Archaeology in Central Greece


Ahinos was built where the city of ancient Ehinos (or Echinous) stood. There are remains of an acropolis from the 4th century BC and a tower that is still quite intact, as well as a war memorial or heroes tomb from roman times.
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Near the dusty modern town of Aliartos lies an acropolis of mixed origins. The Mycenaean part lies on the hill, with more modern buildings from the 7th century BC to its north.
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In the municipality by the same name, Elateia or Elatia boasts remains of an agora and a temple dedicated to Asclepius with a beardless statue made to his liking.
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Near Itea on the seaside, there used to be an ancient settlement called Kirra, dating back to at least 3,000 BC. Although no one knows its exact origins, it is believed that merchants from Crete established the city. Kirra flourished after 1100 BC as a port city which was the gateway to Delphi.
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Not far from the village of Chysovitsa are remains from the ancient town of Koronta, including Mycenaean graves, Cyclopean walls a reservoir and evidence of a castle. There was a Doric-style temple built in honour of an unidentified female godess, as well as remains of different buildings.
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The city of Lamia was built over ancient remains from the 4th century BC, and sections of the old walls surrounding the city have been uncovered. The walls began at the hill of Akrolamia or the castle hill, ending at the hill of Agios Loukas.
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The modern village of Lilaia near Polidrossos is built on the ancient city by the same name, inhabited from the early Helladic period (2800-2100 BC). The fortification walls at the citadel summit indicate traces of a constructional phase before the city was destroyed by Phillip II.
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Remains of the impressive walls of ancient Palaiomanina – stretching some 1,650 meters in length – date from the 4th century, and are partitioned into sections. Squared and trapezoidal rocks characterize this wall, complete with a 2-meter wide gate called Avloporta, an arch and horizontal beams.
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Known as Larisa Kremaste or Larissa Pelasgia in old times, Pelasgia today shows evidence of the old settlement's towns and surrounding walls from the 4th or 5th century BC. The archaeological site of Koumouli shows monuments and graves of the early Christian period between 323BC-30AD, plus impressive mosaics by the coast.
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Arguably one of the most important spiritual focal points in antiquity worldwide, Delphi and its famed oracle are visited by thousands of tourists every month and it is well worth it. In summer it is best visited in the afternoon when there are less people and organized tours.
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In place of Kyriaki there used to be an ancient city named Flygonio, which means gushing water. This city allowed control of routes connecting the mountain settlements with coastal roads of Elikonas.
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Gla
When western engineers were called to drain the Lake Kopais in the late 1800s to reclaim more fertile land, they were met with a mysterious set of huge canals and dykes, which showed that the lake had been drained before in the past. Therein lies the mystery of Gla...
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There are notable sites of Iampolis and Avon at Exarhos. In Kalopodi there is a temple dedicated to Apollo and Artemis from the Mycenaean era, rebuilt several times in history. In Kirtoni lie the ancient fountain of Kamini and the tower of Kolakas, part of ancient fortifications.
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There's an archaeological museum tucked away in Lidoriki as well as notable archaeological sites in the area. At an altitude of 400 meters the area near the village of Kallio used to be known as Kallipolis, which was overrun by the Gaules in 278 BC.
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At Orhomenos there is a vaulted Mycenaean tomb dubbed as the Treasury of Minyas, as well as an ancient acropolis with remains of a theatre (Odeum), temple and other edifices.
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Lying next to the airport, this is considered to be a very important site. There are houses from the proto-Helladic period (3000 BC), in addition to remains and fortifications from the Copper Age (before 2500 BC).
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Close to Paliokastro Mamakou near modern-day Makyneia, there are remains of a small theatre lying at the food of a fortified hill, considered part of Aitolian Makyneia. The theatre is of unusual shape, with originally 14 rows of seats and an adjacent linear wing of 3 rows. It dates back to the late fourth century BC.
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Ancient Thebes figures well in both Greek history and Greek mythology. Its past glory may not be reflected in the modern town of Thebes – or Thiva – today, but there is an excellent archaeological museum there are some sites to visit.
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The Frankish castle in Lamia (Akrolamia) dominates the city among stones from an ancient acropolis. Many parts are intact including bastions and walls. Successive repairs took place in Byzantine and medieval times, and the site was inhabited even during the 5th century BC. There's an archaeological museum in the castle.
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The ancient settlement of Ales contains ruins from the Neolithic era, as well as ruins from the 6th century BC up to the Hellenistic and Byzantine eras. There are remains of an ancient sanctuary and ancient port.
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This ancient city from the 4th century before Christ came to light while excavating the Ionia Odos highway recently. Its foundations can be seen near the community of Hilia Spitia.Photo:agriniopress.gr
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South of Mount Parnassos, at an altitude of about 1500 meters and overlooking the Oracle of Delphi, there are remains of a shrine or altar lying on the hill of Marmara. It dates back to the 4th century BC most probably.
