Projects: Geographical Overview

Research in Aigeira

The ancient city of Aigeira lies today in the province of Achaia, on an extended mountain ridge (416 m above sea level), a few kilometres from the coast of the Gulf of Corinth.

 

Settlement activity in Aigeira extends back to the late Middle Neolithic and Late Neolithic period, as the most recent excavations directly below (to the north) of the ancient acropolis on the excavation area ›Solon‹ have revealed.

 

The site had its heyday in the Late Mycenaean period in the 12th century B.C. In this period, a number of settlement phases can be differentiated on the acropolis and on the plateau located at a slightly lower level to the south. The remains found on the acropolis of a number of Mycenaean houses, storage rooms, a pottery kiln, and an enclosure wall indicate the significance of this settlement.

 

The transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age in Aigeira has not yet been adequately studied and should form the focus of future archaeological research. The original name of Hyperesia (Il. 2, 573) was replaced in the 7th century B.C. by Aigeira. After the late 8th century B.C., the acropolis, or at least part of it, was used as a sanctuary. In its western area, two cult buildings which followed each other chronologically could be identified; of these, the youngest structure was covered with a high quality roof of painted tiles during the Archaic and Classical period (reconstruction in the museum of Aigio).

 

With the influx of the population from Aigai in ca. 350 B.C. and the foundation of the Achaean League in 281/280 B.C., Aigeira experienced a new heyday. The entire Hellenistic city was fortified by a city wall; an aqueduct which ran partially underground guaranteed the water supply. The most recent excavations have revealed an important public building on the excavation area ›Solon‹; this was erected in the 4th century B.C. and converted in the 3rd century. The structure was probably a guest house, the andron of which was decorated with a high-quality pebble mosaic and which provided space for eleven klinai. After the early 3rd century B.C., a new public centre grew up to the north-east of the acropolis, to which belonged a theatre and numerous cult buildings disposed around the theatre. In one of these structures, which was also provided with a high-quality pebble mosaic, a bearded, over-lifesize marble head was found in 1916. This is probably a head of Zeus by the Hellenistic sculptor Eukleides. In another building, the so-called Tychaion, the remains of a slightly over-lifesize draped statue came to light, identified with the statue of Tyche mentioned by Pausanias.

 

The remarks of the travel writer Pausanias, who visited the still flourishing city in the 2nd century A.D. and described its points of interest (7, 26, 1–14), are of particular importance for the topography of Aigeira. Pausanias’ portrayal of the public centre conforms broadly to the results obtained so far by excavation. The domestic development of the Hellenistic and Roman period as well as the topography of Late Roman/Late Antique Aigeira have not yet been extensively studied.

 

Financing

OeAI

 

