Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

Pherae

The ancient town of Pherae, one of the bigger and more important settlements of Thessaly, occupied such a suitable location as to become a transportation centre in antiquity. Its surrounding area was already inhabited in the Neolithic Age, while on the very site of ancient Pherae inhabitants had already settled at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age. The life of the settlement presents a remarkable continuity of three thousand years, its phases of prosperity coinciding with the Mycenaean era, during the years, that is, of Admetos, Alkestes and Eurnelos as well as with the years of the Pheraic tyranny in the fourth century BC. In the Roman period the town of Pherae was abandoned. During the years of Turkish occupation the settlement of Velestino revived here and prospers until today. The celebrated figure of the Greek Revolution, Regas Velestinlis or Pheraeos, comes from here. He was the first to be interested in the monuments of his native place and marked many of them on a topographic map of Pherae.This map was included in the “Χάρτα της Ελλάδος» (Map of Greece), which was drawn by him at the end of the eighteenth century. The systematic archaeological research in Pherae started in the early twentieth century by important archaeologists of their time (Tsoundas, Wace, Thompson, Arvanitopoulos, Bequignon) and is still being carried on quite intensively. The visible monuments of Pherae are only a few. To the SW of the town lie the two hills of the Acropolis. The “Magoula Bakali”, which is the nucleus of the settlement,and the hill of St. Athanasios or of “Panaghia” on which the fourth century BC walls stand. The legendary spring, the so-called “Hypereia Krene”, still exists in the middle of the ancient town, while the ruins of the “Thavlios Zeus” temple have been preserved to its NW side. The recent excavations reveal many aspects of the everyday life of the town, especially of the Hellenistic period. The agora area has been identified as well as the potters’ quarters and parts of private dwellings. The most important cemeteries, to the SE and NW along with certain isolated tumuli of the Classical and Hellenistic period lie close to the roads leading to the other major Thessalic towns of antiquity.