneading trough, used to prepare dough from flour cleaned and ground with the mortar and grindstone. The kitchen complex on the north side of the house seems regular in design: a large room (c) separated by a pillar partition from the "flue" (b), with a small room (a) to its north as a bath. However, like the complex in A v 10, these rooms contained only a few finds, and its use remains somewhat problematic. Few or no vases were found in the kitchen or in the flue, and no ash is recorded in the flue; there is no trace of cooking or food preparation in the complex. In the "flue" was an unslipped bowl on a stand, possibly a thymiaterion, a female mask and a fragment of another, and many fragments of bronze, probably from some disintegrated object. The masks and thymiaterion suggest cult more than cooking. No bathtub was found in room a, only a bone doll with attached, movable arms and a lead pendant. There is thus no sign that the kitchen was being used as such, at least at the moment the city was destroyed; the few finds might be remnants of a former use by women of the household. The shop in the southeast corner of the house (k) had two doors to the street, but none to the rest of the house. It contained 14 coins, a lead weight, and a collection of bronze fragments including a disk with four holes pierced at its rim. The disk might have served as a small scales pan, the rest of the scales having disintegrated. The assemblage is similar to those in shops of houses A iv 9 and A v 10 , and quite compatible with a function of retail trade, although again it gives little indication of what was being traded. The door to the shop in the northeast (d) was not preserved. 20 coins found here suggest that it served as a shop, but the room also housed domestic activities as well: among its contents were a lower grindstone, vases including a fishplate, a squat lekythos, a saucer, and an amphoriskos; a storage amphora, and two fibulas. This shop is perhaps another example of the rather common mixing of domestic activities with retail trade at Olynthus. The central "shop" and entrance to the house, room g, contained a rather mixed group of finds: a bronze ladle with a swan's head handle, two large but disintegrated bronze objects, and an area of red pigment. This room might have been used for dyeing wool, the bronze objects perhaps basins or cauldrons for mixing hot dyes. In A v 9, then, we see a specialization of work and use of space which we have not seen in many other Olynthian houses. All four rooms adjoining the court were devoted to weaving, three of them apparently exclusively given over to it, and another room perhaps used for dyeing wool before it was woven. The shops facing the street perhaps sold finished textiles, which have left no trace. The household must have included a number of women, free and/or slave, to keep at least four looms busy. It is no surprise, therefore, to find an unusual amount of jewelry in this house: eleven eye beads in the "pastas," an earring and bracelet in the kitchen, two fibulas in room d, an earring in g, a finger ring in l, pendants in the "bath" and alley, as well as another fibula and another eye bead from uncertain rooms. As in house A v 10 , domestic functions in this house are surprisingly restricted. The kitchen complex contained no signs of food preparation, cooking or the storage of eating or drinking equipment; instead some of these functions are documented in the pastas and room d. This may suggests a use of space rather different from that of other Olynthian houses, and more similar to that of its neighbor A v 10. There are no provisions in A v 9 for large-scale storage of foodstuffs or other produce. One storage amphora in room d is the only large container, and the pithos in the court probably collected rainwater. In this respect the house is similar to A iv 9 , and quite different from the houses in the Villa Section, for instance the House of Many Colors and the Villa of the Bronzes .

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 4 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, House A vii 4

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: House of regular plan in block A vii on the North Hill of Olynthus.
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
This house is frequently taken as the "type house" for Olynthian dwellings: a central courtyard, with an open portico or "pastas" to its north; a series of rooms opening onto the north side of the pastas, including a three-room "kitchen complex"; a small storeroom on the east side of the pastas; an andron entered from an anteroom in the SE corner; a workroom or shop in the SW.

