Project Team Members:
The Karystian Plain (the Kampos) is a part of the Karystia that had not previously been archaeologically explored in a systematic way despite its likely economic importance in southern Euboea. Over the course of two seasons in 2006 and 2007 the survey was able to cover approximately forty percent of the designated survey area, a plain covering approximately 260 ha. 36 previously unknown findspots were recorded, ranging in date from the end of the Neolithic to the Late Byzantine period. This phase of the project received funding from the Institute for Aegean Prehistory and the personal funds of the late Professor Malcolm Wallace.
The Kampos is located northwest of the Bay of Karystos and stretches east-west, starting at the modern town of Karystos and tapering somewhat towards Marmari on the western coast. To the north the zone is bordered by the Karpaston range, and to the south are the foothills of the Paximadhi Peninsula. It is the largest agriculturally viable piece of land in the area and is fairly well watered. Previous work by SEEP and the 11th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities provided a sizeable body of data to support the hypothesis that this area was an important economic zone in the past. The aims of the survey included learning as much as possible about the use of the Kampos in the past, and locating the focal points of that use in the form of findspots. Rapid modern development added to the importance of carrying out this research in an expedited fashion. The survey also aimed to assess methods used in the field by SEEP to gauge their reliability and effectiveness as well as examining whether some of the routes that exist today were used as thoroughfares in the past.
The results showed that the plain was not a forgotten area in the past but was the location of lively activity in both the prehistoric and the historic periods. While initial working hypotheses suggested prehistoric remains would be covered by alluvium, field work in fact found at least 15 areas with prehistoric remains, both on schist outcrops and on flat alluvial soils, although none of these locations could be termed settlements due to the lack of architectural remains and the paucity of observed material at surface level. Nevertheless, some of the area’s obsidian scatters may be among the largest found in Greece.
A limited number of Classical and Hellenistic findspots were recorded, including clearly visible and prominent sanctuaries, while there were a large number of Roman findspots. Significant finds from this phase of the survey include a late Roman complex located near Palaio Chora. Here a few small sherds with Classical and Hellenistic black glaze were present, although most pottery was late Roman, dating to the 4th and 5th centuries CE. These Roman pieces, which included some late Roman amphorae fragments, were sherds with orange-red fabric. Also found were green and yellow glazed Middle Byzantine jugs, bowls, and plates in both plain and graffito styles. Frankish slip painted wares, as well as Turkish and later wares and modern debris were abundant. Signs of habitation were reflected in pieces of marble flooring or revetment, pebble mosaic flooring found in the rubble, and a small monolithic sandstone column of the Late Roman or Early Byzantine phase. Periods of use from the Classical through Late Roman was confirmed by tiles from all periods found in the walls. Also associated with this complex were grinding stone fragments in the rubble of the site and three millstone fragments.