Recent trial excavation findings

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2008 trials

Four buildings scattered across the full 3 ha area of the site were cross-sectioned by trenches in Wallace's 2008 trial excavations. One of these (A1) seems likely to be a little-understood form of ceremonial complex operating in parallel with the 'Temple' discovered by Pendlebury; another building/area (B) has rare MM peak sanctuary-related deposits of a little-understood character underneath it, while a third (C1) was a large building located near the newly-discovered fortification wall, its dating suggesting that the site expanded and was fortified in its north sector early on.

On Megali Koprana in the southern part of the site, overlooking the contemporary large settlement of Papoura on the pass to the Lasithi plain, part of a large residential district was revealed. It also seems to to have been founded early in the settlement's life but was never fortified. The well-furnished house MG1 contains exceptionally rich burnt destruction deposits including fragile wooden beams.

The excavations showed for the first time that the site was widely destroyed, often violently and by fire, at the end of its life. While the site was never re-occupied, the excavations showed evidence of returns to the ruined architecture and tombs for specific ceremonial activities, including open-air cooking. in the 9th to 7th centuries BC. The participants seem likely to have been resident at the emergent regional centre of Papoura, occupied until c. 700 BC.  

Saro Wallace | 2020 | Karphi Revisited
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