Οχυρή Πρωτοβυζαντινή εγκατάσταση στην Αγία Κυριακή Μαντινείας
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The present paper attempts to give some new data concerning the area of eastnortheastem Arcadia in the Early Byzantine period. It focuses on the Hagia Kyriake hill (alt. 1065 m), which ήses at about 5 km east-northeast of Neochoήon, Mantineia. Α small fort stands on the hilltop. It measures some 28.50 χ 23-23.50 m externally. It is approximately rectangular, with its lengthwise axis parallel to the north-south axis; its east side has aπ ellipsoid shape, and the entrance is located in the southem side. Large parts of the fort have collapsed. Traces of buildings can be seen inside and outside of it. The structure is hasty, built with small irregular stones without use of mortar or crushed tiles. Traces of buildings (perhaps houses) are located at the western foot of the hill, near the modem church of τimios Stavros. Plenty of tiles and sherds of wheel-ridged and coarse pottery are scattered all over the fort and its western foot. Α glazed sherd of the 12th-13th century A.D. has also been found, as well as an archaic sherd and a black-glazed tile. Α particular discovery is that of a small bronze buckle, dated in the late 6th-7th century A.D. The traces of buildings at the western foot of the hill, the pottery found around them and additionally the fertile valley to the east-northeast (known as Megale Lakka), indicate the existence of a rural settlement. According to the dating of the pottery and the masonry of the fort, which are ideally combined with that of the buckle, the fortified settlement can be dated in the Early Byzantine period (late 6th-7th century A.D.). We must point out that it occupied a crucial point on the road that led from the Mantinike and Nestane to the Tegeatike (remains of ancient wheel-tracks were found nearby); this pass should haνe been in use in later times as well. The turbulent peήod of the 6th-7th century A.D. (Slavic invasions, political, social, economic, demographic and climatic changes duήng the 'Dark Ages' of Byzantium) imposed the construction of the small fort, in order to control the pass and offer a refuge to the inhabitants of the settlement. The vaήous finds prove the diachronic use and importance of the location.
Papers from the third international seminar on Ancient Arcadia, held at the Norwegian Institute at Athens, 7-10 May 2002
PublisherThe Norwegian Institute at Athens
SeriesPapers of the Norwegian Institute at Athens