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by Archaeology Newsroom

The “Pyramids” of the Argolid

A lot has been written and discussed lately about the monuments of the Argolid, known as “pyramids”. Therefore I thought it would be expedient to restate my opinion, since all my accounts and relevant data are contained in my recently published monograph (G. A. Picoulas, Road Net-Work and Defence, Athens 1995, in Greek). Thus, from the conclusions of an almost ten years long research in the region of the Argolid and Corinthia, I quote in this article whatever concerns the specific monument. All the crucial evidence, such as the edifice form, masonry, site of erection, concept of planning and construction, analogies to the rest relevant monuments, etc, support the dating of the building in the late 4th century B.C. In addition, the use of such a scale of construction, undoubtedly costly and technically innovating, reveals a state planning and realization. Exactly in front of it passed an arterial road with major deviations; close to it laid the important settlement of Zoga; the entire inner coast of the Argolid bay laid at its feet, while it surveyed the problematic borderline of the permanently hostile Laconian territory. At some time, towards the end of the 4th century B.C., when the region becomes a battlefield, and the defence plan for controlling and shielding a neuralgic for Argos area changes, the guardian post of Ellenikon is erected: a rectangular tower which stands on a solid pyramidoid base and is equipped in its interior with a completely controlled approach. Similar and contemporary, in all probability, would have been the edifice close to Ligourio. There are many who lecture and write articles abour the protection of the monument. Howerever, two things must precede any attempt for “saving” it: first, the relocation of the sports field, which lies at the foot of the hill, elsewhere and the reconstruction of the area; second, the removal of the church, which was erected close to the monument at hard times.