Other Notes:
House A vii 4 contains a full range of rooms found in Olynthian house: a well-defined pastas and cobbled court, a kitchen with bath and flue in the northeast part of the house, an andron and anteroom in the southeast; two rooms opening onto the pastas, and a shop in the southwest part of the house. The fairly large court was cobbled, and a drain led from near the center of the court south into the street. The court contained a variety of finds and, unlike the courts of the House of Many Colors and the Villa of the Bronzes, seems to have been heavily used. Sixteen loomweights were found apparently scattered on the floor; these might be the remains of a loom, or perhaps were lost from a loom previously set up in the court. The court also contained a fair amount of domestic equipment: vases including bowls, a coarse spouted bowl or mortarium, a guttus, a lamp stand, three lekythoi and fragments of many other vessels; a bronze cup or vessel; fragments of four terracotta female masks; various pieces of hardware and other miscellaneous finds. Two bronze weights and a "lead loomweight" (probably another weight) from the court are probably connected with commercial activities in the house, as are other weights from this house. Like the court, the pastas of A vii 4 was the site of a variety of activities, and their assemblages are generally similar. The pastas contained a variety of tablewares, metal vessels, and the like: a hydria, and olpe, a bowl, a guttus, two kantharoi, two lekythoi, and other vases, swinging handles from two bronze vessels, and other such finds. Most of these were found in the west part of the pastas, probably stored on shelves or in chests along the wall, as in the houses discussed above. In this area was a stone "pithos lid or table top," 42 cm. in diameter; these disks could have served a variety of uses, not just as pithos lids but as portable working surfaces. The two rooms north of the pastas (a and b) are almost identical in size, and both had plain walls and an earth floor. Room a contained only a single coin; like so many rooms at Olynthus, its function remains enigmatic, but we should always keep in mind the possibility that it contained perishable furniture. Room b, however, contained 23 loomweights, twelve of them clustered closely, the others scattered nearby. Together with the court, then, this room was seemingly used for weaving. Like the pastas and court, this room contained tablewares, including a red-figure pelike, two plates, a lekythos, a cup, a saltcellar and other fragments, and like the pastas, more jewelry, a fibula and an earring. The "kitchen complex" (rooms c, d, e) shares with the other houses on this row the anomaly of lacking a pillar-partition (at least at the level preserved), despite the house's two stories. The wall between the kitchen and flue is thickened at the south, perhaps to form a kind of platform or counter. A large stone mortar was set towards the west end of the "kitchen" (e), showing that this room was used for processing food. Somewhere in the room was a piece of furniture, which burned leaving a scatter of nails and ash. A few table vases and two lamps might have been stored in this although their exact situation was not noted. Like many other "kitchens" at Olynthus, it was relatively bare of finds. No finds were recorded in the flue (d), but a layer of ash and traces of burning show that this was used for cooking, like flues elsewhere. The tub had been robbed out of the bathroom (c), leaving a gap in the cement pavement; two lekythoi found in the bathroom might have been for oil or perfumes used in bathing. A small room (g) walled off at the east end of the pastas contained a pithos sunk into the floor, with a stone disk serving as a lid. The andron is of the usual seven-couch size, entered from the court through an anteroom. As usual, these two rooms were the most highly decorated in the house. Except for the bathroom, whose walls were plastered, all the other rooms of A vii 4 had plain walls; but the andron and anteroom were painted in three colors. The andron had a white baseboard, yellow surbase and red walls, while the anteroom had a black baseboard, red surbase and yellow walls. The platform around the andron, on which the dining couches were set, was painted bright yellow. And as so commonly at Olynthus, both rooms were all but bare. The neck of a red-figured pelike was found in the anteroom, and nothing at all in the andron. Symposium equipment such as fine cups and kraters, funnels and strainers, kottabos stands and the like were perhaps made of bronze or precious metals, and so would have been carried off by fleeing Olynthians or looted by Philip's soldiers; the absence of such assemblages here and in other houses is striking. The large room in the southwest corner of the house had doors to both the courtyard and the street, and so probably served as a shop belonging to the owner of the house. It contained only miscellaneous finds: one coin, a lekythos, a saucer, a bronze swinging handle imbedded in the wall, three loomweights, and hardware. However, the domestic portion of the house contained a number of artifacts which seem related to retail trade: four weights and possible scales in the pastas, and two bronze weights and "lead loomweight" in the court.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 6 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, House of Many Colors

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: Well-decorated house of regular plan in the Villa Section of Olynthus.
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
Fairly regular Olynthian type of house. Relatively small courtyard; "semi-enclosed" pastas not completely open to court. Unusual paved "exedra" to south of court. Two adjoining rooms in NW probably forming a sort of light well. Andron and anteroom in NE corner; kitchen-complex in SW corner; storeroom in SE corner. Second story.

