Report on the 1994 Season

Elizabeth R. Gebhard, Director

The season began the end of May and extended until early September. Staff members included scholars who are preparing the final publications of the sanctuary material; Michiel Boostman, photographer; Pieter Collet, draftsman; and Kate Adams, student assistant. Conservators were Stella Bouzakis and Nikos Didaskalou; the site secretary, Jean Perras.

Mycenaean and Early Iron Age Pottery

Catherine Morgan checked references to the site and objects for the final draft of her book, The Mycenaean Settlement and Early Iron Age Sanctuary at Isthmia. She worked with Elizabeth Gebhard on contextual and other problems in preparation for submission of the manuscript to the Publications Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens at the end of this year.

Pottery: ca. 700-550 B.C.

Karim Arafat completed documentation of the Archaic pottery from all excavations of the site. 120 pieces were inventoried. The lack of imports noted in earlier seasons continued to be a feature of the material.

Rachi Settlement

Virginia Anderson-Stojanovic finished descriptions of the 18 houses that have been exposed; at least six others are unexcavated. On the basis of the contours of the ridge the total number of houses may not have exceeded 30. The houses are composed of a basement, workroom, and either a separate courtyard with cistern or a combined workroom-courtyard with cistern. Most houses had two or three additional rooms. If the basement was deep enough, a separate workroom was built over it, but there is little evidence for a true second story. The houses are small in comparison with examples from Hellenistic cities, but the room-size seems standard. The three parallel streets that cross the settlement from east to west, and the two that run north-south provided easy access to all houses. A similar plan existed in the industrial quarter of Haleis.

Residue analysis of sherds with interior grooving and opening at the base by Richard Evershed, University of Bristol, confirmed that the vessels were beehives. The identification had been questioned earlier in regard to a complete example of the type, inscribed ORESTADA, that is on display in the Isthmia Museum.


Liane Houghtalin wound up the inventory of all coins from the Chicago excavations, including revised identifications and chronology of previously catalogued coins. Coins from the Archaic Temple were reconsidered in the light of a lower date for the temple fire, ca. 470-450 B.C., based on the latest burnt pottery in the temple. Coins from the ULCA and Ohio State Isthmia excavations were studied in view of the possibility of updating Paul Clement‘s manuscript of UCLA coins and including it in a joint publication of Isthmia numismatic material.


Mary Sturgeon completed her examination of marble sculpture fragments excavated by Broneer but not available for inclusion in her book on Isthmian sculpture. Of particular interest are three slightly over-life sized statues, portraying perhaps officials, members of the imperial family, or deities, and one figure that may represent a priest. The statues very probably stood in the precinct of the Antonine Temple of Palaimon. Restored drawings were made with the help of Pieter Collet.

Stamped Tiles

Michael Mills brought to a conclusion his catalogue of over 600 tiles through the checking of context information and associated material.

Flaked stone implements

Nick Kardulias began a study of 141 flaked stone implements from historical contexts. The evidence indicates that the production of blades took place elsewhere, with only tool blanks or finished blades being brought to the site. Limited functional analysis reveals little evidence for other than quotidian activities, especially those associated with harvesting.

Sanctuary – general

Fritz Hemans and Elizabeth Gebhard prepared three restored plans for the sanctuary covering the period ca. A.D. 50 through the reign of Marcus Aurelius and corrected earlier phase plans. Sections through the east terrace and Early Stadium and detailed plans and sections of the north temenos were completed. Post-holes in the eighth century B.C. terrace were cleaned and drawn by Pieter Collet.

Cult of Meliketes-Palaimon

Hans Dieter Betz worked with Elizabeth Gebhard on problems surrounding the interpretation of literary sources as evidence for the cult in Roman times (e.g. Pausanias, Aelius Aristeides). The texts were considered in the light of new evidence for the development and chronology of the shrine during the second century A.D.


Pieter Collet, in addition to drawings mentioned above, completed the following: trench plan of the theater, plan and view of Archaic deposits in the temple, 130 pottery drawings (4th c. B.C.), 87 profiles for the Rachi Settlement, 57 pieces of arms and armour, 23 pieces of flaked stone.