Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Origin and Function of GLA

#Gla #Copiae #boeotia #archaeology #ancientgreece #minyan

I've previously shown you a map of the Eastern Copaic basin now for a map of Gla once an island in a lake and now an ongoing mystery!

This is what we currently know about buildings and possible structures still being explored on GLA


and here again as a reminder is Gla's Location


Note that Larymna to the NE has been used as a small port continuous from the Neolithic onwards and may have been the harbour for the Minyan regime of Orchomenos before they were defeated by the Thebans.

I have also speculated that Copaie / Kastro was originally an outpost and that GLA is probably Copiae and the inhabitants moved back to the mainland.

Now back to the map of GLA.

Note the sealed walled off area to the east. Why do that?

Gla would have been an excellent refuge during flood events. Perhaps livestock were coralled here walled off from the central living and storage areas. There could have been some kind of wooden ramp for human access to keep stock out of ... those seeming open areas could have had sundried mud and timber structures or perhaps GARDENS or terraces for drying eels and fish or edible water plants and herbs for export  and storage?

Why Gardens? 

You're a Minyan surrounded by a lake notorious for suddenly changing shorelines and flooding. Maybe the causeway to the mainland washes away?
You want every bit of flat land along the shore for cereal crops or pasturage for cows and horses. So where do you grow orchard crops or edible herbs so you don't have a long walk up into the hills and mountains? 

Could part of the reason for the walls be to retain soil around eroding off the top of the island? 

Take a look a the map again. 

You're on an island with a great vantage point allowing you to view any possible invasion along causeways or over the ware by boat and to send clear signals to other watch towers or beacons along the north shore back to Orchomenos.

You can can control trade by road or water along and across the lake.

You have protect local people by providing a flood refuge.

You have room to plant trees and herbs and store supplies.

You can provide a market / meeting area in the central plaza.


I suspect further surveys will turn up evidence the destruction of Gla also involved destroyed terraces gardens and trees. Timber supports for roofs were probably taken for firewood or other buildings. With most structures possibly being mud brick and timber this created the impression at first that most of Gla was "empty" space.

However while NOT being a rural Australian the first time I saw aerial shots of Gla one of my first thoughts was CATTLE /  SHEEP YARD bring them in one gate shear wool or milk them and then take them back out another.

I think we may find more traces of internal fencing and terracing on GLA for directing stock into certain areas and out of others.

Gla was more than a storage depot or watch post. It had multifunctions!