Neopalatial Period

The excavation has focused on the LM I town. It has traced its maximum extent north, west and east on the island and has uncovered new streets and houses in the process; it has uncovered a segment of the town on the opposite shore behind the modern village of Mochlos and an outpost of the town at the eastern end of the plain; it has also discovered and excavated its ceremonial center.
On the island, the excavation has concentrated on the unexcavated area of the Neopalatial settlement in Seager’s Blocks B and C, where parts of ten houses, two roads, and a narrow alley have now been uncovered.

House C.1, already partly exposed by Seager, is one of the latest of the houses to be built in this area, dating to LM IB. Its facade and staircase were built in ashlar masonry and a deep and extensive layer of Theran tephra was found beneath its LM IB floor. A kitchen was found in the northern part of the house, but it was not possible to excavate the entire house because one of the large Byzantine buildings sits on top ot it.

A second house, C.2, also partly excavated by Seager, has been uncovered to the north with two workshops in its basement rooms. The western side of the building, excavated by Seager, lies under Seager’s dump which is not yet removed. When it is, the northwest corner of the house can then be drawn and added to the plan. Eleven successive floor levels, ranging in date from LM IB to MM III, have been uncovered along the south facade of the house, where a retaining wall was built to support an approach to the house.

Excavation of House C.3 was completed in 1992. It is a large rectangular house of three floors with the main entrance located on the second floor from the west. The basement, where three magazines packed full of pithoi and other objects are located, is still in tact. Perhaps the most important find here has been a foundry hoard of bronze tools and copper ingots which was being stored for re-use. Eleven different types of tools have been identified, including two shapes never before documented in the Aegean. Storerooms were also located on the second floor where the staircase to the uppermost floor is located just inside the house’s entrance.

House C.4. lies on the eastern side of a narrow alley across from Houses C.2 and C.3. Only its western side was uncovered, but it suggests a similar arrangement as that of House C.3 with basement stories located on a lower level of the hill slope and the main second floor level terraced above it. House C.6 lies to the north of House C.3 on the other side of an east-west street that separates the two buildings. The eastern half of the building appears to have been re-used in the Late Hellenistic fort.

Building B.2, which displays palatial architectural features, is the main ceremonial center of the Neopalatial town. It is separated from Block C by a paved street, running north-south, and from House B.1 to the south, which was excavated by Seager, by a terraced courtyard. Terraced against the hill slope, the building was three-stories high, and because of its terracing, part of each story is still preserved. Two pillar crypts are located on the lower story at the east end of the building and considerable evidence for ceremonial activity has been found here.

Among the evidence are numerous conical cups that were used as lamps and placed on a low wall and on the pavement of the courtyard located outside the crypts to the south. A staircase, intact with 14 steps, leads up from the easternmost pillar crypt to a room which was a major focal point in the building. The main entrance to the building also leads from the east facade of the building through a corridor into this room. It is a room surrounded by doorways which is provided with a basin against its north wall. Two columns with an offering stone between flank the impluvium on the south and a drain leads out under the floor to the street on the east. Fancy LM IB cups were found in this drain.

A kitchen area has been excavated near the center of the building, with a large room that probably served as a dining area, which could be reached via a long corridor that led from a secondary entrance in the building’s west facade. The third floor of the building may be traced beneath the Late Hellenistic fort that runs through the Minoan building incorporating many of its walls into its own structure. The largest building on the site, the only one built with ashlar walls, showing considerable evidence for ceremonial use, the building may also have served as the administrative center, villa, or manor house of the LM IB settlement.