Other Notes:
The "House of Many Colors," (F -ii 9), in the Villa Section of Olynthus and so one of the later houses at the site, was built partly on a terrace cut into the slope of the hill, so that west of the house the bedrock rises almost to the surface. As a result, the west part of the house was quite deeply buried, under more than a meter of fill; the eastern part, however, was buried very shallowly, so that the andron in the northeast corner and the storeroom in the southeast are partly eroded away. Numerous traces of fire, blackening the stucco of the walls, reddening the mudbricks and leaving layers of ash in many of the rooms, attest the violent destruction of the house. On the south of the rather small court was a deep portico or exedra (l), separated from the court by a colonnade. At its west end was a built altar, covered by a canopy supported by two bases. The court was thus one site of household cult, as implied by literary sources. The pastas (e) was of the "semi-enclosed" type, separated from the court by a low wall which probably supported a colonnade above, and entered through a door at the northwest corner of the court. It was thus more sheltered from the elements than was the more common, open type of pastas. To judge from the quantity and types of artifacts found there, the pastas was one main locus of domestic activity. A marble louter (shallow basin on stand) was found in situ in the southwest corner, together with a storage amphora; these were probably used for washing, the amphora holding wash water. Nearby were two portable altars attesting household ritual. The louter may thus have been used for ritual cleansing (in addition perhaps to ordinary household washing). A somewhat similar situation was found in the pastas of the Villa of the Bronzes . Four more amphoras in the east end of the pastas stored some other substance, perhaps wine or oil. A number of vases were also found in the pastas: a fishplate, three black-glaze plates, a shallow bowl, a red-figure pelike, a miniature krater, and a lekythos. a red figured krater, a lid, and a skyphos were found in the west part of the room. Three rooms (a, b and c) open onto the pastas. Rooms a and b were separated by a pillar-partition. This and similar spaces at Olynthus may have been light wells, the smaller room (b) being the light well, open to the sky and illuminating the larger room. The pillars would have supported a second story room above room a. The open "skylight" could have been fitted with a cover (telia) to keep out the rain in bad weather, or perhaps was lit with special "chimney tiles" with elliptical openings (opaia), examples of which were found in the house. Other possible light-wells at Olynthus were found in the Villa of the Bronzes and house A iv 9 . Both these rooms were apparently still under construction when the house was burned. The main room contained an amphora full of sand for making cement, red and blue pigment stored in a small vase and piled on the floor, probably for painting walls, two small pigment grinders, and a pile of blue stone pebbles, probably intended for a mosaic floor; while the light well contained another storage amphora, this one full of cement, and a pile of cement lying on the floor nearby, a terracotta "pithos lid or table top" and a terracotta tray partly under the cement pile, which might have been used for mixing cement, and a pile of black pebbles. But although this suite was apparently being refurbished, it also constituted another important workplace in the House of Many Colors. The larger room contained 35 loomweights, about the right number for a loom, an epinetron and a spindle whorl, while nine more loomweights were found in the light well. Well-lit and airy yet sheltered, the larger room would have been a comfortable and convenient room for weaving. This room also contained many table vases: two fishplates (one red-figured), two plates, two hydrias and a pelike, a lekanis and three lekanis lids (two red-figured), two lekythoi, a guttus, a group of twelve miniature cups, six saucers, a skyphos (?), and two lids. The assemblage apparently contained no coarse or cookingwares. The scarcity of cups here and elsewhere in the house is surprising, and might suggest that drinking vessels of bronze or more precious metals were used in place of pottery, but were looted when the house was destroyed. The room also contained a complete terracotta female head and a female mask. Room c, on the other hand, was more finely decorated, with cement floor and painted walls, but contained only a few, miscellaneous objects: hardware, bronze fragments and the rim of a pithos. Like so many "North Rooms," the function of this space remains uncertain: its fancy decoration might suggest a room for socializing, akin to the andron. In the northeast corner of the house was the andron (d), of the usual seven-couch size. This was entered from a relatively large anteroom (f). Both these rooms were shallowly buried, and perhaps partly for this reason few finds are preserved here; but in most other houses, androns contained relatively few artifacts. The andron itself contained only two iron spearheads. At the south end of the anteroom was found a cluster of 16 bronze decorative bosses with carbonized wood adhering to some of them, perhaps the remains of a chest or cabinet used to store equipment for the symposium, for in this area was also found a fishplate, two