Stone Age Farmhouse Unearthed in Greece

Published October 27, 2008

| Associated Press

A 6,000 year-old set of household gear, including crockery and two wood-fired ovens, has been found in the buried ruins of a prehistoric farmhouse in northern Greece, officials said Thursday.

A Culture Ministry statement said the discovery "provides invaluable, unique information" on late Neolithic domestic architecture and household organization.

"This is a very rare case where the remains have stayed undisturbed by farming or other external intervention for about 6,000 years," the ministry statement said. "The household goods are in excellent condition."

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The rectangular building, which covers some 624 square feet, was discovered during work to lay water pipes earlier this year at the village of Sosandra near Aridaia, some 360 miles north of Athens.

Archaeologists who excavated the site between March and July found a large number of clay vessels for cooking and eating, stone tools, mills for grinding cereals and two ovens.

The house was separated into three rooms. It had walls made of branches and reeds covered with clay, supported by strong wooden posts. The building was destroyed by fire, which baked the clay, preserving impressions of the wooden building elements, as well as the post holes.

Archaeologists believe the inhabitants managed to escape the fire, taking with them their valued stone blades and axes.

"They left behind the large stone tools which would have been difficult to move away," the ministry statement said.

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