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Exploring the Harbors of Old Knidos

Workshops and dolia in Harbor 4 (L4)

(guest post by Megan Collier)

When excavating a harbor site (or a series of harbors like we have in Burgaz), it is impossible to explore all the areas of interest.  We have mostly focused our effort in Harbors 1 and 2, but for a few days, Kilian, Matthieu and I spent some time in Harbor 4. This is the latest of the harbors at Burgaz, which saw its primary use in the Hellenistic and Late Roman periods.  Within the harbor are several areas with preserved workshops foundations and large round built storage vessels or dolia that were used to store wine or oil in antiquity.

Megan, Matthieu, and Kilian at the workshops and dolia in L4

Megan, Matthieu, and Kilian at the workshops and dolia in L4

These structures raise many questions about the archaeology of ancient production and trade. How were the dolia constructed—and when? What product did they contain? Was this an area of production as well as storage?  What is the relationship of this harbor with the nearby port of Knidos and when exactly was this harbor in use?

Instead of opening full excavation units in this area of the site, we used a few naturally exposed banks along the shore to study the stratigraphy of L4, focusing on the area around the built dolia.  After cleaning the natural baulk and recording the stratigraphy, we collected visible ceramics which we hope to will aid our understanding of the structure and scale of this harbor’s involvement in regional agricultural production and distribution.