Αρχαία και πρωτοβυζαντινή Τενέα (Journal article)

Κορδώσης, Μιχάλης

Ancient sources and Strabo, in particular, supply little but significant information on the ancient Corinthian town of Tenea. This town was situated at the southern edge of Corinthia, to the north of the strategic pass of Kleisura Agionori, through which passed the well known route of Kontoporeia. Historical stages in the town’s development became the transportation of the inhabitants of Tenedos to Tenea by Agamemnon, its contribution in the colonization of Syracuse, by furnishing the main bulk of the colonists, and finally its independence from Corinth just before the latter’s destruction in 146 B. C. By comparing the details supplied by Pausanias, Xenophon and Stephanos of Byzantium, we can determine its site with accuracy between the villages of Chiliomodi and Klenia, where rich archaeological remnants have been discovered, especially ceramics. Unfortunately no significant ruins have survived, since the spot is under heavy cultivation and important changes took place. Most archaeological remains, particularly ceramics, were found at the place called Palaio Scholeio. To the south, on the slopes of the hill called Bouno, someone can encounter ancient ceramics and graves curved on the stone, and further south on the locations of Kato and Pano Agianni, the only surviving remnants of a wall (or walls), which today are walls supporting the ground. Throughout the site of the ancient town we find shells ranging from the geometric and archaic to the early Byzantine period. Prehistoric shells are to be found on the southeastern slope of the hill Kato Agianni (which forms the modem cemetery of Klenia), and up to the nearby pass for Agionori, as well as on the hill called Agios Asomatos to the west of Palaio Scholeio. Relying on archaeological findings we can suppose that in the prehistoric and early geometric period a settlement existed on the southern hills facing mountain Nyphitsa, which was propably a continuation of the neolithic settlement of the cave to the eastern slope of Nyphitsa. Throughout the archaic period, traces of habitation can be found in the whole area between the villages of Klenia and Chiliomodi, which become more frequent in the classical period, when it seems, the town acquired its wall. It seems to me that during the classical period the archaeological site formed a single unit with two quarters, one at Palaio Scholeio, which was the largest, and a second one on the hill Bouno of Klenia. If this assumption proves correct from the surviving evidence that the two areas were fortified, it is most probable that separate fortifications existed which were constructed in different periods of time. It looks as if the fortification of the largest quarter at Palaio Scholeio included the wider area to the south of the modem railway line, with its centre on the hill Damaria (or Limni), and of the smaller one on the hill Bouno, an earlier date of whose fortification can not be ruled out. A single fortification for the whole archaeological site whose Acropolis would be formed by the hill Bouno would be impossible, because the fortified area would be too large for Tenea, which was a small town. In the Hellenistic age the town must have had the same size, but archaeological remnants increase mostly on the hill Bouno and less on the two southern locations Kato and Pano Agianni, where the only ruins of a wall, or walls. This prosperity can be related to population increase which partially depended on the growing significance of Kontoporeia from the end of the 4th, or the beginning of the 3rd century B. C., as well as with Tenea’s independence and the destruction of Corinth in 146 B. C. Literary sources, archaeological remnants, coins and inscriptions point towards continuing prosperity for Tenea both during the Roman and early Byzantine periods, but it appears that the town’s size has started to decrease following the general pattern. As a result, the two «quarters» were separated and the space in between, which is quite uneven, seems to have been used as burial place during the Roman period. This decrease is even greater in the early Byzantine period, but I estimate that the main quarter at Palaio Scholeio - Chiliomodi continued as a town. Despite its isolation from the town, the second quarter whose centre had by now shifted slightly to the south, toward mount Nyphitsa (where traces of life can be found throughout the middle ages), must have formed a single settlement (with the same name Tenea or Genea), with the larger site at Palaio Scholeio.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Φιλοσοφική. Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας
Keywords: -
URI: https://olympias.lib.uoi.gr/jspui/handle/123456789/6127
http://dx.doi.org/10.26268/heal.uoi.9267
Publisher: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Φιλοσοφική. Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας
Appears in Collections:Τόμος 26 (1997)

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