The Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project

SHARP is a multi-disciplinary project to explore human interactions in a "coastscape" environment. We are investigating the dynamics of competition among neighboring socio-political entities in the Saronic Gulf region of mainland Greece during the Late Bronze Age. One of our main goals is to investigate the process of competitive expansion by archaic states into contested peripheries, within a framework of peer-polity interaction among secondary states developing in the same cultural region. Specifically, we examine the competitive interaction that occurred during the Greek Late Bronze Age (or Late Helladic Period, ca. 1700-1100 BC), when the emerging palace-based state of Mycenae expanded into the Saronic Gulf region, the long-established sphere of influence of the older state of Kolonna on the Saronic island of Aigina. Our initial phase of fieldwork has concentrated on documenting the Mycenaean walled harbor town at Kalamianos, near the modern village of Korphos, and conducting an intensive survey in the surrounding region, along with geological and ethnographic investigations. SHARP, co-directed by Daniel J. Pullen of The Florida State University, and Thomas F. Tartaron of The University of Pennsylvania, operates under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with a permit granted by the Greek Ministry of Culture and the support of the ΛΖ' Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities for the Corinthia and the 25th Byzantine Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities. The three-year initial phase of fieldwork (2007-2009) is now followed by a period of study and publication, in anticipation of a second phase of future fieldwork.



In 2001, members of the Korinthia Archaeological Survey (EKAS) discovered a large Mycenaean architectural complex at the location Kalamianos near the village of Korphos, on the rugged Saronic coast of the southeastern Corinthia.

Aerial overview of Kalamianos From the moment of discovery, we recognized the site's significance: walls and foundations of buildings of Mycenaean type, some of them monumental, are exposed on the surface of the gentle seaside slope above the cape known as Akrotirio Trelli, covering more than 7 hectares on land and an unknown further extent now submerged underwater. The site is unique for the excellent preservation of above-ground architectural remains. To date, we have identified approximately 50 buildings and 120 rooms of LH IIIB date at Kalamianos. Beyond the site, we discovered another large Mycenaean architectural complex as well as small fortified enclosures and terrace walls dating to the Bronze Age. Our results indicate that Kalamianos anchored a significant center of Mycenaean activity in the 13th century B.C., and possibly served as Mycenae's principal harbor on the Saronic Gulf.



The research design of SHARP's initial phase (2007-2010) included architectural mapping and documentation, surface survey at the site and in the surrounding region, artifact analysis, geomorphological studies, and anthropological research. These studies aimed to provide detailed documentation of the surface remains at Kalamianos, and to contextualize the settlement within its region and the greater Mycenaean world. The initial phase of research comprised a range of environmental and surface studies that stand on their own as well as provide a rich context for eventual subsurface investigation.