Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2011

11 February 2012

Keos X. Ayia Irini: The Western Sector

Elisabeth Schofield (edited with contributions by Jack L. Davis & Carol Hershenson and architectural drawings by Whitney Powell-Cummer)

Keos X. Ayia Irini: The Western Sector

City: Darmstadt

Year: 2011

Publisher: Philipp von Zabern

Description: Hardback, xvii+224 p., 84 b/w plates, 30,8x23 cm


The book is a posthumous publication of Elizabeth Schofield, who died in 2005. It presents the Western Sector of the Ayia Irini site on Keos (Cyclades). Two features of the Late Bronze Age Western Sector are of particular importance for understanding the disposition of the settlement of Keos and the way it was reorganised in Periods VI (= LH I) and VII (= LH II). These are the great fortification wall and the spring. The great fortification wall was damaged in the destruction at the end of Period V (= end of the Middle Cycladic period). In Period VI it no longer served its original purpose, but did need to function as the town wall. Accordingly on the eastern side of the town it was rebuilt. On the northwestern side it constituted the limit of the Western Sector, and in Period VI this section of the wall was partially repaired and refaced. The refacing blocked off what seems to have been a small gateway leading through the fortification wall toward the spring below. In Period VII a stone staircase was constructed down from the top of the wall to the spring, and a roofed chamber was constructed over it.

These were not just ad hoc expedients. It is clear that in Period VI the inhabitants of the settlement decided to plan the layout and construction of this part of the town. Laying out a street system was the first step. Then, over quite an extended period late in Period VI and into Period VIIA, some of the major structures in the western sector were built around the existing street system: House C, House F, House EJ, and probably House J. Why did construction take so long? The settlement’s population was small, with many other more immediately pressing demands on their time and energies. The job of clearing rubble was no doubt daunting. The buildings they eventually constructed were ambitious projects, which they were clearly determined to complete to a high standard and to the plan they had conceived. Furthermore, several included deep basements, which involved more digging than simply clearing away destruction debris: clearance down to bedrock in some instances. For this combination of reasons the process was a protracted one.


Foreword [vii]
Abbreviations [xiii]
Bibliography [xv]
List of Plates [xvii]

I. The Western Sector [1]

II. House F [3]

Introduction [3]
Room Fl [4]
Rooms F.2-F.5 [5]
Room F6 [9]
Terrace Z.l [9]
Summary and Discussion [10]
Catalogue [15]

III. The Central Block [29]

Introduction [29]
Chronology of Construction [30]
Description of Spaces [31]
Catalogue [40]

IV. The Spring Chamber and Its Access [53]

The Town Wall and the Spring Chamber [53]
The Spring Chamber [53]
The Western Square [56]
Alley W40 [56]
Alley/Drain W47 [57]
The Platform: Spaces W48-W.51 [58]
Spaces W41-W43 [61]
Courtyard W44/W45 [61]
Room W46 [61]
Catalogue [62]

V. House J and Its Environs [77]

Introduction [77]
Rooms J.l and J.2 [77]
Room J.3 [79]
Room J.4 [80]
Room J.5 [81]
Room J.6 [81]
The Stairway [82]
Cupboard Beneath the Stairs [83]
Room J.7 [83]
Space W.53 [84]
North and East of House J [85]
House J: Summary and Discussion [85]
Catalogue [88]

VI. House EJ and Its Environs [101]

Introduction [101]
West of House EJ [101]
House EJ [102]
Summary and Interpretation [111]
Catalogue [114]

VII. House C and Its Environs [135]

Rooms C.1-C.4 [135]
The Eastern Terrace [138]
Alley AC and Space W.19 [139]
Rooms W.13 and W.14 [139]
Rooms W10/W.11 [140]
RoomW.12 [141]
Rooms W15-W18 [141]
Catalogue [142]

VIII. The Infill between Houses C and EJ [159]

RoomW.4 [159]
RoomW.6 [160]
Rooms W7-W.9 [160]
Rooms W.20-W.22 [162]
Rooms W.23, W.24 and W.25 [164]
RoomW.33 [166]
Summary and Interpretation [167]
Catalogue [169]

IX. Conclusions [191]


I. Unstratified Finds [197]
II. Inventory and Field Numbers to Catalogue Numbers [201]
III. Publication Room Numbers to Excavation Room Numbers [211]

Index [213]
Plates 1-84


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