plates, and fragments of a krater. The southwest corner of the house was taken up by the kitchen complex, which was entered from the courtyard. The kitchen (k) had a built hearth about in its center, although slightly skew to the walls of the room. The hearth was filled with ashes, but contained no other finds, such as bones or pottery. Three storage amphoras were found in the room, useful for storing water and other materials for cooking, but the room contained few other artifacts, only a lead disk with lotus and palmette decoration, a loomweight, a saucer, a coin and an arrowhead. Adjoining the kitchen was a small room (g), which corresponds to the bathroom in other kitchen complexes. However, while in other houses these rooms usually contained bathtubs or holes where tubs had been robbed out, there was no sign of a bathtub here. This room contained an intact upper and lower grindstone and a few vases. The "flue" (h) was separated from the kitchen by a pillar-partition; this was probably not an entrance, however, but instead access was gained through a door from the courtyard. The "flue" was of an unusual design: instead of the usual slab or plain earth floor, it had a trench cut into the bedrock running down the center of the room. The trench was filled with a deep layer of ash containing many bones of cows, sheep, goats, pigs and deer. Robinson suggests that the trench formed a kind of broiling pit, which was filled with coals to cook meat on spits. The flue also contained many artifacts, some of which are easily understood as cooking equipment, such as a spit support, but also including a great many other table vases, hardware, terracottas and other miscellaneous finds which are not so easily explained. The exedra (l) south of the court was divided from the courtyard by a colonnade, and is unique at Olynthus. Its cement and pebble floor was almost bare of artifacts; a pit at its southern end may have been an unfinished cistern. In the southeast corner of the house was a room (m) whose floor was about 0.9 m below that of the court and exedra. At least four pithoi in this room attest its use as a storeroom or pitheon. The contents of the pithoi were not preserved, but they most likely held agricultural products. This partly subterranean, cool room would, as Xenophon points out, be suitable for storage of grain and wine (Xen. Oec. 9.2-11). The house almost certainly had two stories. A rubble foundation spans the space between the east wall of the exedra and the easternmost colonnade base, and probably either served as or supported a stairbase. Another base at the south wall of the exedra probably supported a landing. The presence of rooms with pillar-partitions also usually implies a second story, the pillars supporting the wall of the upstairs room. Finally, over the cement and pebble floor of the exedra were found fragments of another mosaic floor, one piece about 1.3 m in length, which seem to have fallen from this second story. The House of Many Colors is a fine example of a "regular" Olynthian house with a full spectrum of specialized domestic rooms. The main areas of work tend to be the best-lit: the pastas and room a, lit by the light well. The court contained few artifacts and was rather small, which stands in contrast to some other houses; but this house has an unusually large amount of well-lit but sheltered space around the court, and those spaces may have taken over some of the activities which were done in the courts in other houses. The range of activities which can be documented in the house is perfectly compatible with what literary sources would lead us to expect in a purely domestic home: grinding grain, cooking, eating, weaving, religious cult, storage (presumably of foodstuffs), entertainment and socializing, sleeping. These activities seem to be fairly strictly spatially organized, although rooms shared more than one function: washing, domestic storage and cult in the pastas; weaving and more domestic storage in the North Room a; cooking and food preparation in the "flue" and kitchen; large-scale storage, probably of agricultural products, in the storeroom or pitheon. The house had no workrooms or ergasteria not involved with normal household production like weaving and food preparation: no shops and no special installations such as are relatively common on the North Hill. While the owner might have had such workshops outside his house, it is most likely that his main source of income was agriculture, the primary and favored occupation of most Greek citizens. This house is somewhat unusual in having the entrance to the andron rather separate from the rest of the house: the public, men's dining room seems to have been entered from the entrance hall (j), leaving the rest of the house more private and enclosed. But this probably does not constitute a formal distinction between the women's and men's quarters, the andronitis and the gunaikonitis, at least in the sense used by Xenophon and others (Xen. Oec. 9.2-11). Much of the ground floor of the house seems to have been used for women's work, including the suite with light well and the kitchen complex; and these areas are not closed off from the rest of the house. While outsiders coming to symposia here did not need to pass through the rest of the house to reach the andron, the house itself is not strictly divided.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, House of Zoilos

