“The Corinthia Rocks!” The homepage of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens website gave some attention this week to Lychnari Tower in the southeast Corinth, one of the Classical-Hellenistic sites Bill Caraher and I investigated in 2008. One of the scrolling images on the site shows Bill Caraher standing on Lychnari Tower (photo by K. Pettegrew). Yes, it doesn’t look like much but a pile of rocks now, but believe it or not, that was once a tower that stood as high as 15 m (50 feet) above the ground.
The editors of the journal Hesperia chose the image for the website because the most recent issue (79.3) includes an article by Bill, myself, and Sarah James called “Towers and Fortifications at Vayia in the Southeast Corinthia.” The article was the culmination of fieldwork conducted by the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey in 2001, 2003, and 2008. The three sites described in that article are fascinating, but I have said before that creating the stone-by-stone drawing for the Ano Vayia building was some of the most boring archaeological work I’ve ever done! Bill Caraher blogged about our 2008 fieldwork in a series of posts:
The Corinthian Countryside: Classical Vayia
New Research on the Corinthian Countryside: Vayia Microregion
The Corinthian Countryside: The Site of Ano Vayia
The Corinthian Countryside: Distributional Data from the Site of Ano Vayia
The Corinthian Countryside: The Lychnari Tower
The Corinthian Countryside: The Passes of the Eastern Corinthia
Okay, so here’s an abstract of our article:
“Although rural towers have long been central to the discussion of the fortified landscapes of Classical and Hellenistic Greece, the Corinthia has rarely figured in the conversation, despite the historical significance of exurban fortifications for the territory. The authors of this article report on the recent investigation by the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey of two towers and associated fortifications in the region of Vayia in the southeast Corinthia. By integrating topographic study, intensive survey, and architectural analysis, they suggest that these three sites served to guard an economically productive stretch of the Corinthian countryside and to protect—or block—major maritime and land routes into the region.”
The full article is available here* as a PDF offprint, and is posted in the EKAS Publications section of this website. If you don’t have time to read the text, there are some nice images of the rural Corinthia in the piece.
*[Copyright © The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, originally published in Hesperia 79 (2010), pp. 385–415. This offprint is supplied for personal, non-commercial use only. The definitive electronic version of the article can be found here.]