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Archaeological Site of Orchomenos

Last Update: Dec 2016
Archaeological site, Cultural heritage ORCHOMENOS , VIOTIA , GREECE
Tel.: +30 22610 32474
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Opening hours:
01Apr - 31Oct Mon-Sun, 0800-1500
01Nov - 31Mar Mon-Sun, 0830-1500

Archaeological Site of Orchomenos - Photo Gallery

Archaeological Site of Orchomenos - Overview

  The archaeological research at Orchomenos has offered rich evidence for the habitation at the site. In the Neolithic period the houses were circular huts 2 to 6 ms in diametre, while in the Early Bronze Age, (2800-1900 B.C.) they were apsidal. In the Bronze Age (3rd-2nd century B.C.), Orchomenos was famous as an important centre of civilisation. The palace and the great tholos tomb show the power of Orchomenos in the mycenaean times. The town is mentioned by Homer ("Catalogue of Ships") a a participant to the Trojan War; together with Aspledon they contributed 30 ships. In historical times, Orchomenos was known as the "town of Charites". Their temple is probably situated under the church of Panaghia Skripou. Musical and poetical games, haretesia, were held in their honour. The town was equally important during the Hellenistic times when the fortification walls, visible today, were constructed.
   In 1880-1886 H. Schliemann revealed the so-called tholos tomb of Minyas. In 1893 A. de Ridder excavated the temple of Asklepios and some roman graves. In 1903-1905 a bavarian archaeological mission under H.Bulle and .Furwaengler conducted excavations with important results for the history of the site. Research continued in 1970-1973 by the Archaeological Service (the Ephor Th.Spyropoulos) and brought to light among others the mycenaean palace, a prehistoric cemetery and the ancient theatre.
The most important monuments of Orchomenos are:
   The Tholos tomb known as Tomb of Minyas. It is one of the greatest burial monuments of the mycenaean period, comporable to the tholos tomb of Atreas at Mycenae. The ceiling of the side chamber is decorated with spirals and floral motifs in relief. In the centre of the tholos, a rectangular burial monument dates to the Ηellenistic period (323-30 B.C.). The tholos tomb of Minyas was partially restored by the architect-archaeologist A. Orlandos. In 1994, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture undertook restoration work consisting mainly of drainage and strengthening of the walls of the side chamber. The worksare to be completed with similar works with regard to the tholos.
   The theatre was built round the end of the 4th century B.C. Preserved are the cavea, with the seats for the spectators, the orchestra and part of the scene. It was in use until the late roman times (4th century A.D.).
   The mycenaean palace, east to the tholos tomb. It is only partially excavated and consists of three wings. It was decorated with frescoes. The palace was destroyed at c. 1200 B.C.
  The fortification walls of Orchomenos were built at the 2nd half of the 4th century B.C. and they crown the east end of mount Akontion.

Archaeological Site of Orchomenos - Map

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Visiting Information • Admission fee • Fixed hours
Ancient settlement • Ancient historical times, 1050 BC- AD 324
Ancient monuments • Palace / Mycenaean palatial period, 1400-1200 BC • Walls / Mycenaean civilization, 1600-1100 BC / Archaic period, 700-480 BC / Classical period, 480-323 BC • Houses / Bronze Age, 3200-1050 BC • Theatre / Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC • Temples / Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC • Tombs / Mycenaean palatial period, 1400-1200 BC
Prehistoric settlement • Bronze Age, 3200-1050 BC • Neolithic period, 6500-3200 BC

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