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Kastro Kallithea is a fortified citadel situated on a 600 m high hill that forms the western boundary of the coastal plain of Almiros in the region of Achaia Phthiotis in Thessaly. With the exception of Friedrich Stählin, who explored and mapped the fortification walls at the beginning of the 20th century, and Dimitris Theocharis, who investigated Iron Age tholos tombs scattered at the foot of the hill in 1964 (see below), no systematic archaeological investigations had been conducted on the site prior to the Greek-Canadian fieldwork. The site was abandoned in antiquity and no modern building activity has taken place on Kastro Kallithea. The high level of preservation and good visibility of the ancient remains on the surface, in particular the architecture, therefore provided an excellent opportunity for the study of the spatial organization of an urban centre, initially through surface survey.
Fieldwork at the Kastro at Kallithea [KKAP] is conducted as a collaboration (synergasia) between CIG and the 15th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Larissa. The project is directed by Dr. Sophia Karapanou (15th Ephorate) and Prof. Margriet Haagsma (University of Alberta). This synergasia began in 2004 with Mr. Athanasios Tziafalias of the Larissa Ephorate. The focus of the study is a heavily fortified Hellenistic city in southern Thessaly, and its environmental and political setting. The project examines the city’s plan, its private and public architecture, its economic context and its occupation history as part of a wider aim of studying social and economic change in the region through exploration of the interactions between household, city, surrounding landscape and other cities in the area over time.
The name of the ancient city cannot be determined with certainty, but ‘Peuma’ has been suggested based on epigraphical evidence. The survey’s goals were to establish the history and the dates of occupation of the site, to explore the city’s spatial layout, and to analyse the distribution of artefacts and architecture at the site in order to gain information about its social and economic organisation. The site’s defensive structures were also studied in order to compare them to those of other cities in the region. All the results will be analysed comparatively, in the broader context of already known Classical and Hellenistic sites in the region.
The four tholos tombs near the Kastro, now measured with the EDM Total Station, were dated by Dimitris Theocharis in 1964 to the Iron Age based on descriptions of the finds by the local population. The fifth burial, a cist grave at the foot of the hill, was pointed out to the surveyors and will be examined by the Larissa Ephorate.
Preliminary results indicate that the site had at least four different phases. The first phase is attested by the Iron Age tholos tombs, while the second phase is evident in the acropolis wall, which was first erected at a time before the Early Hellenistic occupation. The majority of the architectural remains and the city layout as a whole, with its regular Hippodamian layout of houses, an agora, public buildings, wells, and extensive defenses, reflect the Hellenistic phase, ca. early-3rd -2nd century BCE. The surface survey revealed limited Roman and post-Roman activity in a few areas of the site.
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Haagsma, M.J. and S. Karapanou. In press. "Cakes and Cults: Negotiating Identity in Hellenistic Achaia Phthiotis." In Cults and Sanctuaries in Ancient Thessaly. C. Morgan and M. Stamatopoulou eds. British School at Athens, Supplementary Volume.
Haagsma, M., Sophia Karapanou and Laura Surtees. In press. “The Greek-Canadian Archaeological Project at Kastro Kallithea. A Report on the 2006-2011 seasons.” In Αρχαιολογικό Έργο Θεσσαλίας και Στέρεας Ελλάδας. Πρακτικά επιστημονικής συνάντησης. A. Μαζαράκης-Αινιάν ed.
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Surtees, L. 2012. On the Surface of a Thessalian City: The Urban Survey of Kastro Kallithea, Greece. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Bryn Mawr College.
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Haagsma, M., S. Karapanou, T. Harvey and L. Surtees. 2011. “An Ancient City and its Agora. Results of the Archaeological Project at the Kastro of Kallithea, Greece.” Pgs. 197-209. In 'The Agora in the Mediterranean: from Homeric to Roman times,’ organised by the Archaeological Institute for Aegean Studies, the Hellenic Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. E. Giannikouri ed.
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Tziafalias, A., S. Karapanou, M. Haagsma and S. Gouglas. 2011. “An Intensive Survey of the Kastro at Kallithea (report on the 2004 season).” Αρχαιολογικόν Δελτίον 56-59 (2001-2004): 559-564.
Bouras, C. 2010. “Kastro Kallithea.” Archaeology in Greece Online/Chronique des fouilles en ligne. Last modified June 20, 2011, http://chronique.efa.gr/index.php/fiches/voir/2061
Haagsma, M. 2010. “Hellenistic Housing in Achaia Phthiotis: a regional approach to domestic economy and social organisation." Pgs. 33-49. In Proceedings of the conference: "Urban Living in the Eastern Mediterranean: 4th century BC – 1st century AD." Vienna, October 24-27, 2007. Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Zentrum Archaeologie und Altertumswissenschaften. Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Antike. C. Ladstaetter et al. eds.
Haagsma, M., R. Lee, C. Martin, S. Karapanou and S. Gouglas. 2010. “Rebuilding the past: Modelling Architecture of Kastro Kallithea to understand Macedonian Influences in Hellenistic Thessaly.” In Proceedings of the 39th Chacmool Conference, Postcolonial Perspectives in Archaeology. November 2006. University of Calgary. P. Bikoulis, D. Lacroix, M. Peuramaki-Brown eds.
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