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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is a productive field for Palaeolithic research and today presents a large number of sites. The oldest reference to an implement which was assigned to the Early Palaeolithic era comes from Arcadia. In the Argolid two caves have been excavated: Franchthi, by an international interdisciplinary team under T. W. Jacobsen, and Kephalari, by a German expedition under L. Reisch. Both Franchthi and Kephalari, where, however, the research has not advanced beyond the preliminary stages, are key-sites for the understanding of the Palaeolithic habitation of Greece. The survey of the American team under C. Runnels has located quite a few sites. Presently excavations are carried out in rock shelters at the Kleisoura canyon, within the framework of a Greek-Polish collaboration,that of the University of Krakow, under Professor J. K. Kozlowski, and the Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology-Spelaeology of the Greek Ministry of Culture. Finally, a brief excavation at the Kokkinovrachos site, in Nauplia, should be mentioned, which was conducted by A. Protonotahou-Deilaki in 1974. The Western Peloponnese does not have any excavated site, although the research of the French expedition in Eleia under A. Leroi-Gourhan and his collaborators, during the 1960s, proved to be quite fruitful. Recently, new sites came to light in Achaia owing to the research of the Ephorate of Palaeo-anthropology-Spelaeology. Finally, in Laconia two caves were excavated, Apidima, by Professor Th. Pitsios. and Kalamakia, the latter within the framework of a Greek-French cooperation between the French National Museum of Natural History, under H. de Lumley, and the Greek Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology-Spelaeology. Human habitation in the Peloponnese covers the Middle and Late Palaeolithic period.