North Hill

During its first seasons, the Olynthos Project investigated the North Hill in order to determine whether the grid identified by Robinson continues and to locate a house suitable for excavation. Geophysical survey demonstrated that the street grid continues to the northeast and also helped identify a house suitable for excavation. House B ix 6 was chosen for its similarity to the houses excavated by Robinson and its location on the southern side of an insula. (These houses tend to have a more standardized layout than those on the northern side.) Two test trenches (TT01 and TT05) were dug in order to confirm the results of the geophysical survey. The trenches revealed a shallow but well preserved stratigraphy with a destruction horizon.

Since 2014, a number of trenches have been dug and have revealed the basic plan of house B ix 6. A variety of features similar to those found in the houses excavated by Robinson have been located, including a courtyard (TT13), a pastas (TT7/TT11/TT14), a stenopos (TT08/TT09), and an oikos unit, as well as a variety of other rooms whose roles are still being investigated. The orientation of the trenches at an approximately 45-degree angle to the house walls has enabled us to reveal portions of adjacent houses and features. TT09 exposed some of house B ix 5 across the stenopos. TT15 revealed a part of a room in house B ix 4; this space was probably an andron, as indicated by remains of red plaster and a small section of a mortar and mosaic floor.

The Olynthos Project seeks to not only determine the plan of house B ix 6 but to also examine the patterns of domestic activity within it. Topics currently under investigation include foodways, the economy, and the role played by the upper story of the house. Several specialist studies are underway to answer these questions, and some of their preliminary results can be found under their respective headings under the “Methods” tab. Much effort has been devoted to the study of the ceramic material as well. While local and even Attic and Corinthian fine wares have been found, the majority of the pottery from house B ix 6 comes in the form of medium ware, in particular a local micaceous medium ware used for the storage and preparation of food and liquids. The ceramic assemblage is also key to understanding the chronology of the house, and early results suggest that the house was occupied in the earlier fourth century BCE.

Text by Max Huemer, edited by Elina Salminen