Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2013

8 December 2013

Stable Places and Changing Perceptions: Cave Archaeology in Greece

Edited by Fanis Mavridis & Jesper Tae Jensen

Stable Places and Changing Perceptions: Cave Archaeology in Greece

City: Oxford

Year: 2013

Publisher: Archaeopress

Series: BAR International Series 2558

Description: Paperback, xxi & 333 p., illustrated throughout in colour and b/w, 29,7x21 cm


Caves are considered as important elements of world cultural heritage, having been actively used by man, with significant scientific, historical, archaeological, and anthropological value. However, it is not only their unique value, regarding these aspects, that makes caves particularly important. Even when they do not preserve any human or other traces (e.g. palaeontological), they constitute exceptional natural monuments, sometimes of a rare beauty, and are therefore protected by public or international authorities like UNESCO.

An extended list of cave uses varying through time and space can be provided, however, the list would never be full: places for permanent or periodical residence, production or storage, dump places, water sources, mines/quarries, pens or shelters for animals, cult or burial sites, spots for execution, refuges from danger or refuges for outlaws, outcasts and victims of epidemics as well as places for biological, environmental, palaeontological, archaeological, anthropological or other scientific research, touristic destinations etc. Some of the above mentioned uses of caves, such as refuges or places of exile or isolation, are characteristic of marginal landscapes and, in this sense, caves in somecases, share common characteristics with other marginal environments, like seascapes.

All contributions included in this anthology, even if they reflect different theoretical and methodological approaches on the study of caves, clearly suggest that stable parts of the landscape and natural geological formations are very important contexts of human activity, while their specific use and meaning depend on the human perception of landscape and personal experience, regardless of any pre-existing meaning. Such natural formations must be regarded as cultural and historical monuments integrating important aspects of human ideology and culture.

Our studies focus not only on the typical settlement locations but also on different types of sites which can shed light on various aspects of human life through their particular characteristics. Landscapes are never static, they are always in a process through which social realities are being produced and reproduced. Nowadays, landscape notions emphasize their sociosymbolic dimensions; how landscape is perceived, experienced, and contextualized by man. Caves, as one among few locales in the landscape where human traces are usually identified, can play a prominent role in the study of various parameters as those mentioned above. It is important to explore their meaning and significance as natural monuments, experienced by people who perceived their world in multiple ways and acted with different intentions.


List of Contributors [iv]
List of Tables in the Text [vii]
List of Figures [ix]
Abbreviations [xvi]
Opening Remarks [xviii]
Preface [xx]
Fanis Mavridis & Jesper Tae Jensen, Introduction

Fanis Mavridis, Jesper Tae Jensen & Lina Kormazopoulou, Stable Spaces – Changing Perception: Cave Archaeology in Greece [1-17]


1. Yorgos Facorellis, Radiocarbon Dates from Archaeological Sites in Caves and Rockshelters in Greece [19-72]

2. Panagiotis Karkanas, Cave Sediment Studies in Greece: A Contextual Approach to the Archaeological Record [73-82]

3. Alexandra A.E. van der Geer & Michalis D. Dermitzakis, Caves and Fossils: Palaeontology in Greek Caves And Fissures [83-98]

4. Maria Gkioni, Maria Geraga, Yorgos Papatheodorou & Yorgos Ferentinos, Sea-level Changes from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Early Neolithic and their Implications on the Colonization of the Ionian Islands [99-110]


5. Antigone Papadea, The Use of Palaeolithic Caves and Rockshelters in Greece: A Synopsis [112-129]

6. Frank Falkenstein, The Early Holocene Occupation of Caves in the Balkans [130-141]

7. Stella Katsarou & Adamantios Sampson, Perspectives of Symbolism and Ritualism for the Late Neolithic Communities at Sarakenos Cave, Boeotia [142-152]


8. Lefteris Platon, The Uses of Caves in Minoan Crete: A Diachronic Analysis [155-165]

9. Elissa Faro, Caves in the Ritual Landscape of Minoan Crete [166-175]

10. Loeta Tyree, Defining Bronze Age Ritual Caves in Crete [176-187]

11. Nikolaos Stampolidis & Antonis Kotsonas, Cretan Caves Sanctuaries of the Early Iron Age to the Roman Period [188-200]


12. Katja Sporn, Mapping Greek Sacred Caves: Sources, Features, Cults [202-216]

13. Mette Catherina Hermannsen, Emperors Between Skylla and Polyphemos: The Use and Abuse of Roman Grottoes [217-227]

14. Wiebke Friese, “Through The Double Gates Of Sleep” (Verg. Aen. 6.236.): Cave-Oracles in Graeco-Roman Antiquity [228-238]

15. Jere Wickens, Non-Ritual Use of Caves in The Classical And Late Roman Periods: The Case of Attika [239-246]


16. Fanis Mavridis, Lina Kormazopoulou, Antigone Papadea, Orestis Apostolikas, Daishuke Yamaguchi, Zarko Tankosic, Georgia Kotzamani, Katerina Trantalidou, Panagiotis Karkanas, Yannis Maniatis, Katerina Papagianni & Dimitris Lambropoulos, Anonymous Cave Of Schisto at Keratsini, Attika: A Preliminary Report on a Diachronic Cave Occupation from the Pleistocene/Holocene Transition to the Byzantine Times [248-284]

17. Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat, Das Gebirge als Lebensraum Zur kultischen Bedeutung und profanen Nutzung der Höhlen und Überhänge des Latmos im 6. und 5. Jahrtausend v. Chr. [285-305]

18. Alexandra Zampiti, Schisto Cave at Keratsini (Attika): The Pottery from Classical through Roman Times [306-318]

19. Vivi Vasilopoulou, Prehistoric Use and Ancient Ritual Worship at the Cave of Hagia Triada on Helikon [319-328]

20. Nina Kyparissi-Apostolika, Epilogue: Digging Up Caves: A Unique Experience [329-333]


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