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Scottish Design Awards 2024 14.05.2024
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Stephen Copp’s archaeological work recently published in ‘On the Edge of a Roman Port, Excavations at Koutsongila, Kenchreai, 2007-2014’


An archaeological project which Stephen has served as Project Architect on for several years has recently been published. On the Edge of a Roman Port: Excavations at Koutsongila, Kenchreai, 2007–2014 (Hesperia Suppl. 52) documents the exploration of a mixed cemetery and residential area on the edge of an ancient harbour town. The project was a joint endeavour between the Greek Ministry of Culture’s Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and The American School of Classical Studies at Athens lead by Elena Korka and Joseph L Rife of Vanderbilt University.

The primary focus of the excavations at Kenchreai, ancient Corinth’s eastern port, was to document burial practices which manifest themselves most explicitly in a series of rock-cut chamber tombs which dominate the site. Investigations revealed a landscape dedicated to funerary rites, cremation, and commemoration along with tantalising glimpses of luxurious villas belonging to the local elite which dominated the seaward edge of the site. In late antiquity the area was dominated by a large centrally planned structure, presumably the shrine of a local saint, which became the focus for further burial activity.

As Project Architect Stephen was responsible for topographic mapping, the detailed recording of all building remains along with their analysis and interpretation. The publication is the collaborative product of an international team of specialists in a wide variety of fields spanning archaeometallurgy to paleo-zoology. For Stephen, it is the culmination of many a happy hour spent with drawing-board in hand musing over the scant remains of what was once a thriving harbour town.

About Stephen

Stephen’s approach to architecture is firmly grounded in a passion for understanding the past and a deep respect for the historic environment and its preservation. Stephen joined GRAS in 2001 where he worked on a wide range of conservation projects. In 2006 Stephen joined the National Trust for Scotland where he was responsible for the delivery of projects under the Little Houses Improvement Scheme, a revolving fund preservation trust which acquires significant buildings at risk, repairs them, and sells them upon completion.

Stephen returned to GRAS in late 2016 to continue to work on a wide range of projects with a particular focus on the sensitive repair and adaptive re-use of historic properties, including Lundies House.