At the eastern end of the Mochlos coastal plain, excavations have been carried out at the site of Chalinomouri, a naturally fortified promontory located above the coast, where a small farmhouse, with a storage room full of pithoi sunk below floor level, was uncovered. This building is located near a major source of fresh water and an extensive formation of green serpentine, used for stone-vase making. Its pottery is identical to pottery from the main LM IB settlement on the island, and the house served as a rural outpost of this settlement. It was partially reoccupied in the LM III period. The building is now fully published in Mochlos IA. Period III. Neopalatial Settlement on the Coast: The Artisans' Quarter and the Farmhouse at Chalinomouri, Philadelphia 2003.

The Minoan farmhouse at Chalinomouri

The LM IB farmhouse, discovered at Chalinomouri in 1991, was a rectangular structure measuring ca. 8.25 by 14 m. which contained six or seven rooms. The 1991 excavations revealed evidence for terracing in the field that lies to the northeast of the house, evidence for storage of agricultural produce in pithoi buried beneath the floor of Room 2, and evidence for the manufacture of vases of green serpentinite, a material which is locally available on both sides of the ravine that this building overlooks. The building served as a rural outpost of the main settlement on Mochlos, where its pottery was made, and its occupants took advantage of the natural resources at this end of the Mochlos coastal plain with its abundant water supply to engage in a number of different activities. If the main settlement on Mochlos is thought of as a second-order site, overseeing the neighboring coastal plain for a larger site or nearby palace, this farmhouse is a good example of a third-order site whose occupants were in some way attached to the settlement on Mochlos and looked to it for social recourse and other needs of a more practical nature.

Four of the five rooms lying to the south of Rooms 1 and 2 were excavated in 1992, and evidence for LM III reoccupation was found in two of these. Like that found in Room 1 the previous year, this reoccupation made use of the earlier walls and differs in this regard from the reoccupation on the island where there is often a considerable accumulation of earth between the LM IB and LM III remains, eroded from the south slope of the island or the collapsed debris of LM IB buildings, so that the LM III buildings sit on top of the earlier structures and show little or no relation to them. The reoccupation at Chalinomouri is not well-preserved since it lay near the modern surface and was itself badly eroded, especially along the western side of the house where the west wall has partly collapsed into the neighboring ravine. Evidence of this reoccupation was found in Room 1, but the best evidence to date was found in Room 4 where it was possible to identify an LM III floor at an elevation of +28.52-28.39 m. A new wall which rested in part on an earlier wall separating Room 4 from Room 5 was built along the south side of this room at this new floor level and blocked an earlier doorway at the southwest corner of the room; it is the only LM III wall in the whole building however. The LM IB floor in the room lay ca. 0.50 m. below this level. The intervening area was filled with earth and preserved no wall or roof debris from the LM IB building. A polished stone bead of serpentinite, which could have been manufactured in the house, was found in this fill. No LM III floor level was found in Room 5, but the later occupants of the building appear to have filled it with earth in a similar fashion to raise its original floor to a higher level. The LM IB floor in the room lay at an elevation of +28.12-28.06 m. and contained the remains of two piriform jars decorated with lilies, incised in the clay or applied in raised relief.

Rooms 3 and 6 were main activity Rooms in the house.

Room 3 which measures ca. 3.30 by 3.95 m. was apparently used as a kitchen and eating room. A large patch of carbon lay on the floor in the center of the room and the remains of a pithos with its base missing lay amongst the wall and roof collapse in the southeast corner of the room where it may have been serving as a chimney pot when the roof was still intact. A bench, measuring ca. 0.50 by 1.30 by 0.23 m., stands at the northwest corner of the room. A large number of limpet shells lay scattered on the floor in front of the bench along with the stone guide for a drill used in stone vase making.

A stone column base stands near the center of Room 6 which is about the same width as Room 3 but ca. 5.02 m. long. This room also appears to have been used for cooking and eating. A deposit of carbon was found here too and more limpet shells lay scattered along the northwest side of the room. A stone bench, stepped at two levels with overall measurements of ca. 0.67 by 1.15 by 0.16-0.44 m., is located in the north corner of the room, and a bronze awl and remains of a jug were found in the north-western area of the room.

Chalinomori site (center) looking north.

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Last Modified: 30-November-2008
Mail to: Dr. Jeffrey Soles