Turgut Saner, "Larisa in Aeolis: Its Urban Landscape and Rural Backdrop"
The architectural survey in Larisa (Buruncuk) that started in 2010 has brought along a totally new picture of this venerable archaeological site. In addition to the 20th century Swedish and German excavations in the well-known palatial area, the priority of the ongoing survey is given to the urban extensions of two core settlements in Larisa East and West, and to the agrarian landscape between these two settlements.
The major urban center of Larisa West, partially designed according to a grid system, is located to the South of the acropolis. The area still reveals numerous wall fragments of Lesbian and rectangular work, of dwellings and fortifications. The necropolis of the city stretches along the crescent-shaped ridge contouring the site of the abandoned village of Old Buruncuk. The extensive area is dotted by more than a hundred “miniature tumuli” with ring-walls. A group of monumental tumuli, the greatest one with 55m in diameter, placed on special locations come forward to complete the urban landscape. Between Larisa East and Larisa West, the former apparently inhabited by people providing labor force, a particular land part was reserved for agricultural use. Large-scale courtyard buildings, smaller units, and terraces for cultivation have been identified during the course of the recent survey.
The visible remains in urban areas and in extra-mural rural backdrop of the city together help reconstruct an overall image of well-organized and interrelated undertakings that took place here in the timespan between 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Architectural sophistications, and features of urban layout, including the recently discovered traces of a theatre, can be related to the representational attitudes of the long lasting absolute power in Larisa, as well as to the efforts to establish a fully-developed polis.