THE PALACE OF IOLKOS AND ITS END
Excavation at Dimini (Thessaly) started in 1977 to the east of the Neolithic settlement, in the alluvial plain at the foot of the mound (Figure 25.1), where architectural remains of the Late Bronze Age were brought to light (Adrimi-Sismani 2000a). These buildings were regarded as important because they were associated from the beginning with the well-known tholos tombs, excavated in Dimini at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.
In addition, during the last twenty years many rescue excavations have taken place in the plain where strata dated from the Early Bronze Age to the LH IIIB2-LH IIIC Early were discovered. According to the results of the recent excavations, we could argue today that Dimini was not abandoned at the end of the Neolithic period, as we thought before, but was continuously inhabited into the Bronze Age. During the Early Bronze Age habitation is traced in the plain located to the east of the Neolithic settlement. The latter was founded towards the sea after a geological event. According to Zangger (1991) this event can be dated to the forth millennium BC. The more recent excavations uncovered in the deeper strata houses dated to the Middle Bronze Age, but mostly houses dated to the Late Bronze Age, which were part of a large Mycenaean settlement.
The architectural remains found just below the surface uncovered the layout of the Mycenaean settlement during its last phase of occupation, while the pottery found associated with it is of a late LH IIIB or LH IIIC Early style. The excavations showed that the Mycenaean settlement at Dimini was founded at the end of the fifteenth century and flourished during the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries. Very few architectural remains are dated to the early Mycenaean period (LH I and II) and are associated with the Matt-Painted Polychrome ware of the
Since 1997 the following archaeologists have been working at the excavations on Dimini:
Alexandrou Stamatia, Andreou Antigone, Pantou Panagiota, Patrikiadou Efi, Rousioti
Dimitra, Chrisopoulou Helen as well as the conservators: Dionysiou Manolis, Papanastasoulis
Thanasis, Staikou Zoi, the drawers: Rini Eleftheria, Mpizeni Paraskevi and the architect
Georgiou Rea. The Institute for Aegean Prehistory funded the library at the Archaeological
site at Dimini and was responsible for photographing the architectural remains and the small