Neolithic Age



From the middle of the 6th Millennium BC, the residents of the area, began to organize the first permanent settlements and started to domesticate animals and cultivate the land. They gradually transformed from hunters into producers. If we observe the cultivated areas and the breeding animals, they created permanent settlements near rivers, springs of waters on suitable land for cultivation and livestock, either on the plain of Drama or the round, low mountain ranges. The most well known Neolithic Age settlements were found on small hills (mounds) in villages Sitagri, Mylopotamos, Petroussa, Xiropotamos, Kalos Agros, Kalabaki, Doxato and the city of Drama - at the location, known as «Arkadikos». The most important «toumpes» (hills) at Sitagri and Arkadikos, where excavations have been conducted, have presented valuable information about the daily life of the residents – their cultivations and the domestication of animals.
The systematic excavation of Sitagri was carried out from 1967-1970, following cooperation between the English School of Archaeology and the University of Los Angeles. The continuous habitation of the mound from the Mid to Late Neolithic Age up to the Early Copper Age was revealed, in the mid 6th Millennium BC to the end of the 3rd Millennium BC. In the city of Drama, at the location, known as «Arkadikos», the first systematic, Greek excavation in the Prefecture of Drama was carried out in cooperation between the 18th Department of Antiquities and the University of Thessaloniki. Excavations were commenced in 1991 and are still in progress. The excavations in Arkadikos explore the continuity of life in the city of Drama, during the mid and Late Neolithic Age and the Early Copper Age. Based on the evidence of the excavations, it is easy to talk about the daily life of the Neolithic man in the area, during the mid and Late Neolithic Age. Houses consisted of a single, rectangular room constructed from a wooden skeleton and the walls made of wattle and daub. Not only people lived in these Neolithic houses, but animals were also frequently kept inside. The houses were also workshops and storage areas, where people slept or sought protect themselves from difficult weather conditions, when they could not stay or work outside. The materials from which the houses were made (wood, branches, clay) were all found in the area. The «hearth» is dominated in the interior of the house, where the fire was kept lit and food was prepared. The roof either had two or three slopes or was made of branches and a thick layer of mud. Home handicrafts are represented by the tools and cooking vessels. The stone hewn and scraped tools were axes, scythes, scrapers, knives and millstones, hooks, arrow tips, piercing tools, needles and hoes, used for supply, food preparation and the development of handicrafts at home. Bone tools were used for making holes, for scraping and as spatulas. Pottery tools show that these people were involved with weaving. Favourite materials for weaving were flax fibres and the wool from domesticated sheep. Jewellery, stone and pottery statuettes have even been found preserved in Neolithic houses, as well as models of houses and objects from people’s daily life. Cooking, storage, or table vessels were basic items for everyday use and were all hand-made. The excavation in Sitagri has given valuable information about the life and organization of Neolithic settlements and their relationship with the Aegean Thrace and the rest of Macedonia and the whole of the Balkans.