Corinth Report: Nezi Field 2010 by Charlotte Maxwell-Jones (2010-05-31 to 2010-06-18)
Collection:   Corinth
Type:   Report
Name:   Nezi Field 2010 by Charlotte Maxwell-Jones (2010-05-31 to 2010-06-18)
Title:   Green Session III, Room NE of Courtyard, North of Nezi
Context:   Nezi Field, context 7278
    Nezi Field, context 7246
    Nezi Field, context 7038
    Nezi Field, context 7167
    Nezi Field, context 7208
    Nezi Field, context 7073
    Nezi Field, context 7135
    Nezi Field, context 7223
    Nezi Field, context 7189
    Nezi Field, context 7053
    Nezi Field, context 7274
    Nezi Field, context 7245
    Nezi Field, context 7102
    Nezi Field, context 7168
    Nezi Field, context 7240
    Nezi Field, context 7089
    Nezi Field, context 10114
    Nezi Field, context 7191
    Nezi Field, context 5784
    Nezi Field, context 7039
    Nezi Field, context 7233
    Nezi Field, context 7119
    Nezi Field, context 7266
    Nezi Field, context 7210
    Nezi Field, context 7199
    Nezi Field, context 7178
    Nezi Field, context 7049
    Nezi Field, context 7115
    Nezi Field, context 7065
    Nezi Field, context 7146
    Nezi Field, context 7212
    Nezi Field, context 7141
    Nezi Field, context 7244
    Nezi Field, context 7198
    Nezi Field, context 7139
    Nezi Field, context 7121
    Nezi Field, context 7211
    Nezi Field, context 7177
    Nezi Field, context 7252
    Nezi Field, context 7111
    Nezi Field, context 7098
    Nezi Field, context 7220
    Nezi Field, context 7064
    Nezi Field, context 7270
    Nezi Field, context 7215
    Nezi Field, context 7142
    Nezi Field, context 7218
    Nezi Field, context 7209
    Nezi Field, context 7183
    Nezi Field, context 7255
    Nezi Field, context 7104
    Nezi Field, context 7057
    Nezi Field, context 7131
    Nezi Field, context 7083
    Nezi Field, context 7118
    Nezi Field, context 7243
    Nezi Field, context 7158
    Nezi Field, context 7224
    Nezi Field, context 7221
    Nezi Field, context 7267
    Nezi Field, context 7090
    Nezi Field, context 7134
    Nezi Field, context 7054
    Nezi Field, context 7105
    Nezi Field, context 7133
    Nezi Field, context 7247
    Nezi Field, context 7173
    Nezi Field, context 7277
    Nezi Field, context 7110
    Nezi Field, context 7192
    Nezi Field, context 7172
    Nezi Field, context 7174
    Nezi Field, context 7200
    Nezi Field, context 7071
    Nezi Field, context 7188
    Nezi Field, context 7241
    Nezi Field, context 7272
    Nezi Field, context 7254
    Nezi Field, context 7214
    Nezi Field, context 7231
    Nezi Field, context 7202
    Nezi Field, context 7262
    Nezi Field, context 7101
    Nezi Field, context 7187
    Nezi Field, context 7147
    Nezi Field, context 5649
    Nezi Field, context 7075
    Nezi Field, context 7143
    Nezi Field, context 7206
    Nezi Field, context 7100
    Nezi Field, context 7093
    Nezi Field, context 7091
    Nezi Field, context 7040
    Nezi Field, context 7269
    Nezi Field, context 7092
    Nezi Field, context 7229
    Nezi Field, context 7130
    Nezi Field, context 7219
    Nezi Field, context 7268
    Nezi Field, context 7097
    Nezi Field, context 7070
    Nezi Field, context 7205
    Nezi Field, context 7201
    Nezi Field, context 7248
    Nezi Field, context 7258
    Nezi Field, context 7194
    Nezi Field, context 7234
    Nezi Field, context 7265
    Nezi Field, context 7284
    Nezi Field, context 7180
    Nezi Field, context 7109
    Nezi Field, context 7251
    Nezi Field, context 7108
    Nezi Field, context 7213
    Nezi Field, context 7157
    Nezi Field, context 7129
    Nezi Field, context 7273
    Nezi Field, context 7282
Area:   Nezi Field
Site:   Corinth
City:   Ancient Corinth
Country:   Greece
References:   Baskets (118)
North of Nezi (Green) Report 2010 Session III: Charlotte Maxwell-Jones

The following summarizes results of excavations during the third session of the 2010 season at Corinth in four areas north of Nezi Field in the area previously excavated in the 1960s under the direction of H.S. Robinson. The room immediately northeast of the courtyard was the primary area of excavation and small architecture removal operations were carried out on two partition walls forming the east and southern borders of the courtyard, as well as on two threshold blocks east of the courtyard.

