Archaeology Magazine

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2,700-Year-Old Stoa Uncovered in Northern Greece

Thursday, October 10, 2013

greece portico-dig


MONTREAL, CANADA—A team of archaeologists and students from the University of Montreal’s Center of Classical Studies and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports is excavating a 2,700-year-old portico at the ancient city of Argilos in northern Greece. “Porticos are well known from the Hellenistic period, from the third to first century B.C., but earlier examples are extremely rare. The one from Argilos is the oldest example to date from northern Greece and is truly unique,” explained Jacques Perreault of the University of Montreal. Argilos was a thriving Greek colony in the fifth century B.C., fed by the gold and silver mines in the valley of the Strymon River. Five of the portico’s rooms have been excavated; the variety of stones and construction techniques used in the building suggest that each shop was built by a different mason. Eventually, the city was deserted in 357 B.C., when Philip II conquered the region and deported the residents to nearby Amphipolis.