PAIA | The Polish Archaeological Institute at Athens


Anthemous Valley Archaeological Project
(„Buried archaeology”)

The first project of PAIA’s is being conducted in Northern Greece, in the Valley of Anthemous River since 2020. It is a geoarchaeological attempt to reconstruct the human-environment relations in an alluvial part of the lower basin of discussed Valley. Therefore, its other name is known as “Buried Archaeology”, as this area was under heavy influence of the aggradation processes during the Holocene. The project’s time frame of interest is in the Early Holocene natural evolution of the landscape and the human intervention during the Neolithic, Bronze, and Early Iron Ages. The methodology used in the project assumes strictly geoarchaeological activities, such as vibra-corings, electrical resistivity tomography and laboratory analysis of sediments for palaeogeographical reconstructions.

This project is a continuation of earlier AVAP stages, since 2010. The previous activities was conducted under the direction of Ephorate of Antiquities of Thessaloniki Region with cooperation of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and Adam Mickiewicz University as a participant. From 2020 the project is under the direction of Prof. Janusz Czebreszuk from the Faculty of Archaeology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland and is being conducted in cooperation with Ephorate of Antiquities of Thessaloniki Region and the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.

In the 2020 season, despite the COVID pandemic, the team of scientists from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki under the supervision of Prof. Konstantinos Vouvalidis was able to conduct vibra-coring in the area of Toumba Loutra Thermis in the Lower Basin of the Valley. Two cores were obtained from the direct vicinity of the mound, reaching depth of more than 10 m below the ground level. The sediments are going to be analyzed by, among others, means of palynological, diatom, sedimentological and geochemical evaluation. This will produce a picture of a changing landscape around the Bronze Age tell and allow to understand the connection of the toumba with the Anthemous River and its changing course in the past.

Team of scientists from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki during the coring in Toumba Loutra Thermis (Photo. K. Vouavlidis)
Example of a sediments within the obtained core from the area of Toumba Loutra Thermis (Photo K. Vouvalidis)
fot. L. Pospieszny