Acropolis of Anthochori and of Votonosi

SItes & Monuments Acropolis of Anthochori and of Votonosi

North and south of the upper Arachthos valley, the ruins of the Hellenistic citadels of Anthochori and Votonosi are preserved. Those two fortified positions controlled the passage to Thessaly. They were under the sphere of Molossians’ influence and belonged to the unified defense system that king Pyrrhus had organized in this specific region. Their geographical proximity, coupled with their visual contact, served the necessity for defense. Their fragmentary state of preservation demonstrates that both of them are among the 70 continental cities (ή cities of the mainland) that were destroyed by the Romans in 167 BC.

Acropolis of Anthochori

The acropolis of Anthochori is located on the hill of Agioi Apostoloi, at an altitude of approximately 1220m. On the hill there are stone piles, while fragmentary parts of the ancient wall are preserved, up to one to three rows of blocks. The masonry is sloppy, consisting mainly of rectangular stones.

Inside the church of Agios Charalambos, on the rock, four rectangular inscriptions are preserved. Their surface is worn. They belong to the type of votive reliefs with an architectural frame, as they form thin pilasters with pediment finial.

On the slopes of the same hill, a bronze archaic fibula was found, while from the “Tower of Anthochori” site, a bronze spearhead comes from a cist-grave dated to the HYIII period, an indication that the area was inhabited from at least the late Mycenaean times.

At the “Gavrova” of Anthochori, a building and four cist-graves dating to the Late Antiquity were found.

Acropolis of Votonosi

The acropolis of Votonosi, in the opposite north bank of Arachthos river, is also located on a hill at an altitude of about 800m. The wall here is also fragmentary preserved, up to one to three rows of blocks. The blocks are usually oblong in shape, while others are more squared shape. It seems that the acropolis surrounded the hill and was reinforced with one or more towers.

At the site of “Agios Athanasios”, where the eastern cemetery of the settlement was located, a “treasure” of bronze vessels was found. At the “Tria Chania” site, and in various places inside and outside the acropolis, inscribed gravestones and cist-graves were found.

Although the acropolis of Votonosi dates back to the 4th or the early 3rd century BC, there were also preceding findings, dated to the 6th and 5th century BC, such as a part of a stone ax and a bronze lekythos with a head of a Silenus attached at the base of the handle.

Manthoula Anastopoulou

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