Excavation in these areas was supervised by Guy Sanders (director) and Scott Gallimore (field director). Our pickman was Athanasios Sakellariou, our shovelmen Panos Stamatis and Pavilos Senis, and our barrowman and sieveman Vangelis Kollias.

The primary area of excavation, the room northeast of the courtyard, was bounded on the north by wall 7040, on the south by walls 5741 and 7038, on the east by the large pit from the 1960?s excavations, and on the west by wall 7039. This pit was an irregular circle that left unexcavated material to its northwest and north. The western and northern borders of the pit formed the eastern and northeastern boundaries of our excavation area, though the room originally extended farther east. The coordinates of the excavated area are the following: North-1039.84, South-1036.05, East-275.28, West-271.06.

In excavating the room northeast of the courtyard, we left a martyr around stone feature 7092 which was later removed. This is why many contexts were dug at separate times and have multiple numbers.

When we excavated the lowest contexts in this room, the excavation conditions became difficult due to a system of tunnels that extended under the trench, beginning at the bottom of the 1960s excavation pit. These were probably animal burrows, and we found plastic and other modern materials in them. We excavated carefully and did not have any contaminated ceramics, but were unable to collect and sieve all of the soil from the lowermost units due to the possibility of contamination.

Summary of Room NE of the Courtyard

All areas excavated in this space are Middle Byzantine, mostly 11th century, with only two small deposits from the 12th and 13th centuries.

The earliest architectural element in this space is the east-west wall 7040, which forms the northern boundary of this space. Several fills and features were deposited in the area northeast of the courtyard when wall 7040 was the only known architectural boundary. First, fill 7272 was laid down in the southwest, probably as a leveling fill. Then fill 7269 was deposited in the northwest. During this action, ceramic and tile feature 7270 was laid in this fill. In the far northwest, abutting wall 7040, a small pit, 7268, was dug and filled with deposit 7267, likely a pit for dumped material of some sort. Above these leveling fills and pits an earthen floor was laid, 7231/7262. Whatever activity occurred in this area resulted in the incorporation of thin laminae of ash into this floor. This floor was only found in the portion of the area west of wall 7200, though it is likely that floor contiguous with this was also in the eastern portion of the room and was either cut through at a later date or, if it sloped to the east, it remains unexcavated.

After these deposits and floors had been laid, earthen floor 7262/7231 was cut by the foundation trench for N-S wall 7200. This foundation trench, 7199/7221/7224/7266, was relatively straight in the east and irregular in the northwest, possibly following the outlines of earlier pits whose original deposits no longer remain. After the construction of wall 7200, fill 7198/7265/7220/7223 was placed in the trench. This wall likely contained a threshold, approximately 1.80 meters in width, whose upper blocks were robbed, thus preventing us from ascertaining its original elevation. After this wall was built, a thin lamina of charcoal filled soil, 7258, was laid over the foundation trench fill in the west at the same elevation as floor 7231/7262, which continued to be used as a floor after the space was divided by wall 7200.

After the construction of wall 7200, there are two distinct areas of occupation, though their complete architectural boundaries are unknown. In the west, a small area is bounded by 7040 on the north and 7200 on the east. The western border for this area was likely the easternmost N-S wall in the room north of the courtyard. The eastern boundary likely led via a stone threshold to the second area. This area is bounded by wall 7040 on the north and 7200 on the west. I will first discuss the eastern area.

