An Interview with Daniel Pullen, author of NVAP I
Andrew Reinhard, asca.edu.gr, 25-01-2012
There’s something about the prehistory of Greece that prompts Clio into action. Jeremy Rutter’s volume on the pottery of Lerna IV (Lerna III) and now Daniel Pullen’s new book, The Early Bronze Age Village on Tsoungiza Hill (Nemea Valley Archaeological Project I), are major undertakings published by the ASCSA that provide comprehensive, detailed accounts of their respective sites.
While “corridor houses” such as the House of the Tiles at Lerna have provoked widespread discussion about the origins of social stratification in Greece, few settlements of the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3100 to 2000 B.C.) have been thoroughly excavated. Pullen’s important study integrates the presentation and analysis of the archaeological evidence from a single settlement that flourished on Tsoungiza Hill in the Nemea Valley from the Final Neolithic until the end of the Early Helladic period. The first section details the stratigraphy, architecture, deposits, and ceramics of each of the five major periods represented. The second section contains specialist reports on all aspects of the material culture including figurines and ornaments, textiles and crafts, metal analyses, chipped and ground stone, and faunal and palaeobotanical remains.
In an email interview, Pullen summarized what he feels to be the major contribution of NVAP I. “We’ve learned about the earlier phases of the EBA. Places like Lerna and Tiryns have hints of them, but only at Tsoungiza were we able to excavate real deposits of those phases. We’re able to show how the later EBA corridor houses, like the famous House of the Tiles at Lerna, began from our House A dating to early in EH II. I would like for readers to be able to understand the deep history behind some of the achievements of the later EBA.”