Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project


Cat. No.



MPG (1000-950 B.C.)


Koukos Sykias, tomb 56



Accession Number


Carrington-Smith and Vokotopoulou 1989: 430, 433, 437, fig. 10; Nakas 2011: 1004, 1014, fig. 4; 2017: 70, 80, fig. 5.c

Galley with a slightly rockered hull. Short stempost and sternpost with rounded extremities. Short pointed bow projection and another similar one at the stern.

Koukos near the village of Sykia, Sithonia, Chalkidike is a hilltop site with remains of a fortification wall, a settlement and a cemetery, probably founded in connection with mining and metalworking operations (Carington-Smith and Vokotopoulou 1988; 1989; 1990; 1992; Vokotopoulou 1987; Charalambidou 2017: 99). Having provided direct evidence for metalworking and located close to the mines of Sykia, it may have been the centre where the ore was extracted and worked while Torone (7 km away) likely served as the distribution centre due to its prominent harbour (Papadopoulos 2005: 592). The pottery associated with the settlement and walls date for the EIA, while the cemetery has yielded various types of graves ranging in date from the end of the 10th to the early decades of 7th century. In addition to local handmade pottery, imported wares (amphorae, kraters, lekanides with conical bases) are related mainly to Euboean pottery, and more specifically to Lefkandi in relation to its earliest 10th century phase (Moschonissioti 2012:8). The presence of an apsidal building, Euboean imports, as well as local pottery recalling the Euboean style have been used to argue for a Euboean presence at the site. The burials were all cremations but practiced in a variety of ways, with finds ranging from bronze bracelets, fibulae, fragmentary iron knives and a spear head, spindle whorls, a silver earring, a gold hair coil, beads of bronze, silver, gold, faience (the last two types probably from Phoenicia). The handful of gold offerings (spirals, beads, wires) suggests the possibility that gold was mined in the region (Leone 2012: 233).

Carington-Smith, J. and Vokotopoulou, J. 1989. ‘Ανασκαφή στον Κούκο Συκιάς, 1989’. AEMΘ 3, 425–38.

Nakas. Y. 2011. “Νήαι μέλαιναι: Πλοία και ναυπηγική στο Αιγαίο της Πρώιμης Εποχής του Σιδήρου (Νήαι μέλαιναι: ships and shipbuilding in the Early Iron Age Aegean).” In A. Mazarakis Ainian, (ed.) The "Dark Ages" revisited: acts of an international symposium in memory of William D.E. Coulson, University of Thessaly, Volos, 14-17 June 2007. Volos: University of Thessaly Press: 1003-1017.

―――. 2017. “From the Black Ships to the Trireme: Ships and Shipbuilding in the Early Iron Age Mediterranean,” in A. Mazarakis Ainian, A. Alexandridou and X. Charalambidou (eds.) Regional Stories Towards a New Perception of the Early Greek world, Proceedings of the International Symposium in honour of Professor Jan Bouzek, University of Thessaly, IAKA Department, 18-21/6/2015, Volos: University of Thessaly Press.

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