Sikyon, Peloponnese (Phase IΙI & ΙV)

Τhe geophysical investigations of Sikyon concluded the 3rd & 4th fieldwork seasons which took place in the period of 15-24/10/2006 & 31/8-10/9/2007.

The particular research was conducted under the collaborative scheme between the University of Thessaly, the Institute for Mediterranean Studies - FORTH and the 37th Eforeia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Corinth. It aims towards the study of the diachronic human presence on the plateau of ancient Sikyon which rises about 3.5km SW of the Corinthian gulf and covers some 250 hectares. The total area covered in several regions of the archaeological site using the electrical and magnetic mapping methods and the ground penetrating radar, was approximately equal to 48,600 square metres.

Two fluxgate gradiometers, FM256 of Geoscan Research and GRAD 601 of Bardington Instruments, were employed in the high resolution magnetic scanning of the site. A Geoscan Research resistivity meter RM15 with a multiplexer MPX15 and a Twin probe electrode configuration covered large sections of the region for comparison with the magnetic methods. A Noggin Plus smart cart with a 250MHz antenna was ultimately employed for the extensive mapping of areas that imposed problematic conditions of surveying, such as asphalt roads, cement covered parking lots and areas within the wider complex of monumental buildings. A 3m penetration depth was achieved through the GPR techniques. Finally, a Leica GS 20 GPS unit and a Leica TC307 total station were systematically used for the accurate mapping of the geophysical grids and the surface relics of the ancient structures.

To the north of the theatre, a rectangular peristyle of dimensions 12x15m was identified, together with a 76m long linear strip of high magnetic values leading to a possible entrance to the Agora. A much larger peristyle building, extending for about 62m in the N-S direction, was suggested to the north of the excavated palaistra complex. The north portico of this complex features a back wall with a series of semi-circular and rectangular niches. At approximately the center of the complex, a small tri-partite building, 10x6 m, was detected resembling a temple with pronaos and opisthodomos. In the centre of the Agora, the architectural relics do not indicate a regularity in their provision and it is likely that many of them may belong to statue bases, altars or other free-standing features that Pausanias describes inside the Agora, or to structures of later historical periods. To the north of the Agora, magnetic measurements indicated an 80m long linear feature projected towards the north side of the above mentioned peristyle complex. GPR measurements along the asphalt road running around the archaeological site revealed a number of structures that extend to the north of that anomaly and are probably related to a stoa designating the north limits of the Agora. To the south section of the Agora, the Bouleuterion (40x45m) and the long Stoa (105x16m), both of them partially excavated, were mapped in detail. The long Stoa consists of 22 columns and 20 compartments of similar size. The residential blocks of the city and a network of orthogonal streets have started to appear further to the south. The variable width of the aforementioned streets indicates a hierarchy in the road network of the city, which is still under investigation.

The research team consisted of A. Sarris, Th. Kalpaxis, G. Lolos, N. Papadopoulos, G. Kakoulaki, V. Trigas, E.Seferou, F. Kondyli, G. Shen, G. Aresti, M. Dogan, G. Karagiannis, G. Koustas, Th. Argyriou, E. Kamaratakis, Z. Malliarakis, K. Vrentzou, Ο. Sepsa, S. Theodoropoulos & Ε. Κurkowska.