- Ancient Kalaureia
- The excavations of 2007
- The excavations of 2008
- The excavations of 2009
- The excavations of 2010
- The excavations of 2011
- Kalaureia in the present
- Visiting the site
- Berit Wells 1943-2009
One of the aims of the research programme is to restudy the architecture of the sanctuary and also produce a computer model of the site. With a temple and more than half a dozen major subsidiary buildings, it is among the most important sanctuaries in the Saronic Gulf. As to its architectural importance it is on par with other large sanctuaries of Greece. The fragmentary nature of the architectural remains, however, provides a very interesting scholarly and methodological challenge: how is it possible to study the ancient built environment in a case where a majority of the building material has been systematically dismantled and reused away from its original context? One way of answering the question is to carry out a thorough comparative study of related buildings and sanctuaries in the neighbouring regions, but new excavations will also bring new information on architectural features of the sanctuary.
Despite the use of the sanctuary as a quarry for building material, previous studies at the site have managed to establish the majority of the principal features and dimensions of the building plans. These data together with the measurements of the individual building blocks will be used to try to establish the relationship between the architectural designs and possibly also the foot standard used on Kalaureia. Further data will be gathered from neighboring regions, especially Troizen, Aigina, Corinth and Athens, and the results from Kalaureia will be set against the background of comparative material.
In the recording of the progress of the excavations and also architectural features special emphasis is placed on the use of current three-dimensional and digital technologies. Due to the detailed measurements of the archaeological features it is e.g. possible to present a detailed 3D digital elevation model (DEM) of the state of excavations at the end of the 2007 season.
The points and lines in the model show where the nearly 20,000 total station measurements of this particular excavation area were taken. It is possibly to add further details to the 3D models by draping actual photographs over the DEM, as is illustrated by the model of the second large new area opened during the excavation season of 2007.
In order to study the spatial development of the sanctuary a three-dimensional computer model of the various phases of architectural development will be produced. It will also be used to demonstrate how the sanctuary is an integral part of the built environment on Kalaureia in general and to explore and explain how the sanctuary shaped its environment and how the ritual space at Kalaureia was defined by the various buildings. The model will have a vital role in disseminating information to the wider public and especially to visitors to the site and the Museum of Poros: the visual information produced will make a major contribution to the quality of the visitor experience and to public understanding of the past.
The temple of Poseidon was located in the north edge of the sanctuary: only the foundation trenches and the peribolos wall surrounding the structure remain, nearly all the blocks have been recycled to other buildings on Poros and elsewhere (the English 18th-century traveller Richard Chandler reports that the blocks were in his time being used to build the monastery on Hydra). Based on the archaeological material available to them Wide and Kjellberg were able to fairly reliably establish the overall dimensions of the temple as 14.5 by 27 m: it is a relatively small and short peripteral temple with standard six columns on the front and twelve on the long sides.
The most likely date of the temple and the peribolos wall is towards the end of the sixth century BC.
Building A is a relatively well-preserved stoa: most of the 30-metre-long stylobate course originally supporting the row of Doric columns is still in situ, as are the lower courses of the side and back walls. The four blocks carrying the interior Ionic columns are also preserved. The columns were made of soft limestone which was easy to carve, but for the other now extant parts harder grey limestone and andesite was used. The upper parts of the walls would have quite likely been made of mudbrick. The blocks discovered in the 1894 excavations make it possible to reconstruct and date the structure with some precision, though the exact column height indicated by Welter is hypothetical. Comparative material for the architecture points towards a building date in later fifth century BC.
The plan of building B parallels closely stoa A but it is less well-preserved: parts of the side and back walls and three blocks for the interior columns are still in situ, but nothing remains of the front of the building. Based on the building technique Welter dates it to the fourth century, but his more precise date of c. 370 BC is based solely on his view of the relative sequence of building in the sanctuary and therefore it should not be accepted without further study.
The excavations of Building C have yielded several architecturally interesting blocks, including a capital and base of the interior Ionic order. The core of the foundations and walls were constructed of soft limestone which was protected from weathering by layers of harder grey limestone. With a length of nearly 33 m the building is slightly larger than stoas A and B. A fragment of a capital and a geison, both now unfortunately lost, have been attributed to the stoa and they show that the exterior order was, as expected, Doric. Stoa C is best dated towards the end of the fourth century BC, and the new excavations have shown that buildings C, D and E are quite probably part of the same â€˜building programmeâ€™.
Building D has since the late 19th century been reconstructed as a stoa with auxiliary rooms behind it. However, no fragments could be assigned to the superstructure of â€˜stoa Dâ€™ by Wide and Kjellberg or Welter, and a closer study of the preserved walls on the north side of the structure has shown that they are better interpreted as terrace walls rather than walls of a stoa. Therefore, the stoa reconstructed as the north side of building D disappears entirely. Previous research has identified that the building did serve ritual functions with an altar in the open eastern courtyard and deposits related to dining. As part of the new research programme the building was resurveyed in 2007 as the first step in producing a three-dimensional model of the whole sanctuary.
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The model of the preserved remains will be integrated with a computer reconstruction of the building.
Other buildings inside the archaeological site include a gatehouse (E) and a pi-shaped stoa (F). Building G has been interpreted as a heroon, but it could equally well be a wealthy townhouse; it lies currently outside the boundaries of the fenced-in area.