In the eastern area, the earliest deposit visible is the unexcavated red fill. This was cut by the foundation trench for wall 7200 as well as by two distinct pits in the south that remain unexcavated. This was also cut by pit 7278, which was filled by a deposit of building debris, 7277, then covered with a thin layering deposit, 7282. It is likely that there were several layers of fill and flooring over this area that were cut down significantly upon the construction of wall 7200, but no deposits predating wall 7200 have been excavated in this eastern area and because of the large number of pits over the area of wall 7200, it is unclear which floors were in use while the threshold was standing, but it is likely that floor 7274 was among them. All direct relationships between this wall and material east of it were lost due to these pits and robbing trenches.

The threshold blocks and wall blocks south of the threshold were robbed out by cut 7212, a shallow pit that cut floor 7274 as well as the foundation trench, which was then filled with deposit 7211. This was then cut on its southeastern edge by pits 7219 and 7215, which were filled with deposits 7218 and 7214, respectively. Deposit 7214 was cut by 7210, the foundation trench for wall 7038, which was then filled with deposit 7209. Laid on top of deposit 7214 is a thin lamina of floor, 7213, which was likely deposited after the construction of wall 7038, which bounded the eastern portion of this area on the south. From this point on, the eastern area has both northern and southern architectural boundaries.

Above floor 7213 are two more floor lamina, 7208 and 7206, floor laminae that are preserved only in small patches in the southeasternmost portion of this area. These were cut in the far south by a small pit, 7130, filled by deposit 7129, whose purpose is unclear.

To the north of floor 7213 is a large area of reddish flooring, 7274. It is probable that floors 7213, 7208, and 7206 once extended over this entire floor, which extends north to wall 7040 and as far east as wall 7254, of which so little remains that its chronology is unclear. Floor 7274 was truncated on the west by robbing trench 7212. Floor laminae 7213, 2708, 7206, and whatever deposits that were contiguous with then were cut by a large pit, 7205, which was then filled with a very thick layer of pebble flooring, 7202/7273 that extended west as far as the northernmost section of wall 7200. Placed into this pebble flooring was an E-W wall, 7093, which abuts wall 7254. This pebble floor extended west as far the line of the robbing trench/foundation trench of wall 7200. It was in all likelihood in use while this wall was standing and this is the last deposit in the eastern area before wall 7200 is robbed and the architectural boundaries change.

In the western area, after the construction of wall 7200, fill 7229 was laid down, probably as a leveling fill, though it is possible that it was used as a surface. This is the only fill laid down during this architectural phase, and it is unclear why there is so much more activity in the eastern area.

After the dismantling of wall 7200, Fill 7194/7252 was laid down. This is a thick fill that was cut by a large pit, first 7189, which contained three deposits, 7192, 7191, and 7188. This was probably a dumped deposit of construction material, including cobbles and roof tiles. Cut into this fill is the first foundation trench for wall 7039, a N-S wall that forms the western boundary of the room northeast of the courtyard. Shortly after this first phase, represented by cut 7133 and fill 7131, another foundation trench is dug, likely to make minor changes or repairs on this wall. This trench, 7064/7070 is filled with deposit 7065/7021

After this pit, an earthen floor was laid down over the entire area, 7181/7251, which was contiguous with a rectilinear section of flooring in the north consisting of closely packed broken tiles abutting wall 7040. Also contiguous with these flooring layers is floor 7173, another earth floor section made of slightly different soil. A posthole, 7246, and its fill, 7245, present in the northwest section of flooring point to the possibility of makeshift structures. At the time this floor was laid, the known architectural boundaries are wall 7040 in the north, wall 7038 in the southeast, and wall 7039 in the west. Wall 7093, also an E-W wall, was built directly south of wall 7040, though its purpose is unclear. The area west of wall 7093 was disturbed by two pit/robbing trench activities, pits 7135 and 7090, filled with deposits 7134 and 7090, respectively.

After this earthen floor is deposited, wall 5741 was built, forming the southern border of this room. This is an E-W wall directly west of 7038. It was laid in trench 7178, then abutted by trench fill 7177.

