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Home ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES MEGALI RACHI HILL The BUILDING OF CISTERN
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The Building of Cistern 

   

On the south peak we have traced the plan of a large public building in the trenches cut in the natural rock for the foundations of its walls. The building contains phases from the Late Archaic and Classical eras, judging by the remains of stone masonry, the early pottery and the marble head of a youth from the early 5th century BC. In the courtyard of this building – which was paved with pebbles, vertically laid tile fragments and hydraulic cement (kourasani) – a large circular Cistern 8.5 m. deep was excavated. 

  The lower part of this cistern is preserved in its original form, up to a height of about 2 m. Because the porous limestone rock in which the cistern was cut crumbles and breaks easily, the ancient craftsmen placed a layer of stone bricks and unworked stones over the surface of the crumbling rock to make it more solid and watertight, and then added a wall of long bricks, laid laterally and bound together by mortar. The bottom of the cistern and the inner, narrow side of the bricks were coated with a thick layer of hydraulic cement. The diameter at the bottom is 4.5 m., while at the top, where the intermediate layer and the bricks are missing, it is 6.5 m. The cistern helped to supply the settlement with water by collecting rainwater, as can be seen in the conduits with cavities for gravel filters that are preserved on three sides of the courtyard, and the clay pipes that have been found in the same area.  

   From the bottom of the cistern a large number of clay hydriae and oinochoae were collected, together with two bronze oinochoae and a bronze situla, which were evidently used for drawing water. They date from the 2nd century BC and provide a terminus ante quem for the use of the cistern.

Dr Georgia Karamitrou – Mentesidi

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PHOTOGRAPHIC SAMPLES OF FINDS

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