The Mycenaean Citadel and Environs of Desfina-Kastrouli: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Southern Phokis
Author(s)Koh, Andrew J; Birney, Kathleen J.; Roy, Ian M.; Liritzis, Ioannis
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Despite its ubiquity in historical and mythological narratives, the ancient region of southern Phokis in central Greece has been approached primarily as a backdrop for more prominent neighbors (e.g. Delphi, Boiotia), whose roles have been codified in extant histories. Archaeological research has been likewise limited, with the result that southern Phokis has remained largely untouched and unintegrated into the larger narratives of each of the major periods of antiquity. Recent work by the Southern Phokis Regional Project (SPRP) in the Desfina Plain is correcting this lacuna. SPRP is blending the strongest attributes of several disciplinary approaches (e.g. classics, archaeochemistry, digital humanities) to produce a comprehensive transdisciplinary study of the natural and cultural landscape of the region, thereby illuminating the important role of southern Phokis during some of the richest epochs of human history. Our 2018 study of Desfina’s natural and cultural environs, bolstered by excavations at the Mycenaean citadel of Kastrouli (ca. 1350-1000 B.C.E.), is revealing that southern Phokis served as a major, if not the primary, gateway to points south and west for northern Phokis, western Boiotia, and perhaps even eastern Lokris by securing access to the Corinthian Gulf. Our survey has documented ambitious engineering works that include a major hydrological project reminiscent of the Kopais Basin and “Cyclopean” terrace walls that sculpt the landscape. These achievements testify to a level of socio-cultural complexity and interconnectivity previously overlooked. In the shadows of Mount Parnassos, Desfina makes the best case yet to be not only the home of Echedameia, destroyed by Philipp II during the Third Sacred War, but also Homeric Anemoreia.
DepartmentMIT Materials Research Laboratory
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Koh, Andrew J. et al. "The Mycenaean Citadel and Environs of Desfina-Kastrouli: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Southern Phokis." Forthcoming in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 20, 3 (August 2020): 47-73.
Final published version