Bibliography

  • E. Alram-Stern – W. Alzinger – S. Deger-Jalkotzy, Aigeira-Hyperesia und die Siedlung Phelloë in Achaia. Österreichische Ausgrabungen auf der Peloponnes 1972–1983. Teil I: Akropolis, Klio, 67, 1985, 389–451.
  • E. Alram-Stern, Ageira – Acropolis: The Stratigraphy, in: S. Deger-Jalkotzy – M. Zavadil (Hrsg.), LH III C Chronology and Synchronisms. Proceedings of the International Workshop Held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences at Vienna, May 7th and 8th, 2001, VMykKomm 20 (Wien 2003) 15–21.
  • E. Alram-Stern, Aigeira and the Beginning of the Middle Helladic Period in Achaia, in: A. Philippa-Touchais – G. Touchais – S. Voutsaki – J. C. Wright (Hrsg.), Mesohelladika. La Grèce continentale au Bronze Moyen. Actes du colloque international organisé par l’École française d’Athènes, en collaboration avec l’American School of Classical Studies at Athens et le Netherlands Institute in Athens, Athènes, 8–12 mars 2006, Bulletin de Coerrespondance Hellénique. Supplément 52 (Athen 2010) 143–150.
  • E. Alram-Stern – S. Deger-Jalkotzy (Hrsg.), Aigeira I. Die mykenische Akropolis. Faszikel 3. Vormykenische Keramik, Kleinfunde, archäozoologische und archäobotanische Hinterlassenschaften, naturwissenschaftliche Datierungen, SoSchrÖAI 43 (Wien 2006).
  • W. Alzinger – S. Gogos – R. Trummer, Aigeira-Hyperesia und die Siedlung Aigeira-Hyperesia und die Siedlung Phelloë in Achaia. Österreichische Ausgrabungen auf der Peloponnes 1972–1983. Teil II: Theater und Umgebung, Klio 68, 1986, 5–62.
  • W. Alzinger, Was sah Pausanias in Aigeira? Archäologische und literarische Dokumente, in: S. Walker – A. Cameron (Hrsg.), The Greek Renaissance in the Roman Empire. Papers from the tenth British Museum Classical Colloquim, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. Suppl. 55 (London 1989) 142–145.
  • W. Alzinger, Die hellenistischen Tempel von Aigeira, in: Akten des XIII. Internationalen Kongresses für Klassische Archäolgie Berlin 1988 (Mainz 1990) 549–551.
  • A. Bammer, Neue Heiligtümer in Aigeira, in: V. Mitsopoulos-Leon (Hrsg.), Forschungen in der Peloponnes. Akten des Symposions anläßlich der Feier »100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen«, Athen 5. 3.–7. 3. 1998, SoSchrÖAI 38 (Athen 2001) 95–105.
  • S. Deger-Jalkotzy, Stratified deposits from the Late Helladic IIIC settlement at Aigeira/Achaia, in: S. Deger-Jalkotzy – M. Zavadil (Hrsg.), LH III C Chronology and Synchronisms. Proceedings of the International Workshop Held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences at Vienna, May 7th and 8th, 2001, VMykKomm 20 (Wien 2003) 53–75.
  • W. Gauß, The Last Mycenaeans at Aigeira and Their Successors, in: S. Deger-Jalkotzy – A. E. Bächle (Hrsg.), LH IIIC Chronology and Synchronisms III. LH IIIC Late and the Transition to the Early Iron Age. Proceedings of the International Workshop Held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences at Vieanna, February 23rd and 24th, 2007, VMykKomm 30 (Wien 2009) 163–182.
  • S. Gogos, Kult und Heiligtümer der Artemis von Aigeira, ÖJh 57, 1986/1987, 108–139.
  • S. Gogos, Das Theater von Aigeira. Ein Beitrag zum antiken Theaterbau, SoSchrÖAI 21 (Wien 1992).
  • S. Gogos, Das Theater von Aigeira. Ein Beitrag zur Chronologie des Zeus-Heiligtums, in: V. Mitsopoulos-Leon (Hrsg.), Forschungen in der Peloponnes. Akten des Symposions anläßlich der Feier »100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen«, Athen 5. 3– 7. 3. 1998, SoSchrÖAI 38 (Athen 2001) 79–87.
  • T. Hagn, Das Tycheion von Aigeira und daran anschließende Bauten, in: J.-Y. Marc – J.-C. Moretti (Hrsg.), Constructions Publiques et Programmes Édilitaires en Grèce entre le IIe siècle av. J.-C. et le Ier siècle ap. J.-C. Actes du Colloque organisé par L’École Française d’Athènes et le CNRS, Athènes 14–17 Mai 1995, BCH Suppl. 39 (Athen 2001) 297–311.
  • M. Hainzmann, Hyperesia / Aigeira – eine historische Spurensuche, in: V. Mitsopoulos-Leon (Hrsg.), Forschungen in der Peloponnes. Akten des Symposions anläßlich der Feier »100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen«, Athen 5. 3.–7. 3. 1998, SoSchrÖAI 38 (Athen 2001) 73–78.
  • E. Lanschützer – G. C. Neeb – R. Trummer, Aigeira-Hyperesia und die Siedlung Aigeira-Hyperesia und die Siedlung Phelloë in Achaia. Österreichische Ausgrabungen auf der Peloponnes 1972–1983. Teil III: Palati, zur Wasserversorung von Aigeira, Phelloë, Klio 68, 1986, 309–347.
  • G. Schwarz, Korinthische und attische Keramik aus Aigeira, in: V. Mitsopoulos-Leon (Hrsg.), Forschungen in der Peloponnes. Akten des Symposions anläßlich der Feier »100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen«, Athen 5. 3.–7. 3. 1998, SoSchrÖAI 38 (Athen 2001) 89–93.
  • R. Trummer, Zwei Kolossalköpfe aus Aigeira, in: A. Heinrich Borbein (Hrsg.), AntPl 22 (München 1993) 141–155.

 

 

Contact

Walter Gauß