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by Archaeology Newsroom

Avdira. Historical data

Avdira was founded in 545 BC by inhabitants of the Ionian town Teo. Initially, the settlers had to fight against hostile local Thracian tribes in order to establish themselves there. During the Persian Wars, King Xerxes was twice received there. When the Persian Wars were over, Avdira became a member of the First and Second Athenian Alliance. In 376 BC the town was destroyed by the Trivalians. Later it was successively ruled by the Macedonians, the Seleukids, the Ptolemies and by Lysimachus. The economy of Avdira was based on agriculture, cattle-raising, fishery and commerce. The town had commercial relations with distant countries as indicated by coin circulation. It had a democratic regime, the vulture as its emblem and Apollo as patron god. Its main religious feasts were the Dionysia and the Thesmophoria, while its mythical founder, Avdiros, was honoured through athletic competitions. Famous philosophers and poets were born in Avdira: Protagoras, Leucippus, Anaxarchus, Nicaenetos and the celebrated Democritus. The town was again destroyed during the Roman period by the general Ortensius. In the 1st century BC Avdira fell into decline due to political, financial and public health (epidemic) reasons. A small village, Polystylon, had replaced the thriving town in the Buzantine era. The excavations that started thirty years ago, brought to light parts of fortifications, a gate reinforced with towers, streets, Hellenistic and Roman houses, sculpture workshops, a segment of the ancient theatre and a multitude of tombs dating from the Archaic period to Byzantine years. A part of the city walls and a tower on the Acropolis were found during the recent excavations, while the research goes on outside the walls of the classical town, where the archaic temple and cemetery of the 7th century BC are situated.