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: House of somewhat irregular plan, with small rooms and two "shops" (for food preparation?).
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
Domestic part of house consists of small court, pastas and portico, and other relatively small rooms. In the SW are two separate complexes, one consisting of rooms e, i and l; the other of room n.

Other Notes:
The House of Zoilos (D v 6) is a house of somewhat irregular plan, with a small court (j), a pastas and portico (g-h), and other rooms ranged around these spaces. The house has some seventeen rooms, an unusually large number. The southwestern part of the house-plot is taken up by two separate complexes which are not connected to the main domestic area: rooms e, i, l and m form one complex, while room n, divided into two subspaces by a spur wall, forms a second. These seem to form shops, but there are obvious differences in plan between this house and houses like A iv 9 or A v 10 , which allocate a large amount of space to shops but are otherwise regular in plan. In its organization, the house is more similar to the irregular houses A 11 - A 13 and other such irregularly planned houses. The main part of the house was entered from room p, which led immediately into the court. Room g probably formed a portico on the west side of the court, and room h the pastas on its north, although no bases were preserved. These spaces led to a series of rooms along the north side of the house (a-d), and to rooms f and k. Room b could only be entered by passing through room c, and room a only from b, so the organization of this area, as in house A 11 , is more hierarchical than in more regular houses. There is no evidence of a second story. Most of the rooms had earth floors and unplastered walls. The court was cobbled, and rooms d and k had plastered walls, while room q, in the southeast corner, was painted red with a white baseboard. Unlike the more regular houses, the court, pastas and portico (g) did not contain many objects and may not have been important areas of work. The court and portico were entirely bare. The pastas contained four loomweights and a spindle or distaff, but many rooms in this house contained a few loomweights, so these might be random scatter. A low poros stone tray or trough at about the center of the pastas might have been used for grinding or food preparation. An olpe, a saucer, and an earring were also found in the pastas. Room c was apparently open to the pastas and court, and so would have been another well-lit work area, but this room too was almost bare, containing only a loomweight, a nail and boss and a coin. Room b, on the other hand, contained fourteen loomweights, and was probably used for weaving. A vase containing green pigment was found near the door, and red pigment was found on the floor. Since so few of the rooms were plastered it is unlikely that the pigment was intended to paint walls, like the pigments in the House of Many Colors . In the northeast corner of the room was a pithos on its side. In the northeast corner, room d may have been used to store domestic equipment for use in the pastas (h), as in house A iv 9 . In this space were found more than 27 vases, including a cooking pot, a very large coarse basin, 2 gutti, an askos, five bowls, a hydria, a red-figured oinochoe, an olpe, and two storage amphoras. The room also contained part of a bronze unguentarium and the swinging handle from another bronze vessel. These were mostly found near the west and south walls, where they had fallen from shelves. A marble louter was also found here, as well as a terracotta louter or another basin, a slate pithos lid or table top, and various other finds. To the west of the court, room f was apparently a storeroom for foodstuffs, containing another pithos and its terracotta lid, as well as a few vases. The other rooms in the main part of the house, however, were quite barren. Room q, in the southeast corner of the house, was the best-decorated room in the house, with red walls and a white baseboard, and therefore perhaps served as a reception room or andron. It contained almost no finds, however. The two groups of shops in the southwest corner of the house were probably used for food preparation. The western complex (rooms e, i, l, and m) contained three mortaria with spouts, a large pithos, three "pithos lids or table tops" (two terracotta and one stone disk) which could be used for processing food, and many vases, including a bowl, an oinochoe, and fragments of many other pots. A foundation just inside the door to the complex might have supported a counter. The other room (n) contained another slate "table top," another mortarium, two louters (one stone, one terracotta), and at least eleven storage amphoras, as well as more vases. The quantities of coarsewares, mortaria, storage vessels and "table tops" in these shops are probably equipment for some kind of food processing, although there were no grindstones and no obvious cooking areas in either complex. These "shops," then, might have been used for preparing food either for the main part of the house or, more likely, for sale outside the house. An almost complete sales inscription was found broken and scattered around the door into room p, parts of it leaning against the wall east of the door where it had apparently been set up as a public record.1 The text records that Zoilos, the son of Philokrates, had bought the house from Diopeithes for 1200 dr., and that its neighbors were Diokles and the sons of Apollodoros. The house thus sold for less than a quarter the price of house A v 10 , although the two sales took place in the same year and the houses are generally comparable. Although irregular in plan, the House of Zoilos shows clear organization in its use of space, although this is quite different from the organization of other houses. The best-lit areas of the house adjoining the court, rooms c, g, h, k and p, contained relatively few finds and have little direct evidence of use. Instead, room b seems to have been used for weaving (although it is also possible that the loomweights were simply stored in this room and the loom would have been set up and worked in another space like the pastas). Room d probably was a pantry for storing domestic equipment handy to the pastas. There are no obvious cooking areas; this may have been done on portable braziers in the court or porticoes. By contrast, the two "shops," which do not communicate with the rest of the house, might have been small restaurants or other food-processing businesses. They may have belonged to Zoilos or been sold or let separately.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Olynthus, Villa of the Bronzes

