Entrance Altitude: 12 m asl
Main Research Years:
Occupation Eras and Dates: LM; EN; MN; LN.
9800-9300BC; 8300-8000BC; 6000-5000BC; 5000-4500BC; 4500-3000BC.
Tomkins, K. 2009. Domesticity by Default. Ritual, Ritualization and Cave-Use in the Neolithic Aegean. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 28(2), 125-153.
Cave Description: The maximum dimensions for this cave are 150m long, however part of the roof has collapsed, so it is hard to judge the full size of the cave. Located in the Gulf of Koilada, southern part of the Argolis.
Research Chronicles and Data: The depths of the deposits are over 11 m in some places within the cave. Although centuries of hiatus separate the EN phase from the Mesolithic habitation, it is suggested that through origins and myths and oral tradition, old places became new and were reused as part of the new visions of the landscape developed by early farmers. There is evidence of early Neolithic shell bead manufacturing. Two complete MN vessels were deposited within primary or secondary burials outside the cave. The skeleton of a young woman found in this cave is rather unusual because it is in an unusual posture and the treatment indicates intentional disarticulation, including removing the spinal column from the rib cage, this is suggestive of ritualised treatment. Just outside the cave two out of four infant burials contained an adult tooth and were scattered by the remains of another 12 individuals. In the MN pit a complete bowl, and tools accompanied by a largely articulated but tightly packed remains of an adult female were found.
Cave Uses: Shelter (A.c) - Artefacts have been uncovered on the seashore, suggesting that habitation was extended from the cave all the way to the sea front, indicating permanent installations for continuous habitation. During the late Neolithic there seems to have been a gradual decline in habitation, perhaps as a result of a natural disaster as well as of the changes presaging the end of the Neolithic age. The manufacture of shell could represent this cave as part of the community or as part of ritualised production. The EN-MN ceramics are conventionally viewed as produced by resident potters as the style is consistent. However the pottery from the LN-FN has a notably wider range of form and types with similarities from a variety of distant sites around Greece.