Anastasia Dakouri-Hild

Anastasia Dakouri-Hild

University of Virginia
2001 Grant Recipient

The House of Kadmos in Mycenaean Thebes: Publication of the Keramopoullos Excavations (1906-1929)

A massive Late Bronze Age building was revealed between 1906 and 1929 on the citadel of Boeotian Thebes (Kadmeia), in central Greece. The architecture, featuring ashlar masonry, wall frames, pictorial frescoes and an impressive plan, stands out today at the centre of the Kadmeia. Notable among the finds are gold, amethyst, agate and quartz pieces of jewellery, many of which represent various manufacture stages. The building also yielded the largest corpus of transport stirrup-jars found on Mainland Greece. Many are inscribed with the administrative script of the Mycenaeans. Such discoveries testified to the elite character of the building already in the early 20th century. They put Thebes on a level with other palatial centres of the Aegean Bronze Age, such as Mycenae, Tiryns and Knossos. They also led the excavator to identify the site as the palace of Kadmos, the legendary founder of Thebes himself. This project concerns the publication of a conclusive volume presenting the results of the old excavations at the site. The architecture, chronology and status of the House of Kadmos are re-examined. The stratigraphy of the building is reconstructed using the recovered original diaries and preliminary reports. The role of the building in the context of Theban topography is assessed in view of other Mycenaean complexes excavated on the Kadmeia after 1930. Restored vessels and sherds, frescoes and small finds (including the so-called workshop material, lithic and organic finds) from the Late Helladic building and the surrounding area (court, kiln, various trenches) are comprehensively catalogued, studied, photographed and drawn. In addition, earlier and later habitation levels with some architectural remains and associated finds are briefly presented.

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