ASSIROS: THE BRONZE AGE c 2000-1100 BC

Throughout the Late Bronze Age the buildings within the defensive perimeter were constructed with a stout timber frame and infill of mud bricks. Following each destruction, whether caused by earthquake, fire or natural decay, the ruins were levelled and rebuilding followed without a break, often using old walls as foundations for the new. In the earliest levels excavated at this depth (Phase 9), dated around 1300 BC by imports of Mycenaean pottery, were found a series of granaries occupying much of the excavated area.

Assiros: Plan of the Phase 9 Granaries

ASSIROS

Similar granaries were constructed in the next phase (8) dating between 1300 and 1200 BC, but one of the most striking finds in this phase was a deposit containing thousands of grape pips, presumably the residue of grape pressing - proof that Macedonia, then as now, was a centre of wine production. Both these phases provide evidence for a sophisticated level of organisation - defensive walls, a planned settlement, and centralised storage, features which may reflect the contemporary Mycenaean civilization in Southern Greece. The range of Mycenaean pottery vessels in use suggests that the inhabitants of Assiros may have adopted Mycenaean drinking habits. As is the case with Mycenaean civilization, this centralisation vanishes around 1200 BC, for reasons which are still not understood. The succeeding Bronze Age phases at Assiros, (7-6) show dispersed storage and smaller rooms, suggesting life at village level. Evidence for social and economic change at this period is provided by the replacement of imported Mycenaean pottery by much larger quantities of locally produced imitations and the occurrence, for the first time, of several moulds for casting objects of bronze. These presumably indicate that bronze production was no longer centralised but carried out locally..

ASSIROS

Moulds for casting objects of bronze

Finds from the Bronze Age levels include the distinctive Macedonian hand made pottery, as well as tools of bone and stone and ornaments of bronze, bone and stone. Evidence for spinning and weaving in the form of spindle whorls and loom weights was also abundant.

No stratigraphic break was found at the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age, while the range of pottery suggested continuity rather than change

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