Karen Vitelli

Karen Vitelli

Indiana University
1997 Grant Recipient - Two Grants

Karen D. Vitelli is professor emerita of anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Excavations at Franchthi Cave, Greece Fascicle 10. Franchthi Neolithic Pottery Volume 2

PUBLISHED 1999. Please visit the publication's webpage: Franchthi Neolithic Pottery

Franchthi Cave is located in a limestone headland north of Kiladha Bay, in the southern Argolid of Greece. Today it is a coastal site, but at the beginning of the Neolithic period the cave mouth looked out across a plain cut by several streams to sandy beaches and coastal marshes a kilometer or two distant (Jameson et al. 1994:203; van Andel and Sutton 1987:Fig. 17). By the later Neolithic, subject of the present study, the ongoing rise in sea level had brought the shoreline to within 500 m of the cave and substantially decreased the extent of the coastal plain (Jameson et al. 1994:208, Fig. 3.32). Franchthi was the site of repeated activities by prehistoric peoples from the Upper Palaeolithic through the Neolithic periods. The substantial remains from Middle Neolithic activities in the eastern Peloponnese dwindle to but a few sites in the late Neolithic. Because most of these are cave sites many have seen an increase in pastoralism in the later Neolithic, although shepherds in the hills with their flocks seem unlikely to have spawned the increase in "international" exchange evidenced in their material remains. Nor is it clear what happened to the apparently thriving Middle Neolithic communities. These, then, are the questions that, in addition to more general goals of the entire study, informed my analyses of the later Neolithic ceramics from Franchthi.


Lerna, A Preclassical Site in the Argolid. Volume V

PUBLISHED 2007. Please visit the publication's webpage: The Neolithic Pottery from Lerna: Results of excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Beneath the famous remains of the House of the Tiles and the other Bronze Age remains found at Lerna, a large amount of Neolithic pottery was found during 1950s excavations by the American School of Classical Studies. Although the mixing of material makes it impossible to establish an independent ceramic sequence for the site, the author is able to differentiate Early and Middle Neolithic types using her knowledge of material from the well stratified Franchthi Cave, across the Argolic Gulf. By placing the ceramic material in archaeological context, the author makes a number of important new claims about Lerna's earliest history. While the date of the first settlement is still unclear, the Middle Neolithic was clearly a time of intensive occupation at Lerna, when the digging of at least one long ditch across the site suggests some internal planning. Sherds of the first Late Neolithic phase (Franchthi Ceramic Phase 3/ FCP 3) are totally absent, suggesting that Lerna had been abandoned by the end of the Middle Neolithic but substantial quantities of Final Neolithic pottery, found largely in pits and two graves, suggest ritual re-use in this period. A final chapter summarizes the results of the study, including the changing patterns of burial practices over the course of the Neolithic. This final chapter is repeated in Modern Greek.



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