Dear Friends and Supporters of TFAHR:

Although the summer heat and humidity have arrived in Sveti Nikole, we nonetheless had a very productive week at Bylazora. The week started out with the discovery of an inscribed stone in one of our new squares on the acropolis. The letters are clearly Greek, but it does not appear that the language is either ancient Greek or the ancient Macedonian dialect. We are researching the inscription to determine if what we have is an inscription in the ancient Paionian language. The shape of the letters dates the inscription to the 3rd – 2nd century BC. This is entirely consistent with the other artifacts we have uncovered in this particular building, which dates to the last days of Bylazora (early 2nd century BC).

In the same room that the inscription came from, a number of other interesting artifacts were discovered: an iron spatula or incense shovel and a number of loom weights with a stamped image of the goddess Athena, the patroness of weavers. In an adjacent room, we cleared a mass of broken amphorae and pithoi, the latter of which had rims with inscriptions probably indicating the contents and volume of these storage vessels. Again, the letters are all Greek.

Elsewhere on the acropolis, we continued our excavations into the Iron Age stratum (7th – 6th century BC). We cut a section through a massive collapsed clay wall to uncover a great deal of datable Iron Age pottery beneath.

As we plan for future excavations at Bylazora, we opened a long test trench on a terrace beneath the acropolis. Already after just two days of excavation the tops of several thin walls have emerged. Their thinness is indicative of domestic architecture, rather than of large public buildings. Our operating hypothesis is that this middle terrace is where most of the people of ancient Bylazora lived. We will concentrate our efforts in the last two weeks of work in this area.

As the dig draws to a close, many of the TFAHR International Field School members are now occupied with drawing the ground plans and stratigraphical sections of the trenches we excavated this year. Several Field School members are also working on research to be presented later this fall. And many of the discoveries of this season are prompting us to revise some of our hypotheses about ancient Bylazora.

We thank you for your continuing support. Please feel free to forward this update to any interested parties.

Best regards,

Eulah Matthews and Bill Neidinger