Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55b6f6c457-pc5cw Total loading time: 0.212 Render date: 2021-09-26T12:37:54.808Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Neolithic Lime Plastered Floors in Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece: Evidence of the Significance of the Site

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2011

Panagiotis Karkanas
Affiliation:
Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology-Speleology of Southern Greece, Athens
Georgia Stratouli
Affiliation:
17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Edessa

Abstract

The Neolithic layers of Drakaina Cave in Kefalonia Island are characterized by several successive well-preserved plaster floors. These constructed floors, along with the relating archaeological sediments, were examined using micromorphological techniques, which involve the study of petrographie thin sections produced by resin-impregnated, undisturbed blocks of sediment.

At Drakaina, lime plaster was identified as the construction material of the floors, which consist of a mixture of clay and burnt lime as well as a large amount (30–40%) of lime lumps with signs of incomplete transformation to quicklime during the burning process. The raw material used for the production of lime was the soft Neogene mari and limestone found in the nearby areas of the site. The presence of large amounts of lime lumps as a form of plaster aggregate is most likely the product of traditional ‘hot mixing’ or ‘dry slaking’ techniques.

The periodically repeated construction of the stable lime plaster floors in Drakaina using the same techniques as well as the same raw material suggests—among other things—the significance of the site as a locus of recurring social activity. The long lasting consistent method of floor construction combined with possible intensive activity at times implies that the cave and the surrounding environment were of particular importance to the Neolithic community of the area.

Τα νεολιθικά στρώματα του Σπηλαίου Δράκοανα στην Κεφαλονιά χαρακτηρίζονται από αλλεπάλληλα και καλά διατηρημένα δάπεδα. Τα κατασκευασμένα αυτά δάπεδα μαζί με τις αρχαιολογικές τους αποθέσεις μελετήθηκαν με τη μέθοδο της μικρομορφολογίας, η οποία συνίσταται στη μελέτη πετρογραφικών λεπτών τομών από αδιατάρακτα δείγματα επίχωσης, εμποτισμένα προηγουμένως με ειδικές ρητίνες.

Στη Δράκαινα αναγνωρίστηκε ότι το υλικό κατασκευής των δαπέδων είναι ασβεστοκονίαμα αποτελούμενο από μείγμα αργίλου και ασβέστη μαζί με μεγάλη ποσότητα (30–40%) αδιάλυτων συσσωματωμάτων ασβέστη ως αποτέλεσμα της ατελούς μετατροπής του ασβεστόλιθου κατά την πύρωση. Ως πρώτη ύλη για την παρασκευή του ασβέστη χρησιμοποιήθηκαν νεογενείς μαλακές μάργες και ασβεστόλιθοι της περιοχής. Η παρουσία μεγάλων ποσοτήιων συσσωματωμάτων ασβέστη ως συνδετικό υλικό είναι αποτέλεσμα συγκεκριμένης τεχνικής, γνωστής ως “μείξη ασβέστη εν θερμώ”.

