Lerna, on the shore of the Gulf of Argos, is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Greece, having been occupied with few interruptions over a period of some 5,000 years, from the 6th to the 1st millennium B.C. Major excavations, study and meticulous publication have rendered it the undisputed ‘type-site’ for the Early and Middle Bronze Age; however, the key Middle Bronze Age material from this site remains unpublished.

Middle Bronze Age Lerna lay at the forefront of interactions between the Peloponnese, the Cycladic islands, and a newly emergent Minoan civilisation on Crete and its material culture foreshadows many traits of later Mycenaean centres. The site may hold many of the keys to understanding how phenomena like the complex and stratified societies of the Late Bronze Age Mycenaean Greek mainland initially developed, as the site preserves a deeply stratified record of social, economic and technological change over several millennia, unencumbered by later structures.

The generous grant provided by the MAT has allowed for the first comprehensive site plans of Middle Bronze Age Lerna to be produced. While many architectural plans were produced over the course of the initial excavation, no phase-by-phase rendering of the eight key building phases of the Middle Bronze Age settlement at Lerna has ever been produced.

Plan of Middle Bronze Age Lerna showing the first phase of building during the Middle Helladic II period
Composite plan of Middle Bronze Age Lerna showing the three phases of building during the Middle Helladic I period

For further information, please contact Dr Lindsay Spencer at ls720@cam.ac.uk.

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