Hellenistic sanctuary mentions city from Homer’s Iliad

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Hellenistic sanctuary, with an inscription associated with a city in Homer’s Iliad.

Excavations were conducted by the EFA as part of several rescue operations near the port of Agiokampos in Greece.

- Advertisement -

Headed by archaeologist Nektaria Alexiou, the team found a sanctuary from the Hellenistic period that dates from around the 3rd-2nd century BC, constructed from alabaster and locally sourced stone.

The site is situated on a series of erected terraces on the foothills of Mount Mavrovouni, covering an area of 135.9 acres that stretched to the rocky shores of the northern Aegean.

Image Credit : Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports

The team found numerous architectural elements, including an entablature (the upper part of a classical building supported by columns or a colonnade), five capitals in the Doric style, a statue base, parts of a column, a marble bench leg and two marble heads depicting the heads of children.

Other finds include iron nails, arrowheads, bronze rings, Thessalian and Macedonian bronze coins, in addition to clay lamps, drinking vessels, textile weights and fragments of amphorae.

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports
Image Credit : Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports

Among the finds the team also discovered sealed tiles naming the owners of ceramic shops, with the most notable find being a tile inscribed with “MELIVOIAS” which may be associated with Magnesia Melivoia (also called Meliboea or Meliboia), a town and polis in ancient Thessaly.

Magnesia Melivoia is mentioned in the Iliad, also referred to as the Song of Ilion, which is an ancient Greek poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to the author and poet Homer. Homer describes Magnesia Melivoia in the Catalogue of Ships in Book 2 of the Iliad, which lists the contingents of the Achaean army that sailed to Troy.

Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports

Header Image Credit : Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Excavation uncovers traces of the first bishop’s palace at Merseburg Cathedral Hill

Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered traces of the first bishop’s palace at the southern end of the Merseburg Cathedral Hill in Merseburg, Germany.

BU archaeologists uncover Iron Age victim of human sacrifice

Archaeologists from Bournemouth University have uncovered an Iron Age victim of human sacrifice in Dorset, England.

Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.