Η περιοδική κατασκευή στέρεων δαπέδων από ασβεστοκονίαμα στη Δράκαινα με την ίδια τεχνική και την ίδια πρώτη ύλη υποδεικνύει -μεταξύ άλλων- τη σημασία της θέσης ως τόπου επαναλαμβανόμενης κοινωνικής δραστηριότητας. Η επί μακρόν αμετάβλητη μέθοδος κατασκευής των δαπέδων, συνδυαζόμενη με την εντατική κατά καιρούς χρήση της θέσης, υποδηλώνουν ότι το σπήλαιο και το ευρύτερο περιβάλλον του ήταν ιδιαίτερα σημαντικά για τη νεολιθική κοινότητα της περιοχής.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Council, British School at Athens 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Affonso, M. T. C. and Pernicka, E. 2001. ‘Neolithic Lime Plasters and Pozzolanic Reactions. Are they Occasional Occurrences?’, in Boehmer, R.M. and Maran, J. (eds), Lux Orientis. Archäologie zwischen Asien und Europa, Festschrift für Harald Hauptmann zum 65. Geburtstag (Rahden in Westfalen), 913.Google Scholar
Andreou, S., Fotiadis, M. and Kotsakis, K. 1996. Review of Aegean Prehistory V: The Neolithic and Bronze Age of Northern Greece, AJA 100, 537–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bell, C. 1997. Ritual Perspectives and Dimensions (Oxford).Google Scholar
Bergman, H. 1964. Geological Map of Greece, Kefalonia sheet, scale 1:50,000 (Athens).Google Scholar
Boivin, N. 2000. ‘Life rhythms and floor sequences: excavating time in rural Rajasthan and Neolithic Çatalhöyük’, World Archaeology, 31/3, 367–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chapman, J. 2000. Fragmentation in Archaeology: People, Places and Broken Objects in the Prehistory of South-Eastern Europe (London).Google Scholar
Chatziotou, E.-M. and Stratouli, G., 2000. To σπήλαιο Δράκαινα στον Πóρο Κεφαλονιάς. Στοιχεία για την προϊστορική χρήση του και για τη λαϊκή λατρεία στους ιστορικούς χρόνους, in ΣΤ᾽ Διεθνές Πανιόνιο Συνέδριο, Zάκυνθος, 23–27 Σεπτεμβρίου 1997 (Thessaloniki), 6176.Google Scholar
Chatziotou, E.-M. and Kotjabopoulou, E. 1995. ‘The Drakaina cave. Recent investigations at Poros on Kefalonia (1992–1993)’, Athens Annals of Archaeology, 22 (1989), 3459 (in Greek).Google Scholar
Courty, M.A., Goldberg, P., and Macphail, R., 1989. Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology (Cambridge).Google Scholar
Demoule, J.P. and Perlès, C. 1993. ‘The Greek Neolithic: A review’, Journal of World Prehistory, 7, 355416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freund, F. 1974. ‘Ceramics and thermal transformation of minerals’, in Farmer, V.C. (ed.), The Infrared Spectra of Minerals (London), 465–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ge, T., Courty, M.A., Matthews, W. and Wattez, J. 1993. ‘Sedimentary formation processes of occupation surfaces’, in Goldberg, P., Nash, D.T. and Petraglia, M.D. (eds.), Formation Processes in Archaeological Context (Monographs in World Archaeology, 17), 149–63.Google Scholar
Halstead, P. 2000. ‘Land use in postglacial Greece: Cultural causes and environmental effects’, in id. and Frederick, C. (eds.), Landscape and Land Use in Postglacial Greece (Sheffield), 110–28.Google Scholar
Holmes, S. and Wingate, M. 2002. Building with Lime: A Practical Introduction (Rugby).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hughes, J.J., Leslie, A.B. and Callebaut, K. 2001. ‘The petrography of lime inclusions in historic lime based mortars’, in Proceedings of the 8th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials, September 4–7, 2001 (Annales Géologiques des Pays Helléniques, Edition Spéciale; Athens), 359–64.Google Scholar
Hughes, J.J., Banfill, P.F.G., Forster, A., Livesey, P., Nisbet, S., Sagar, J., Swift, D.S. and Taylor, A. 2005. Small-scale traditional lime binder and traditional mortar production for conservation of historie masonry buildings, in International Building Lime Symposium 2005 (Orlando, FL; CD-ROM).Google Scholar
Goren, Y. and Goldberg, P. 1991. ‘Petrographic thin sections and the development of Neolithic plaster production in Northern Israel’, Journal of Field Archaeology 18, 131–8.Google Scholar
Gourdin, W.H. and Kingery, W.D. 1975. ‘The beginnings of pyrotechnology: Neolithic and Egyptian lime plaster’, Journal of Field Archaeology, 2, 133–50.Google Scholar
Karkanas, P. 2002. ‘Micromorphological studies in Greek prehistoric sites: new insight in the interpretation of the archaeological record’, Geoarchaeology, 17, 237–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kilikoglou, V. (in preparation). ‘Sourcing obsidian from Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece’, in Stratouli (in preparation).Google Scholar
