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by Archaeology Newsroom

Strymni. A Thasian colony

Thasos, the fertile island of the north Aegean Sea rich in gold deposits, was colonized by Parians in the Archaic Period (8th-7th century BC.). By the mid 7th century, emigrants from Thassos had founded a number of town-colonies on the Macedonian and Thracian coast with the purpose of exploiting the products of the fertile inland and its gold deposits. Strymni, the Thasian colony in eastern Thrace, was a humble town located between the present Porto Lago and Maroneia. The low and small peninsula on which the town was built and the present cape Molyviotis were once independent islands. Although the excavations, carried out in the area of Ancient Strymni are limited, they have produced important finds. This small, provincial town was protected by a fortified wall to the north and west and by a natural steep coast to the east and south. A cluster of houses on a crossroads exhibit the “hippodameian” town-planning. The inhabitants of Strymni had undertaken the painstaking project to carve the poros out of the ground of the peninsula in order to create a complete water supply system comparable to the Eupalineion aquaduct of Samos. The cemetery has not as yet been located, since the few funerary monuments found, that date back to the 5th century BC, belong to the same family. The most important vases come from tombs, they are products of Attic workshops and quite many can be attributed to well-known artists. The neighbouring Maronians started claiming Strymni ever since its founding (about 650 B.) and finally managed to destroy it completely – as an answer to the Strymnians’ resistance – with the help of Philip II in the mid-14th century BC.