The earthen floor layers, 7180/7251/7183/7173 were covered in small patches of reflooring and leveling fills throughout the room. Laminae 7174, and 7168 were laid in the southwest portion of the room and lamina 7167 was placed in the center of the room. Fill 7244 was laid in the northwestern corner and fill 7172 was laid in the northeast. In the northeastern area of the room, on the edge of the large pit from the 1960s excavations, a series of fills are present. The truncation from the large pit makes the nature of these fills unclear, but they are deposited over the large earthen floor deposit. These are fills 7167, 7157, 7142, and 7110. These flooring layers/leveling fills were disturbed by several pits after their use phase. Pit 7248 was dug in the northwest corner, which was then filled with a dumped deposit, 7247. Pit 7243 then cut this pit and was filled with deposit 7241. Pit 7147, almost 2 meters in diameter, was dug in the south, abutting walls 5741 and 7038.

After pit 7147 was filled with a dumped, bone rich deposit, 7146, earthen floor 7143 was laid in this room. Filling the entire room, this was cut by pit 7118, which was then filled with deposit 7115. Several leveling fills/surface laminae were deposited above this floor. 7139/7240 was laid down on the western side of the room, 7119 was laid down in the northern side, and 7121 was deposited in the southeast. When these fills had been laid down, a stone structure, 7092, was constructed in the northwest corner of the room. This required a partial dismantling of wall 7040 and was bonded with this wall, and its purpose is unclear. It is possible that it is a bin of some sort. When this had been installed, a large mixed fill, 7111, was laid down over most of the room. This was a mixture of ashy and clayey soils, and it is possible that it represents the remnants of some sort of industrial activity. We found significant amounts of slag and black ash, and while it is unlikely that industrial activities occurred in this room, they probably occurred nearby. Substantial amounts of ash were found in the room directly north of this, also excavated in 2010. Deposit 7111 was not present in the 0.80 m south of wall 7040 because this area was excavated in the 1960?s. At elevations higher than deposit 7119, there are no deposits in this northern area of the room.

Deposit 7111 was cut by 7109, as mall pit filled entirely with soft black ash, 7108. Deposited onto fill 7111 and covering pit 7109 were several patches of floor laminae/leveling fill, 7104, 7102, 7101, and 7100. It is possible that all of these patches as well as fill 7111 were used as surfaces, but if so, it was not for long enough to make them compacted.

Fill 7105 was deposited in the southeastern area of the trench. Almost 40 centimeters thick, it is likely that this fill covered a significantly larger area, but was truncated by both the 1960s excavations to the east and a later cut to the north and west. It is unclear how far east it originally extended, but above deposit 7111 and its leveling fills, there appears to be a difference in activity and use of space between the eastern and western portions of the room. While there is a very thick fill in the east, there are several nice floor laminae in the west, 7098 and 7097. The relationship between these areas was completely truncated by a large cut, 7083, and filled with a large, debris filled leveling deposit, 7075. This brought the room to a level surface, but it is unclear why such a cut and deposit were necessary. Above this large dumped fill, a leveling fill/floor laminae, 7057, was deposited. At this point, wall 5741 was rebuilt or repaired, which required the digging of a foundation trench, 7053, and trench fill, 7054.

Above this is the only deposit containing Frankish material, 7049. The stone structure, 7092, contained some late 13th century ceramics, but it is likely that the continued use of this structure, and not its date of construction, are the cause of this late pottery.

Summary of Architectural Removals

Wall 5649, a small rubble built partition wall east of the courtyard, directly east of the drain, was removed, revealing a well-constructed wall, 7141. Only the top of this structure has been revealed.

Wall 5784, a rubble built partition wall along the south of the courtyard was removed, revealing a surface that appears to run onto the courtyard, so no further excavation was conducted in this area.

Threshold 10114, which had been pedestaled in the area east of the room NE of the courtyard, was removed, and the soil and threshold below this, 7284, were also removed, in part due to the precarious nature of their position.


The deposits excavated this season from the room northeast of the courtyard represent activities and occupation during the 11th century and the early 12th century. The 1960s excavations removed the deposits later than this, and those earlier remain unexcavated.

Given the thick fill evident in the scarps and visible throughout the entirety of the room at the close of excavation, it is likely that there was abandonment between the late Roman period and the Middle Byzantine occupation. The thick fill is probably a leveling and construction fill prior to reoccupation.

The area of the room northeast of the courtyard was used intensely as a dump from the time of its reoccupation onwards. It was also near to an area of industrial activity, and there was probably some overflow of work into this area. If the nature of the stone feature 7092 were known, it could clarify our understanding of the later use of this room.