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When at Mikitas ask how to get to the remains of Alyzia, considered one of the most important cities of Akarnania in ancient times.
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Excavations haven't been undertaken at the area (Agios Petros) where Anaktorion lies, but there are remains of the city's surrounding walls and ancient temples (on a nearby hill there are ruins of a medieval castle and an old church).
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Here was a highly important Aetolian sanctuary dedicated to Apollo and Artemis. It is located southwest of the site's acropolis and was in use up to Roman times. There used to be a chryselephantine statue of Artemis in the sanctuary and a tomb for the hero Leon. Excavations where done by Greece and Denmark in the 1930s.
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An ancient settlement in the area of Hiliadou is suspected, with remains pointing either to the ancient city of Korsia or to Voumelitea. There is written evidence that Voumelitea is supposed to be right next to Ales.
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Ancient Krefsis boasted once an acropolis against mount Korombili with venerable towers and walls. Parts of the complex remains, including a wall and parts of the towers from the 4th century BC. Much later another medieval tower was built, dating from the 14th century AD and was called Erimokastro or desert castle.
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Chrisso, so called because an ancient town called Krisa stood once in its place back in the 14th or 15th centuries BC, displays remains of walls near Stefani hill at the southern side of the Chrisso. Also the hippodrome of Delphi for the Pythian games was in Chrisso long ago, but not much remains of it.
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Near the modern town of Melitea which lies in the municipality of Domokos there are remains of ancient Melitea, as well as the archaeological site of Erineo in Petroto. Stelae and inscriptions from the area are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Lamia.
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East of modern-day Nafpaktos there are remains of the Asklipion, with temples or sanctuaries dedicated to Aphrodite, Artemsi and Poseidon. There are also remnants of an early Christian basilica.
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This ancient city used to be right next to the river, which changed its course over the millennia. The city dates from the 5th century BC at least, although its history is murky. The ancient theatre is in decent condition and worth a visit.
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Remains from Achaean times of the ancient town of Phthiotis can be seen at Stylida, with the town hall hosting many finds from that era.
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Known also as the city of the Curetes, Ancient Pleuron was destroyed in 234 BC. It had a remarkable Hellenistic wall with seven gates and 36 towers. A cistern, small theatre, agora and acropolis lay within the walled city.
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Between the Aheloos (Achelous) river and the village of Stratos lies a theatre that fits around 6,000 people and situated on a low slope, dating from the late 4th century. There is also a temple in the same location.
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Tucked deep into the mountainous and lake region, the remains of ancient Thermo include remains from the temples of Artemis Laphria and Apollo Thermios, in addition to a stoa, an agora, house foundations, prehistoric ellipse-like buildings and foundations of homes.
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Lying to the northwest of the bay of Itea at a height of 380 meters, the ancient settlement of Tritea was home to the Ozolians and the Lokrians as recently as 30 BC. At that time it fell under the dominion of the Roman Governor of Achaia. Some ruins remain near the new village of Kolopetinitsa.
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Ancient graves that haven't been excavated to the full and remains of a fortress can be found at Aroniada.
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A defence tower dating back to the 4th century BC and part of more important fortifications are well preserved in Askri. The tower is said to be built by the people of Thespies to keep an eye on the Thebans, not long before the battle of Lefktra which took place in 371 BC.
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Right where ancient Proena was situated, the castle and temple to Demeter from the 4th century BC or Hellenistic times protected women and children from wars and invasions. The relatively well-preserved castle is called Ginekokastro or 'Women's Castle' and lies on a hilltop. A pavilion displays finds from the area.
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One of the biggest ancient cemeteries in Western Greece with rich archeological interest. The most important part was used for burial clusters in the flat areas northwest of the Etoliko lagoon. Photo:Vikatou
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The chiefs of Mesolongi met in this church to plan the exodus of the besieged from the town. Sadly, they were betrayed and the exodus turned into a bittersweet event.
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Not far from the village of Davlia, the four watermills stand witness to the prosperity of the area in history. Well preserved until now, the mills mechanisms and wheel are interesting to observe.
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South of Davlia lie the ruins of the acropolis of ancient Davlia. Walls from the 4th century BC can be seen, with the base of these walls dating much further back to the Pelasgic era. Evidence of a tower belonging to the walls can be seen, as well as another tower built in medieval times is also on the site.
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The prehistoric fortress of Distomo in Kastri dates back from Pelasgic times, i.e. 'pre-Greek' civilization. Ruins of a settlement and tombs from this era can be seen. Parts of the ancient wall of Amvrisos in the area can also be seen, as well as a royal tomb sculpted in the rock.
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Remains of homes from the Neolithic area can be seen on the hills of the area. There are remains of the ancient settlement of Tavmakos, cyclopean walls, a castle and a circular fortress called Stroggilokastro (meaining Round Castle).
