From June 25th to July 16th, David Pettegrew and I returned to the Corinthia and conducted fieldwork in the region of Vayia. The immediate vicinity of Vayia was investigated by the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey (EKAS) in 2002 and 2003. This work focused primarily on a substantial and complex Early Bronze Age site which has since been published in Antiquity (Tartaron, T. F., D. J. Pullen, and J. S. Noller. 2006. “Rillenkarren at Vayia: Geomorphology and a New Class of Early Bronze Age Fortied Settlement in Southern Greece,” Antiquity 80, pp. 145–160).
In the same neighborhood or microregion, however, there are several significant later sites including a series of Late Classical to Hellenistic structures. I found most of these structures over the course of extensive survey in the area in 2002. We tentatively identified one of them as a possible farm house. David Pettegrew, a colleague both on PKAP and with EKAS had a fairly serious interest in farmhouses of the Classical to Hellenistic period (see "Chasing the Classical Farmstead: Assessing the Formation and Signature of Rural Settlement in Greek Landscape Archaeology," Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 14.2 (2001), 189-209). I was interested in the Hellenistic fortifications of the Isthmus (with Timothy Gregory, “Fortifications of Mount Oneion, Corinthia,” Hesperia 75 (2006), 327-356), so we decided to team up to document the various small sites from the Classical to Hellenistic period that dot this microregion. We also sought to place these sites a bit more firmly within the local topography of the southeastern Corinthia. While there has been some substantial work on the Western Corinthia which emphasizes routes into the Argolid, Sykionia, and Kleonid (these are the territories of the cities that border on the polis of Corinth), there has been relatively little work done on the eastern Corinthia (with the exception of Mike Dixon's dissertation which focused primarily on the southeastern corner of this territory).
In a short 2 week season, David and I were not only able to document rather carefully the three main Classical to Hellenistic sites in the Vayia Microregion, but also establish an important, but largely overlooked ancient route running through the eastern Corinthia. The work proved to be both intellectually and physically tiring as we not only illustrated the archaeological remains and hiked all over the area, but also argued (around and around and around) about the functions of these sites and their relationship to other sites both locally and in the larger context of Greece.
Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of our work on the blog here in an effort to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of the eastern territory of Corinth. The end goal of this fieldwork is a short(ish) study of the microregion in the Classical-Hellenistic period which we hope to submit to Hesperia this fall or winter.