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Asea in Arcadia

Jeannette Forsén, Published: 01/04/2015

<p>Asea Palaeokastro. Photo: J. Forsén</p>

Asea Palaeokastro. Photo: J. Forsén

Asea is located in the heart of the Peloponnese. The Asea valley was inhabited, first in the Middle/Upper Paleolithic period (ca. 40.000 B.P) by people making their living from hunting and fishing. During most of the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age there were several villages in the valley, of which the most important one was located on the Asea Paleokastro hill.

After a couple of dark centuries, an urban settlement developed on and around the Paleokastro with the hill as its akropolis. Just to the north of the akropolis a cultplace was located, which especially during Classical times attracted visitors from near and afar in order to make their offerings. This and much more has been learnt through the Asea Valley Survey undertaken between 1994-1996 and directed by Jeannette Forsén from Göteborg University. As a direct spinoff from the survey the Late Archaic temple located on top of the mountain Ayios Elias in Asea was excavated in 1997. During a four week long campaign Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian scholars found evidence of a nearly unbroken chain of cult practice from the Late Bronze Age to Hellenistic times. Sporadic finds of a younger date were also made. The city walls on and below the Asea Paleokastro were documented in the year 2000. The preliminary results of this work show that only the spurwalls are of Hellenistic date, whereas other walls on top of the akropolis are of Classical date.

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