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The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Kenchreai

Kenchreai. Probably to be identified with a site SW of Argos near the village of Paleo Skaphidaki, where Frazer saw marble fragments and foundation walls. Pausanias speaks of several polyandreia near Kenchreai, mass graves of the Argives fallen in the battle against the Spartans at Hysiai. The socalled Pyramid of Kenchreai at Helleniko near Cephalan has frequently been proposed as one of these tombs; it was apparently converted in antiquity to a fort or guard post. About 8.6 x 14.7 m, the limestone walls are preserved in some places to their full height of 3.4 m. The masonry is polygonal, arranged more or less in courses; above a low vertical base, the outer surface is dressed to a plane surface in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The interior was divided into rooms with an entrance passageway at one side; the outer and inner doors were barred on the inside and there are cuttings at the top of the wall for ceiling or roof beams.
  Pausanias specifically describes another pyramid near the church of Haghia Marina 1.5 km W of Ligourio on the ancient road from Argos to Epidauros. There are only two courses remaining, also of limestone, but both show the slope of the pyramid; the plan, about 12.5 x 14 m overall, is similar to that at Helleniko. Pausanias says it was decorated with carved shields of Argive (round) shape. The masonry of both tombs has been dated in the 4th c. B.C. and the unusual shape explained by the traditional close connection between Egypt and the Argives from the time of their legendary conqueror Danaos, king of Libya; that 3000 Argive mercenaries were sent to Egypt in 349 B.C. is still more persuasive evidence.

M. H. Mc Allister, 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 bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Cenchreae

  Kenchreai: Eth. Kenchreates. A town in the Argeia, south of Argos, and on the road from the latter city to Tegea. Pausanias says that it was to the right of the Trochus (trochos), which must not be regarded as a place, but as the name of the carriage road leading to Lerna. Near Cenchreae Pausanias saw the sepulchral monuments of the Argives, who conquered the Lacedaemonians at Hysiae. The remains of an ancient place, at the distance of about a mile after crossing the Erasinus (Kephalari), are probably those of Cenchreae; and the pyramid which lies on a hill a little to the right may be regarded as one of the sepulchral monuments mentioned by Pausanias. It is supposed by some writers that the Hellenic ruins further on in the mountains, in a spot abounding in springs, called ta Nera or Skcaphidaki, are those of Cenchreae; and the proximity of these ruins to those of Hysiae is in favour of this view; but on the other hand, the remains of the pyramid appear to fix the position of Cenchreae at the spot already mentioned near the Erasinus. The words of Aeschylus (Prom. 676) - eupotoW KerchWeias [al. Kenchreias] rheos LerWes akreW te - would seem to place Cenchreae near Lerna, and the stream of which he speaks is perhaps the Erasinus.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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