A visit to the House with the Staircases is of greater interest. This is the name given to an excavation on a plateau to the south, which can be reached either by a footpath from the Building with the Stoa or a lower footpath from the Excavation of the Ashlar Masonry. Here, beneath the stones of the stepped passageways, there is a stone drainage conduit, which leads from the highest room on the north side, runs beneath the steps and ends lower down at the edge of the plateau. The first staircase leads to a room in which three pithoi were discovered in situ, together with a rectangular hearth framed by small stones and containing numerous layers of ash. On one side of the hearth, immediately next to it, an interesting polygonal stone base was uncovered, within which lay a clay skyphos and, in the intervening space, six bronze coins and the silver effigy of a snake, probably a dedication to Zeus Ctesius, protector of household property, whose symbol was a snake
This room also contained figurines of Cybele and other female figures on top of some stones in a corner, amphoras and smaller clay vases, an iron scraper for a kneading trough, a stone handmill and some bronze coins. The room is believed to have served as a storeroom or a utility room where bread was made and meals were cooked, and evidently included a household shrine. The dwellings in this area continue beneath the enormous rocks that have broken away, possibly as the result of an earthquake: this event may have caused the destruction and sudden abandonment of the site, which meant that many important finds were left in situ.
Dr Georgia Karamitrou – Mentesidi