Mesimvria-Zone was a colony of Samothrace, built at the end of the 7th century BC, on the SE coast of Thrace, between Maroneia and Alexandroupolis.
is mentioned with two names because it was originally known as Mesimvria,
while in the light of the recent archaeological evidence it has been identified as Zone, which also was a colony of Samothrace. The city flourished in the 5th and 4th
centuries BC but started to decline during the period of the Macedonian and Later Roman rule, as the construction of roads in the hinterland downgraded the importance
of the seaside city. There is, though, evidence of sporadic habitation on the site as late as the 6th century AD.
Excavations on the site have been continuously conducted since 1966 and have brought to light the
with the towers,
inside the fortified area,
the city's layout with the street network
, public buildings, a sanctuary of Demeter
and a temple of Apollo. Interesting is also a small, isolated section of the city, to the SW, which was enclosed by a separate wall in the Hellenistic period and had a different
layout. The cemetery
was located outside the fortified area, to the west of the city.
The most important monuments of the site are:
The Sanctuary of Demeter
It is a small structure, measuring 1.50 x 7.50 m., carefully built with ashlar blocks of white marble. Silver, gold, silver-plated and gilded plaques with relief representations, all related to
the cult of Demeter, were found inside the building. Dated to the 4th century BC.
The archaic temple of Apollo
rectangular in plan, measuring 9 x 15 m., with a pronaos and a cella on a three-stepped crepis.
It was part of a larger building complex
(measuring 35 x 45 m.) with a central paved court,
surrounded by a stoa. Many fragments of pottery
with incised inscriptions were found inside
the temple, dated to the 6th and 5th centuries BC.
, in the foundation level of which was found a large number of
placed with their mouths on the
ground. The most probable interpretation is that they served to protect the earthen floor from humidity. Dated to the 6th - 5th centuries BC.
The western part of the city walls preserved elements of particular interest, such as a
the only verified entrance to the ancient city,
wall sections with Lesbian masonry
and a tower engraved with inscriptions
of the 4th century BC.