Site: Olynthus
Type: House
Summary: Well-built house of regular plan in the Villa Section of Olynthus.
Date: ca. 432 B.C. - 348 B.C.
Period: Classical/Late Clas.

Plan:
House of regular Olynthian type, with central courtyard, pastas, rooms along north, kitchen-complex with bath and "flue" in southeast, and storage room in southwest corner of the house.

Other Notes:
The Villa of the Bronzes is a well-built and well-preserved house, and had been heavily burned, particularly in the northern part. A number of weapons found in the court and other rooms, including a shield, a sword, three knives, two spearheads, five arrowheads and thirteen slingbullets, attest to the heavy fighting here during the capture of the city, and led to the naming of the house. The house is quite regular in plan. The court takes the common position in the center of the south side of the house, and the pastas opens to the court through a colonnade of two columns and two engaged pilasters. Two stone Doric capitals and a pilaster capital from this colonnade were found near the bases. To the north of the pastas are three rooms, two connected by a pillar partition and forming a suite with a light well like that in the House of Many Colors . A fourth room in the northeast corner of the house (d) was entered through an anteroom (f) from the pastas, and might have served as an andron. In the southeast corner of the house was a kitchen-complex with flue and bath, and in the southwest was a storeroom. The house had a double door, a narrow door on the west for people and a wider door, 1.9 m wide, on the east, whose threshold was rutted by cart wheels. Although similar in plan to the House of Many Colors , the Villa of the Bronzes has no proper andron, but has more architecturally unspecialized space than does the House of Many Colors . The house was well built and appointed. Its south and west walls were built of drafted ashlar masonry, rare at Olynthus, and the court paved with cement and stone slabs. Six of its eleven rooms were painted, some with molded plaster, and room b had a mosaic floor. The court, of about average size, was drained to the street via a channel and terracotta pipe. Most of the finds here seem to be remains of the final battle for the city: a shield, sword, three knives, two spearheads, and seven slingbullets. The skeleton of a large calf or small cow was also found on the floor of the court, perhaps another casualty of war. As at the House of Many Colors , the pastas was apparently an important workplace. In many respects the assemblages of the two pastades are remarkably similar. In the northeast corner of the pastas was a cult assemblage, with a fine marble louter and base, nearly complete and mended in antiquity, and a marble portable altar. Another portable altar was found about two meters in front of the door to room b. A great many vases were found along the north wall between the doors to rooms b and c, including an askos, a fish plate and two plates, six saucers, and many other fragments, "usually broken in large pieces and lying on the floor as if they fell from a shelf or from somewhere above rather than as if this were any sort of a discard dump. Most of the pottery consists of the familiar small black glaze saucers" (excavation fieldbook). This chest or shelf also held a hollow bronze instrument with claw-like projections and a few other bronze objects, while other miscellaneous metal objects were scattered through the pastas, most notably a bronze basin near the westernmost base of the pastas, a finger ring, and a heavy hook. The two rooms north of the pastas (a and b) form a suite with light well similar to that in the House of Many Colors . Architecturally, the suite differs from that in the House of Many Colors, in that the light well was not accessible from the pastas but only through the pillar partition from b, and the main room b was well decorated, with red stuccoed walls and a pebble mosaic floor; but in general the two suites must have been fairly similar (especially if the main room in the House of Many Colors had been painted and paved with mosaic as was intended). This suite was used quite differently, however, from that in the House of Many Colors . In the main room, a chest or other furnishing stood at the north wall, attested by