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Nichoria

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Nichoria is a site in Messenia, across the Ayia mountain range to the east of Navarino. From the Middle to Late Bronze Age it cultivated olive and terebinth for export.[1] During the Helladic period it was part of the Mycenaean civilisation.

Nichoria reached its greatest extent (5 hectares) in LHIIIA:2, and even sported a royal Pylos-style megaron; although it was always smaller. Nichoria became subordinate to Pylos and lost the use of its megaron.[2]

Toward the end of LH IIIB, the palace at Pylos knew Nichoria under the name of TI-MI-TO A-KO[3]. Nichoria was a major outpost of Pylos's "Trans-Aigolaia" province. According to Palaima, "it occurs on ten tablets that relate to: bronze working, six standard items of regional taxation, bronze recycling for weaponry production, coastal defensive arrangements, gold, landholdings, livestock, male personnel, and rather intensive levels of flax production";[4] and "during the late Bronze Age as much as 10% of the total surface land might have been devoted to olive growth".[1]

Controversy remains over how to transliterate "TI-MI-TO A-KO" into Greek. "TI-MI-TO" has been interpreted as themittos, for "border", comparing Knossos's term "O-U-TE-MI" as a religious ou themis ("not allowed," literally "not set down, in this case 'by law'"). Palaima contrarily reads O-U-TE-MI as a description of furniture, ou termis ("no 'termis', i.e., border or edge"). For Palaima, interpreting the "TI-MI-TO" element in "TI-MI-TO-A-KO" as the genitive of Greek 'themis' is problematical. In Mycenaean, an alternation of i for e is found in words of pre-Greek, not Greek, origin. (Compare Artemitos vs Artimitei.) This would fit taking TI-MI-TO as "tirminthos", for the terebinth tree (pistacia terebinthus) which served as sources for scented resin. "A-KO" meanwhile could mean "agos" for "holy ground" or more likely "agkos" for "hillside" or "glen".[5]

Nichoria was destroyed in the same event which claimed the main palace at Pylos.

The University of Minnesota Messenia Expedition under William Andrew McDonald surveyed the area in the 1960s, and began excavating Nichoria in 1969.[6]

CitationsEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Palaima (2000), p. 17.
  2. Davis (1998), pp. 127-128.
  3. Shelmerdine (1981).
  4. Palaima (2000), p. 10.
  5. Palaima (2000), pp. 11 & 14.
  6. Davis (1998), p. 139.

ReferencesEdit

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