GOURIMADI ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT (GAP)

In 2018 the Norwegian Institute at Athens conducted the first season of a 5-year (2018-2022) project of archaeological excavations at the site of Gourimadi in southern Euboea, Greece. The project is organized under the aegis of the Norwegian Institute of Athens with a permit from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. The project is directed by Dr. Zarko Tankosic and co-directed by Drs. Fanis Mavridis and Paschalis Zafeiriadis.

Topographic map of Gourimadi (Author: Denitsa Nenova)

The site of Gourimadi is located in southern part of the island of Euboea, near the Katsaronio village, c. 6 km from the modern town of Karystos. The site was discovered during an earlier survey of the area (Norwegian Archaeological Survey in the Karystia, NASK) and immediately recognized as important, based on the composition of the artifacts collected from its surface (e.g., large quantities of obsidian including more than 50 projectile points, pottery that indicated the existence of multiple chronological strata, metallurgical remains in form of small quantities of slag and an excellently preserved bronze axe, etc.). Particularly in chronological terms, the surface pottery scatter indicated the habitation at the site during the final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age I (FN-EBA, respectively) transition, which is elusive both in the Karystia and the Aegean. The location of the site was also indicative of its importance, as it forms a natural hillfort with excellent vistas of not only all access routes but also of the entire region, including most sections of southern Euboea, east Attica, and the northern Cycladic islands of Andros, Tinos, Giaros, and Kea.

According to the size of the archaeological material surface scatter, the maximum extent of the site is c. 4 ha, although it is likely that the actual subsurface remains cover a somewhat smaller area. The site extends on the summit and north, west, and south slopes of a natural rock (schist) outcrop called locally Gourimadi, which means ‘large rock’ in the local Arvanitika dialect. In terms of surface artifact density, the southern slopes, especially those below the main summit of the hill, is where we encountered the thickest concentrations of the material during the survey, followed by the summit and the western and northern slopes.

In 2018 season we began the excavation of two trenches: trench 1 (7X4m) covering the top of the summit and trench 2 (4X4m) on the southern section of the summit, in the area where the ground begins to slope.