Archaeology Achaia


Known also as Helike, this ancient city near Aegio and the Selinus river lies today in the Municipality of Diakopto, where the idyllic village of Eliki is today. The old settlement was apparently destroyed by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, with much ruins having sunk into the sea.
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It was the Austrian Archaeological Institute and its work around this site that have revealed the remains of an important Arcadian city, lying in the Municipality of Kalavrita in the village of Soudena or Lousoi. Notable among the finds is the Temple of Artemis, dating back from the third century BC.
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Near the town of Chalandritsa and Agios Georgios, while excavating to build a health centre in 1985, remains from a Mycenaean settlement emerged. Interesting is how the buildings were placed in concentric rings, with the streets emanating from the centre. There are more ruins, tombs and a megaron atop a nearby hill.
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Ancient travel writer Pausanias wrote about a temple dedicated to Artemis and one dedicated to Apollon, as well as statues of Agamemnon, Ifigeneia, Athena, Asclepius of Serapis and Isis.
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Mystery had shrouded the true position of Dymi (also Dyme or Dimi) for some time, which in ancient literature was always paired with Olenos, both reputedly established some 4000 years ago. The Byzantines also had conflicting information about it.
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Thanks to the efforts of the English Archaeological School, the move to unearth monuments from the Hellenistic era as well as a cemetery belonging to this ancient city have shed light on the site of Keryneia.
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In Ano Kleitoria near the town of Lefkasi there are remains of the city of Azania. There is little remaining of the ancient walls surrounding the city, but relatively recently parts of the ancient theatre and more fortifications have emerged.
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Once a thriving city with over 60,000 people and one of the first to be established, all that is left of Klitoras now are parts of walls, a theatre and a few buildings from Hellenistic and Roman times.
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The Odeion of Patras was constructed just before that of Herod Atticus in Athens, in 161 AD. Twelve rows of seats render this theatre impressive, along with the wall of its stage, stairways, parapet and more. It was unearthed only in 1889 and redressed in marble to host many concerts and shows in summer.
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Another member of the Achaian Cities, Tritea reached its zenith in the 3rd century BC, although little evidence remains. Around Vassilikos there are parts of an ancient building known as Palioklissi, while on Palataki hill there's an underground building.
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Lying over modern Egio (or Aegio) is Vura, which flourished after Eliki was destroyed. It was initially established by the Pelasgians who were followed by the Ionians. In 146 AD it fell under the Roman empire. Eventually the Byzantines, Franks Venetians and Ottomans all passed through.
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The castle-fortress of Patras was built in the 6th century A.D. by Justinian where an ancient acropolis once stood. The castle repelled the Slavs, Saracens and even Normans who surrounded the city and helped thwart the invasion of the Peloponnese.
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After designating Patras as a Roman colony and a gateway to Italy in 31 BC, the Roman emperors built an 6.5-kilometer-long aqueduct to support the city's population. A water reservoir was also constructed by damming part of the Romanos River. Remains of the dam can still be seen within the riverbed.
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