The multidisciplinary landscape project ‘Long Time, No See’ (2014-2018), carried out by a large, international research team under the auspices of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa (Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports), is revolutionising our understanding of the prehistoric to pre-modern cultural landscapes of the Kambos area in western Thessaly. Moving from regional to site-specific contexts, we have successfully integrated historical aerial photography and satellite imagery, extensive and intensive field survey, geoarchaeological, palaeoenvironmental, bioarchaeological and material culture studies and proved that the central-western Thessalian plain was a densely occupied and constructed landscape since the earliest phases of the Neolithic (mid-7th mil. BCE).

The western plain has been long considered the backwater of prehistoric and early historic Thessaly. Our innovative conceptual and methodological approach challenges traditional stereotypes and demonstrates that the scanty previous knowledge reflects heavy, localised alluvial burial of sites and catastrophic agricultural levelling in the early 1970’s. The discovery and documentation of an unprecedented number of prehistoric and early historic settlements, pathways and formal roads, field systems and funerary tombs and alignments changes our understanding of diachronic social use of space, settlement and communication patterns. Moreover, the systematic study of the surveyed and excavated pottery assemblages provides new fascinating insights into local technological traditions and prehistoric pottery production and circulation across the western Thessalian plain and beyond.

The generous grant provided by MAT was used for drawing (R. Exarchou, L. Tasiopoulou), photography (D. Panousis) and digital integration (R. Exarchou, A. Papagiannis) of all documentation, of 242 representative Neolithic, Bronze Age and Early Iron Age sherds, selected during the systematic macroscopic study of the LTNS pottery (Dr A. Dimoula, G. Papadias, N. Saridaki, E. Vliora). The ultimate aim of detailed documentation work is the final publication of the LTNS ceramic assemblages.

Location of the study area (Orengo et al. 2015: Fig. 1)
Illustrated examples of the Neolithic and Bronze Age LTNS ceramic assemblage (© LTNS, Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa)

For further information, please contact Dr Nancy Krahtopoulou (Ephrorate of Antiquities of Karditsa, Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports) at akrachtopoulou@culture.gr.

References:

Orengo, H.A., Krahtopoulou, A., Garcia-Molsosa, A., Palaiochoritis, K., Stamati, A. 2015. Photogrammetric discovery of the hidden long-term landscapes of western Thessaly, central Greece. Journal of Archaeological Science 65: 100-109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.10.008

Krahtopoulou, A., Dimoula, A., Livarda, A., Saridaki, N. 2018. The discovery of the earliest specialised Middle Neolithic pottery workshop in western Thessaly, central Greece. Antiquity 92 362, e5: 1-7. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2018.54

Dimoula, A., Saridaki, N., Vliora, E., Papadias, G. in press. The secrets of the Kambos – the study of the prehistoric pottery assemblage. AETHSE 6.

Krahtopoulou, A., Orengo, H.A., Dimoula, A., Garcia-Molsosa, A., Palaiochoritis, K., Saridaki, N. in press. The secrets of the Kambos – the Neolithic. AETHSE 6.

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