Room 6
Human Prehistory: An Exhibition


The two best known Neolithic sites in Greece are located in Thessaly. Sesklo and Dimini represent two characteristic neolithic villages in Greece.
Sesklo is located on a terrace terminating in the small coastal plain of Volos. The first inhabitants, who were farmers and stock-raisers, founded a small settlement around 6500 BC. Evidence for this period, which was named by D. R. Theocharis (one of the excavators) Aceramic or Pre-pottery, have been "strikingly scant". The settlement was inhabited until c. 1500 BC.

Sesklo enjoyed its heyday around 5500 BC. The community covered an area of more than 13 hectares and its population could not have been more than a few hundred inhabitants. The buildings at Sesklo had stone foundations and a "superstructure of pisé, crowned by a gable of hip roof made of a thick layer of clay on a timber frame." Most of them where one-roomed measuring between 10 to 50 square meters.
One of the best preserved vases from Sesklo is this one from the Museum of Volos (K2853). Its height is 35 cm and is dated between 5300-3800 BC. It is decorated with plain long white lines on the dark red surface.

Vase from Sesklo

Dimini covers an area of 0.8 hectares and is also located in Thessaly. The astonishing fact about this site are the six concentric circular enclosures. Initially it was thought that represented defensive walls but recent reexamination points to better organization of the land.

Dimini was established some time after 5000 BC and its buildings are within the concentric circles mentioned above. A lot of information about Dimini has been disputed by the latest excavation of the area.
The most beautiful example of Greek Neolithic pottery is this two-handled vase from Dimini dated between 5300 and 4800 BC. The vase (25 cm h.) is superb for its shape and its well arranged decoration. [Source: George A. Papathanassopoulos, ed. Neolithic Culture in Greece (Athens: Goulandris Found., 1996), pasim.].

Vase from Dimini

Links to relevant Internet sites

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D. I. Loizos, 1996-2003