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In the small village of Xironomi there are remains from the old settlement of Donakes, where stone foundations, construction and mosaics have been found. The latter has been safely transferred to the Museum of Thebes.
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The Echedameia and Medeon in Desfina area boasts ruins and circular graves that are present at Echedameia, which were destroyed by Phillip II of Macedonia around 350 BC. Another site in the same municipality called Syro-Kastro features remains of an ancient settlement called Medeon, also destroyed by Phillip II.
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the remains of Ancient Ithoria are next to the community of Agios Ilias in the Aitoliko region. Archeologists have found tombs from the Mycenaean and Geometric eras, with many artefacts now in the Archeological Museum of Agrinio. Photo: Archaeology department.
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Among the olive trees, mulberry and chestnut trees at an altitude of 1300 meters, there is an archaeological site.
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Ancient city of Aetolia near the Evinos river, founded according to mythology by Calydon, son of Aetolus and Pronoe. There are remains of an ancient theater and an acropolis, set against Mount Varasova in the background.
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This is one of the prettiest villages in Evrytania. Not far off is Kastri, where there are remains of an ancient settlement (possibly Oihala or Oichala) and fortifications.
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Near Prodromos on the way to Saranti there are ruins of an ancient settlement called Korsies from the 6th century BC. The ruins there hail from archaic, classical and Hellenistic years, most notably a temple dedicated to Hera, as well as evidence of ancient spinning wheels.
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There are two archaeological sites at Livanates, an attractive fishing village, which are Kynos which was the harbor of King Opous of Lokrida (Locris) and Pyrgo Lyvanaton (Tower of Livanates).
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Once a complete city some two millennia ago, the site of Kinos today offers just a bit of its past glory to the archaeologically curious. It contained the harbour of Opous, named so after an ancient Greek king of Lokrida.
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Larimna offers an ancient acropolis with remains of old walls and towers. There is also evidence of a breakwater dating back to the 6th century.
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The coastal road beyond Paleros goes inland towards Vonitsa (built where ancient Anaktorion is) on the Amvarkikos Gulf. In this area, the hills above Agios Petros feature walls and ruins from ancient temples, but also significant remains of a medieval castle near the notable 12th century church of Divine Wisdom.
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Many archaeological remains in Tithorea are from the ancient towns of Neon where the Phoecians originated and from Pediis. The ancient town of Tithorea was a walled enclave, containing temples of Isis and Arhigeta. Velitsa boasts an ancient castle and walls with floor mosaics from the 4th century AD.
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In the archaeological area called Nisi, meaning island in Greek, there are Cyclopean Walls that are still standing.
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This is another ancient site that not much is known about, other than it was built on the outskirts of Efpalio.
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Remains of walls in Paleokastro. There are even remains of two castles – by some accounts dating from the late Neothlic era – in Dikastro (which means 'Two Castles').
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A collection of baths from the Roman era in Agios Ioannis not far from Mesolongi. Visitors can see remains of a well, bathing chambers, changing rooms and a sudatorium. Photo:panaitolionews.blogspot.gr
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To the North of Malandrino there are remains of a fortress from Hellenistic times. Fortifications of Fyskeis in the area, representing an ancient city and a religious centre for Locris, are still in relatively good condition. Valuable artefacts from this era are in the museum of Delphi.
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The coastal archaeological site of Sifes lies on the eastern side of the bay of Domvrena near the village of Alyki. A fortified wall in decent condition from the 4th century BC has been preserved, plus parts of 6 towers and 3 gates, with the main one next to the beach. Ceramics from various eras have been found too.
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This popular resort town, built where ancient Thronio was located, hides some ruins from the Homeric town of Tarfis as well in a location called Paleokastra.
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The village Kalapodi is home to the ancient temple of Elafivolou and Apollo of Iampolis, which boasts remains of a Dorian structure with columns from the 6th century BC. Some parts of the roof and stone works are now in the archaeological museum of Lamia.
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There is a restricted archaeological site. In 1939 excavations showed evidence of fortifications spanning several eras, including Roman and Byzantine graves, as well as remains of Byzantine buildings.
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Ancient Thisvi has ruins in Kakosia, which was inhabited as far back as 2000 BC. There are remains from the Mycenaean era such as a vaulted tomb as well as some parts of the acropolis, found on Paleokastro (Old Castle) hill.
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A theatre from the 3rd century BC has been found here, including an altar for the muses and a gallery for votive offerings made to them. Only a few ruins remain from the grand past of this area, although some of the pedestals belonging to the statues of the muses were transferred to the museum of Thiva.
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The polygon shaped walls of Koronia stand witness to a once important fortress dating back to classical times, known as Tilfousion and situated atop Paliothiva or old Thiva. A medieval tower remains on the north side of the hill.
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In the vicinity of the church of Agios Pneumatos there are remains of Cyclopean walls, mostly under and around the temple.
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