AIA-4B: The Archaeology of Aegean Islands and Coasts: A View from Porto Rafti, Greece based on the Results of the BEARS Survey (Colloquium)

  In-Person   AIA Session   Colloquium


Catherine Pratt, University of Texas at Austin

Overview Statement

The bay of Porto Rafti is representative of many developed coastal regions in the Mediterranean in possessing a rich milieu of cultural remains that currently coexist with extensive tourism and development. Since 2019, the Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS) project has conducted three seasons of surface survey aimed at documenting these cultural remains. The project’s work has generated advances in empirical knowledge about the archaeological record of coastal Attica in addition to contributing new insights into best practices and survey design for densely inhabited, developed coastal landscapes. The purpose of this colloquium is to disseminate the project’s results in a context that will also be conducive to gathering feedback from our colleagues as the team works to prepare a final publication following a study season in June 2023. The session is timely for that reason; it will also be of interest to a wide range of survey archaeologists because of its contributions on method, and because the finds from the survey impact understanding of the dynamics of Attic coastal settlement and industry from the Bronze Age to the Roman period.

The papers in the session all relate to its theme directly, insofar as each describes one aspect of the project’s methods or finds. The first paper confronts the challenges and promise of surveying in highly developed areas and argues that such contexts provide an opportunity to move beyond currently dominant intensive field-by-field methods and collection strategies. Remaining papers present new material discovered in the survey. The second paper presents the chipped stone lithics from the survey, especially material from earlier prehistory and its interpretation within the context of Attic-Cycladic relations. The third paper covers finds dating to the Late Helladic IIIC period and their impact on reconstructions of connectivity and trade in the postpalatial Aegean. The fourth talk contextualizes finds and architectural data from survey on the Koroni peninsula within longstanding debates about Attic deme history and Ptolemaic fortifications. The fifth paper examines the Roman evidence in Porto Rafti Bay and its implications for understanding the dynamics of Roman trade and exchange in the eastern Mediterranean.