The importance of Ayios Vasilios became immediately obvious with the recent discovery of a Linear B archive, a monumental complex and rich finds which prove that this is the palatial centre of Mycenaean Laconia. The excavation of the Early Mycenaean North Cemetery (c. 1700-1400 BC) provides a unique opportunity to study the period of the rise of Ayios Vasilios.

Ayios Vasilios differs from other Mycenaean palaces in some important respects: it shows considerable influence from the Minoan world and has been destroyed 50 to 70 years earlier. A better understanding of its history requires a detailed pottery study. The area of the North Cemetery currently offers the site’s most complete stratified ceramic sequence for the Mycenaean period (c. 1700-1200 BC). In addition, the pottery study allows valuable insights into technological aspects, consumption practices and contacts of the local community.

The generous funding by MAT in 2015, 2016 and 2018 enabled the full recording and drawing of the ceramics found in a large domestic dump of a rarely attested phase (c. 1650-1550 BC). The study includes also assemblages of later Mycenaean phases (c. 1450-1200 BC) which imply that the cemetery was still respected in this period. Results of these studies are in press or in preparation.

Plan of the Ayios Vasilios North Cemetery and locations of studied deposits (plan by Irene Koulogeorgiou and Gary Nobles)
Early Mycenaean vessel fragments from the North Cemetery area (drawing by Vasco Hachtmann)

For further information, please contact Sofia Voutsaki at

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