eight iron bosses in two sizes. The furnishing probably held either perishable or precious objects. Two elegant lamps, one with two, the other with four nozzles and with central handles, were found nearby. Otherwise, the room contained a rather mixed assemblage: a couple of saucers, an arrowhead, two heavy hooks (perhaps attached to the door, where they were found), a pin, and three coins. We should perhaps interpret this as a more formal living or reception room, lit with fancy lamps and with decorated furniture. The light well (a), on the other hand, had an earth floor on which were found many ashes and traces of burning, apparently not only from the fire of the destruction but from "continuous fires here" during the use of the house. These fires might have heated the main room of the suite. There is no reason to think that this was a cooking area: no cookingwares or bones were found here or nearby. In the northwest corner of room a was an odd egg-shaped pithos sunk into the floor, and in the center of the west wall of the room were 20 nails, apparently the remains of another piece of furniture. Several small iron bosses were found in this room although their exact locations were not noted; they too might belong to this furnishing. Near the furnishing were two more fancy double-nozzled lamps like those in the main room, personal articles like a bone spatula, a finger ring with a decorated bezel, and two black-glazed plates. On the other side of the room near the pillar partition were at least 25 saucers and another plate, while many other vases were scattered in this room, and in the southwest corner was a large shallow pot. The interpretation of this area is difficult: presumably it serviced the main room (b), but the use of the pithos, the saucers and other objects is problematic. The kitchen complex in the southeast corner of the house consisted of a large kitchen, a "flue" separated by a pillar partition, and a cement-paved bath with a tub still in situ (rooms i, j and k). The flue and bath were separated by only a light partition, which left its impression on the yellow plaster of the bath. A fragment of a lower grindstone in the kitchen might suggest that this, like the kitchen in the House of Many Colors , was used for food preparation, although it may have been reused here for some other purpose. The floor of the flue was covered with a layer of ash, charcoal, burned earth and fragments of animal bones, up to 3 cm. thick; this was apparently a cooking room like the flue in the House of Many Colors . A tub was found in situ in the bathroom. Nearby was a large terracotta spouted basin full of ashes, perhaps a makeshift brazier for heating water. The other corner of the house was taken up by a large storeroom (g), like that in the House of Many Colors . This contained a huge pithos, 1.7 m in diameter, whose lid was found nearby. As at the House of Many Colors , there is architectural evidence for a second story at the Villa of the Bronzes. A stone stairbase was found along the south wall of the court, shifted out of place but probably at approximately its original location; and the kitchen has a pillar partition which probably implies a room above.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Buildings

Bouleuterion

  Square building, probably a Bouleuterion, dating back to the end of the 5th century BC. During this period Olynthos flourished as the political centre of the Chalcidic League, an alliance of the cities of Chalkidiki, which was established in the third quarter of the 5th century BC.
  The interior of the building consisted of two small rooms, probably used as offices and archives. In the room to the south was an interior collonade, an altar in the centre, and an exedra (podium) facing the altar, all bearing great resemblance to typical architectural elements of other known bouleuteria. The wooden seats arranged on the west side of the room provided for a seating capacity of 250.
  The building was presumably used for storing standards of weights and measures, or even as an arms depot. Latest research questions its use as a bouleuterion, identifying it with the prytaneion.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Foundation of the Hellenic World URL below.


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