Kiriatzi, E. (in preparation). ‘Ceramic traditions and people in a neolithic cave: Analysis of Late and Final Neolithic pottery from Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece’, in Stratouli (in preparation).Google Scholar
Matthews, W., Postgate, J.N., Payne, S., Charles, M.P. and Dobney, K. 1994. ‘The imprint of living in an early Mesopotamian City: Questions and answers’, in Luff, R. and Rowley-Conway, P. (eds.), Whither Environmental Archaeology? (Oxbow Monograph, 38; Oxford), 171212.Google Scholar
Matthews, W., French, C., Lawrence, T. and Cutler, D. 1996. ‘Multiple surfaces: the micromorphology’, in Hodder, I. (ed.), On the Surface: Çatalhöyük 1993–95 (Cambridge), 301–42.Google Scholar
Melfos, V. (in preparation). ‘Characterization of lithic artefacts from the neolithic deposits of Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia, Ionian Islands: A petrographic-geochemical approach for determination of raw materials and sources’, in Stratouli (in preparation).Google Scholar
Moropoulou, A., Tsioura, T., Bisbikou, K., Biscontin, G., Bakolas, A. and Zendrit, E. 1996. ‘Hot lime technology imparting high strength to historic mortars’, Construction and Building Materials, 10, 151–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sarpaki, A. (in preparation). ‘Drakaina Cave at Poros in Kephalonia: A preliminary report on the progress of the archaeobotanical research’, in Stratouli (in prepatation).Google Scholar
Schuldenrein, J. 1995. ‘Geochemistry, phosphate fractionation, and the detection of activity areas at prehistoric North American sites’, in Collins, M.E., Carter, B.J., Gladfelter, B.J., and Southard, R.J. (eds.), Pedological Perspectives in Archaeological Record (Soil Science Society of America, Special Publication 44. Madison, WI), 107–32.Google Scholar
Stratouli, G. 2005. ‘Symbolic behaviour at places of social activity beyond the domestic area in the Ionian Neolithic’, Documenta Praehistorica, 32, 123–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stratouli, G. 2007. ‘Tracing the Ionian Neolithic: The contribution of recent excavations in Drakaina Cave, Poros, Kephalonia’ (in Greek with a summary in English), in Arvanitou-Metallinou, G. (ed.), Prehistoric Corfu and its adjacent areas. Problems - Perspectives, Proceedings of the Meeting in Honour of Augustos Sordinas, Corfu 17 December 2004 (Corfu), 105–26.Google Scholar
Stratouli, G. (ed.), (in preparation). Drakaina Cave at Poros on Kephalonia Island, Western Greece. A Place of Social Activity during the Neolithic.Google Scholar
Stratouli, G. and Melfos, V. 2008. ‘Exchange networks in the Neolithic of Greece: Gabbro and talc objects from Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece’, in Facorellis, Y., Zacharias, N. and Polikreti, K. (eds), Proceedings of the 4th Symposium of the Hellenic Society for Archaeometry, 28–31 May 2003, Athens (BAR S1746), 381–7.Google Scholar
Stratouli, G., Facorellis, Y. and Maniatis, Y. 1999, ‘Towards understanding the Late Neolithic and the Chalcolithic in the Ionian Islands, Western Greece: 4C evidence from the “Cave of Drakaina”, Poros, Cephalonia’, in Evin, J., Oberlin, Cr., Daugas, J.-P. and Salles, J.-F. (eds.), Actes du 3ème Congrès International, Lyon 6–20 avril 1998, 14C et Archéologie (Memoires de la Société Préhistorique Française, 26, 1999 = Revue d'Archéométrie, supp. 1999), 273–8.Google Scholar
van Dyke, R.M. and Alcock, S.E. 2003. ‘Archaeologies of memory: an introduction’, in eaed. (eds.), Archaeologies of Memory (Oxford), 113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weiner, S., Goldberg, P. and Bar-Yosef, O. 1993. ‘Bone preservation in Kebara Cave, Israel using on-site Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry’, Journal of Archaeological Science 20, 613–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Neolithic Lime Plastered Floors in Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece: Evidence of the Significance of the Site
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Neolithic Lime Plastered Floors in Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece: Evidence of the Significance of the Site
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Neolithic Lime Plastered Floors in Drakaina Cave, Kephalonia Island, Western Greece: Evidence of the Significance of the Site
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *