Koroni and Porto Rafti in the Greek Historical Period (20 min)


Miriam Clinton, Rhodes College; and Melanie Godsey, Texas Tech University


This paper discusses the implications of results from the Bays of East Attica Regional Survey (BEARS) project for understanding archaic to classical activity in Porto Rafti. Although Porto Rafti was the location of two Attic demes—Steiria and Prasiae—from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods, the geography and organization of these demes has never been well understood. Intensive survey in 276 units around the town of Porto Rafti did not reveal evidence for a concentrated urban center from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods. The finds from the hinterland encircling the Porto Rafti bay support instead the reconstruction of a dispersed settlement pattern. The inhabitants of Porto Rafti’s demes seem to have occupied inland farmsteads and hamlets during the Archaic and Classical periods, although some coastal activity from these periods is evident on the island of Praso. Prior to BEARS, most archaeological study of the Archaic to Hellenistic periods in Porto Rafti had been focused around the Koroni peninsula, where a substantial site has been interpreted as a Hellenistic military camp unrelated to earlier deme foundations and occupied only during the Chremonidean War (267–261 B.C.E.). Architectural study during the BEARS project, however, revealed that the structures on Koroni were not planned and built at one time. Within the Hellenistic period, multiple phases of organic building activity suggest that the site was occupied for longer and had more varied uses than previously believed. Surface finds likewise add depth to the history of the peninsula. For example, transport amphoras found on the lower peninsula near harbor infrastructure indicate a long period of early Hellenistic activity oriented toward maritime trade. Overall, these finds add nuance and depth to current debates about the trajectory and organization of coastal communities in the Attic hinterland.