Plan of Late Neolithic phase remains over Middle Neolithic remains, Sesklo

Mound from NW, Sesklo

North edge of settlement mound from SW, Sesklo

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City walls, Sesklo.

Plan of Middle Neolithic phase remains, Sesklo

Summary: Defining site for Thessalian Middle Neolithic cultural phase.
Type: Settlement
Region: Magnesia



Early Bronze Age

Middle Bronze Age

Late Bronze Age


Ca. 15 km SW of Volos on a low mound. The Middle Neolithic settlement was a village of closely grouped houses around a central larger megaron type building with a paved courtyard. A village fortification wall has been suggested, but is not certain. Larger and less cramped houses occupied the area below the mound.


The low mound of Sesklo, which sits in the fork of 2 small gullies is ca 100 by 45 m in area. The prehistoric deposits which vary from 3 to 6 m in depth indicate occupation through all of the prehistoric periods, from the earliest phase of the Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age.

The earliest settlement at Sesklo may have had a fortification wall, but the evidence is indefinite (some traces of an unusually thick wall are found at the E end of the site). The houses of the 1st settlement were built of wattle and daub on wooden frame in rectangular plan. Houses with and without stone foundations are known.

In the 2nd period, the main phase of the Thessalian Middle Neolithic, the same construction methods are used and evidence for fortification of the settlement is stronger, but still inconclusive. One large building of megaron type appears. The Middle Neolithic is the major period of the site and is characterized by the distinctive Sesklo pottery. The Middle Neolithic settlement was destroyed by fire and a 500 year hiatus in occupation followed before the site was reoccupied in the Late Neolithic. After the Middle Neolithic the remains from Sesklo are meager and unimportant.


Excavations: 1901-02, C. Tsountas; 1956-7, 1962-8, 1971-6, D. Theocharis.

Sources Used:

Theocharis 1973, passim; Leekley and Efstratiou 1980, 153; Wace & Thompson 1912, 58-75

Other Bibliography:

C. Tsountas, Ai Proistorikai Akropoleis Diminiou kai Sesklou (1908 Athens). A. Wace and M. Thompson, Prehistoric Thessaly (1912 Cambridge) 58ff, 207, 215. R. Hope Simpson, A Gazetteer and Atlas of Mycenaean Sites (1965 London) no.484. Praktika tis Akadimias Athinon 32 (1957)151ff. D. Theocharis, "Ek tis Prokerameikis Thessalias," Thessalika 1 (1958) 70-86. Prakt and Ergon for 1962-1968, 1971-76 (Prakt 1976 has full site plan). AAA 2 (1969) 32ff. AJA 74 (1970) 273. Theocharis Neolithic Greece (1973) passim and 65ff, 101ff and plans. J. and V. Milojcic, Die deutschen Ausgrabungen auf der Otzaki-Magula in Thessalien I: Das frühe Neolithikum (1971 Bonn) (BAM 10) 126ff. Ergon 1977, 88-93.