History

GERA – THE PEOPLE

By Makis Axiotis
Although the last finds in the area of Polihnitos indicate human presence on the island during the Palaeolithic age, so far there is no such evidence for the broader region of Gera. So, it seems that during the early period of Bronze Age and mainly during the middle Copper Age (3200-2000 B.C. and 2000 – 1600 B.C.), a coastal settlement was present in the north of today’s Perama, and more precisely after the Sourlaga’s tannery at the location of Halatses. This name indicates the ruins (“halasmata”) or the foundations lying under the rural houses and the gardens of the region. In deed, a rather elevated area forms a projection towards the sea before the “Giargia” beach. There, in 1949-50, the archaeologist Cook, possibly searching at the steep waterside which at that time was not built up, identified a wide location of the middle and late Copper Age. Later on, another archaeologist, Bayne, reported that this location was of “great importance” regarding the transition from the late Copper Age to the early Iron Age (Mycenaean to Sub-Mycenaean period). The vessels of LH III B-C and LH III C type were similar to those of Emporio of Chios. Bayne assumed that the pottery of Mycenaean influence at this location indicated that the settlement consisted of a “group of poor refugees from the Greek mainland who escaped from the catastrophes of the Late Helladic III B period”. He referred to the shallow wide-mouth cups of rough orange clay “of Mycenaean type” dated in the middle Minoan ΙΙΙ period (1700-1580 B.C.).