ELLINIKO (Village) ARGOS
At the distance of about a mile from the Erasinus, and about half a mile to the right of the road, the remains of a pyramid are found, occupying the summit of a rocky eminence among the lower declivities of Mt. Chaon. Its site corresponds to that of the sepulchral monuments of the Argives, mentioned by Pausanias (ii. 24.7); but its style of architecture would lead us to assign to it an early date. The masonry of this edifice is of an intermediate style between the Cyclopian and polygonal, consisting of large irregular blocks, with a tendency, however, to quadrangular forms and horizontal courses; the inequalities being, as usual, filled up with smaller pieces. The largest stones may be from four to five feet in length, and from two to three in thickness. There are traces of mortar between the stones, which ought, perhaps, to be assigned rather to subsequent repairs than to the original workmanship. The symmetry of the structure is not strictly preserved, being interrupted by a rectangular recess cutting off one corner of the building. In this angle there is a doorway, consisting of two perpendicular side walls, surmounted by an open gable or Gothic arch, formed by horizontal layers of masonry converging into an apex, as in the triangular opening above the Gate of Lions and Treasury of Atreus. This door gives access to a passage between two walls. At its extremity on the right hand is another doorway, of which little or nothing of the masonry is preserved, opening into the interior chamber or vault (Mure, vol. ii. p. 196) This was not the only pyramid in the Argeia. A second, no longer existing, is mentioned by Pausanias (ii. 25.7) on the road between Argos and Tiryns; a third, of which remains exist, is described by Gell (Itinerary of Greece, p. 102), on the road between Nauplia and Epidaurus; and there was probably a fourth to the S. of Lerna, since that part of the coast, where Danaus is said to have landed, was called Pyramia. (Plut. Pyrrh. 32; Paus. ii.38.4). It is a curious circumstance that pyramids are found in the Argeia, and in no other part of Greece, especially when taken in connection with the story of the Aegyptian colony of Danaus.
This extract is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Periods: Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age, Dark Age, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Modern
Type: Fortified city
Summary: One of the major Mycenaean and ancient city-states of the Peloponnese.
Argos lies ca. 7 km inland, near the center of the 200 square km Argive plain, and between the bases of the Aspis and Larissa hills and the Kharadros river. The W half of the modern town of Argos covers the ancient city and excavations have been limited to small areas and rescue work. Features that have been excavated or investigated include the theater, agora, sanctuary of Apollo and Athena, the Roman odeion and baths, and sections of the Classical circuit wall.
Traditionally Argos was claimed as one of the oldest cities of ancient Greece, and the birthplace of Perseus, the son of Danae and Zeus. Some Neolithic remains have been found in the area, but the best evidence for early occupation is the Early to Middle Helladic settlement on the summit of Aspis. By Mycenaean times the center of settlement had moved to the higher Larissa hill to the W (where the Frankish castle now stands). Although Argos was a major Mycenaean center and its citizens figure prominently in the Homeric epics, the city was over-shadowed by nearby Mycenae. After the fall of the Mycenaean Empire Argos seems to have had the predominant role in the Peloponnese until the 6th century B.C. when it begins a long struggle with Sparta. Throughout the Classical period Argos allied itself with Corinth or Athens against Sparta. In 229 B.C. Argos joined the Achaean League and after 146 B.C. it became part of the Roman province of Achaea. Substantial Roman building activity indicates prosperity in the 1st to 5th centuries A.D. Argos was capital of King Pheidon and home of sculptors Ageladas and Polykleitos.
In 1892, I. Kophiniotis partially excavated the theater; between 1902 and 1930 W. Vollgraff carried out several excavations on behalf of the French School. French School excavations have continued under the direction of G. Daux and P. Courbin since 1952.
Donald R. Keller, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 61 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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