The Makrakomi Archaeological Landscapes Project (MALP). A preliminary report on investigations carried out in 2010–2012
Maria-Foteini Papakonstantinou, Arto Penttinen, Gregory N. Tsokas, Panagiotis I. Tsourlos, Alexandros Stampolidis, Ilias Fikos, Georgios Tassis, Konstantina Psarogianni, Lambros Stavrogiannis, Anton Bonnier, Monica Nilsson & Henrik Boman Opuscula 6 (2013): 211-260.
In this article we provide a preliminary report of the work carried out between 2010 and 2012 as part of the Makrakomi Archaeological Landscapes Project (MALP). The programme of research is carried out in co-operation between the Swedish Institute at Athens and the 14th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Lamia. The interdisciplinary project started in the summer of 2010, when a pilot survey was conducted in and around the hill of Proﬁtis Elias, in the modern municipality of Makrakomi, where extensive traces of ancient fortiﬁcations are still visible. Systematic investigations have been conducted since 2011 as part of a ﬁve-year plan of research involving surface survey, geophysical survey and small-scale archaeological excavation as well as geomorphological investigation. The primary aim of MALP is to examine the archaeology and geomorphology of the western Spercheios Valley, within the modern municipality of Makrakomi in order to achieve a better understanding of antiquity in the region, which has previously received scant scholarly attention. Through the archaeological surface survey and architectural survey in 2011 and 2012 we have been able to record traces of what can be termed as a nucleated and structured settlement in an area known locally as Asteria, which is formed by the projecting ridges to the east of Proﬁtis Elias. The surface scatters recorded in this area suggest that the town was primarily occupied from the late 4th century BC and throughout the Hellenistic period. The geophysical survey conducted between 2011 and 2012 similarly recorded data which point to the presence of multiple structures according to a regular grid system. The excavation carried out in the central part of Asteria also uncovered remains of a single domestic structure (Building A) which seems to have been in use during the Late Classical and Hellenistic periods. The combined data acquired through the programme of research is thus highly encouraging, and has effectively demonstrated the importance of systematic archaeological research in this understudied area of Central Greece.