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by Archaeology Newsroom

Aegean Mesimbria

At the end of the 7th century BC Greek emigrants from Samothrace Island founded a series of fortified towns on the Thracian coast opposite, with the purpose of establishing their presence in the northeastern Aegean Sea and of exploiting the fertile land of Thrace. These towns became important commercial centres and contributed to the hellenization of the indigenous population made complete in the years of Macedonian rule. According to Herodotus, the Aegean Mesimbria was the furthest of these colonies to the west. The excavation that started in 1966 brought to light an important town spread over 7,33 acres, that was protected by a wall reinforced in regular intervals with rectangular towers. Another wall to the east probably belongs to another phase of the history of the town. Quite remarkable are the walled settlements inside the town, touching the west wall, where research brought to light streets, shops, houses and workshops as well as a multitude of finds that speak for the wealth and the high civilization of the inhabitants. The cemetery of the settlement is located to the west of the town. Sarcophagoi, pitoi etc. were used for the burials while the funerary offerings (vases, idols, gold jewels) are exceptionally rich. The information provided by the ancient sources is unfortunately scarce, therefore our knowledge of Aegean Mesimbria is limited to the excavational results. The town reached its peak in the 4th century BC and was preserved until the 2nd century BC, approximately.