ARCHEOLOGY

The large number of excavated artefacts discovered in the archaeological context, as well as the topographic characteristics of the site (its dominant position on the hill, a top with a large radius of visibility which can be reached from a slope lit by the sun and positioned on the southeast side of the locality etc.) show that this locality was used as a peak sanctuary on which the local Bronze Age people carried out several mountain rituals.


Ceramic cup from the Early Bronze Age uncovered on Kokino


Almost all of the archaeological artefacts were found either on the highest part of the locality or slightly lower, on the north slope of the hill. During the archaeological research of this area, two types of cult structures were identified: ritual pits and circular stone constructions.


Circular stone structure in which offerings were placed during religious rituals


Ritual pit in which offerings were placed during religious rituals


The fragments of the same ceramic vessels are sometimes found scattered a few meters away from each other, indicating the practice of smashing the vessels and scattering the pieces during religious rituals. The discovery of the funeral-like vessels indicates that in certain rituals libations were performed.


Stone mold for casting bronze amulets uncovered on Kokino


Most of the archaeological artefacts found in Kokino date from early Bronze Age (21st – 17th c. B.C.) and late Bronze Age (14th – 11th century B.C.). The finds dating from Middle Bronze Age (17th – 14th century BC) are not so numerous.

The latest archaeological research revealed traces of the Iron Age settlement (7th century BC) situated on the southern slope of the hill. This latest find showed that the locality was no longer used as a sanctuary, although it maybe continued to be used as an observatory.


Ceramic vessels uncovered during a dig


Artefacts found in the ritual pits and the circular stone constructions included: ceramic vessels or their fragments, hand mills, pyramidal weights, moulds for casting bronze objects, stone axes, etc. Apart from vessels, small votive ceramic figurines representing cattle or parts of the human body were also deposed.


Ceramic cup uncovered on Kokino


Approximately 100 ritual pits formed around natural fissures of the rocks have been discovered. The openings surrounding the fissures were delimited with stones mixed with earth and sometimes clay. The archaeological artefacts were found at the bottom of the pits, covered with earth and small stones. The pits were then enclosed with stone plaques that do not originate from the locality.

The circular constructions were composed of big stones arranged in circles with diameters of 1-2 meters. Structures with a “tumulus” shape where formed by covering the deposits with earth and small stones.


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