Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


20 April 2013

Early Helladic Laconia after the time of H. Waterhouse and R. Hope Simpson

Eleni Zavvou Pharos XVIII.1 (2011-2012): 1-37.


The extensive survey conducted in the 1950s by H. Waterhouse and R. Hope Simpson in Laconia located a large number of sites of the Early Helladic period. Most important settlements seemed to be concentrated in the plains of Sparta and Helos and in the area of Neapolis and Elaphonisos on the south-west side of the Malea peninsula.

Since the work of Waterhouse and Hope Simpson, more extensive and intensive survey, rescue and other excavations have resulted in the discovery of many unknown Early Helladic sites. These are located in the inland regions of Laconia (including Sparta and the central Eurotas basin), the plains of Helos and Molaoi, the western and even more so the eastern coast of the Malea peninsula. One of the most exciting discoveries may be that of a fortification wall, part of a broader Early Helladic defensive system, in central Laconia.

The discovery of these new sites promises new insights into the history of Early Helladic Laconia, in regards to both density of habitation and social organization. All the coastal settlements appear to be oriented to the sea routes of the period, while the settlements of the hinter­land exploited and controlled fertile areas and were located at the roads connecting the inland with the coasts of the Laconian Gulf and the Aegean. 


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