The ancient site is to be associated with a rocky outcrop of conical
shape, some 300 m high, along the main road from Chalkis to Karystos (ca. 20 km
SE of Aliveri). It is prominently located in the middle of a marshy basin which
is partially transformed into a lake during the rainy season. (There is some evidence
to indicate that efforts were made to drain the basin in antiquity.)
Dystos is thought to have been founded by the Dryopians, early inhabitants of S Euboia, but little is known of its subsequent history. Surface reconnaissance has shown that the site was occupied in prehistoric and Classical times, and there is epigraphical evidence to indicate that it had become a deme of Eretria at least by the mid 4th c. B.C. It continued to be occupied in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and substantial remains of a Venetian castle are to be found at the crest of the hill.
Impressive remains of the Classical town can still be seen on the lower slopes of the hill. These remains were partially surveyed and subjected to brief excavation by a German expedition in 1895. A fortification wall of large stone masonry, about two-thirds of whose circuit is preserved, enclosed the town. One of the best preserved stretches is that at the E where, in the neighborhood of the main city gate, the wall stands to a height of about 3 m. Numerous buildings thought to be largely residential in character still can be seen at several points within the fortifications. The largest of these is House J, near the wall in the SE part of the town. Its plan is complete, and its well-dressed stone walls are exposed to a level above that of the ground floor. This and other houses here have been dated to the 5th c. B.C. and, therefore, are among the earliest known examples of domestic architecture of the Classical period in Greece. The extent and preservation of the walls and other buildings render this site worthy of further archaeological investigation.
T. W. Jacobsen, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 13 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Dustos: Eth. Dustios: Dhysta., A town in Euboea in the vicinity of Eretria, mentioned
by Theopompus. It still bears the name of Dhysta, which village is situated a
little to the northward of Porto Bufalo.
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