The Acropolis Of Amphipolis And Its Secrets

Amphipolis is more than just the tumulus of Kasta. The fascinating monument justifiably hijacked the show during the unveiling of 2014, especially after the frenzied news coverage and the politicization of the find, skyrocketing the visitation to the on-site archaeological museum. But beyond the unique finding, which has not yet been presented to the public nor adequately to the scientific community, Amphipolis is a wider archaeological site that has been excavated for years, at times more intensively and other times occasionally.

The focus of this is the ancient city with the impressive walls 7.5 km long, enclosing scattered monuments: timber piles – pillars of the Classical wooden bridge on the river Struma, the best preserved Gymnasium in the Greek area, part of a Hellenistic house with walls painted in bright colours, like the slightly later houses in Roman Pompeii.

Of particular archaeological interest is the acropolis, a few kilometres away from the tumulus of Kasta. There one can understand the strategic importance of the city from the time of Thucydides, when the Athenians were trying to dominate the area where the river Strymonas flows. The point where they chose to build the city (437 BC) was not accidental. It ensured full control over the river that connects the coastal areas with the hinterland, inhabited by Thracian tribes, to the sea and to the imposing mass of the Paggaio mountain, from where Philip mined gold for the minting of his coins.

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