Limenoscope - Ancient Hellenic Ports
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Anthedon
 
Anthedon was a small ancient city with an agora, stoae and temples, that its citizens were devoted on fishing and shipbuilding (Herakides, Greece Description,I.23). Nowadays it can be located near Loukisia village in NE Viotia (Euboean gulf). The area was inhabited from the Mycenaean period (16th -12th century B.C.) until the Early Byzantine period (6th century A.C.) and maybe later.
Parts of the citywalls encircling a small hill are still preserved, extended to the harbour's brakewaters at the beach. Remains of the harbour structures are visible on the sea surface and underwater.  
 

Figures

 
Main features
Region Euboean Gulf  
Use Commercial - Military  
Prosperity period (centuries)  
Existence of contemporary port No  
Findings on site Yes, the two brakewaters and the quay around northern, western and southern side.  
General description
Systematic study of Anthidon's harbour was conducted in 1966 by D.J. Blackman, J. Schafer and H. Schlager. The harbour had an almost circular basin (c.120-130m.), protected from north and east by two brakewaters constructed of blocks. Quays, with a total length of 370m., were surrounding the basin from north, south and west. Southern of the south quay an early Christian Basilica has been excavated (Rolfe 1890,96-107), which was possibly founded upon a preexisting ritual building.  
Technical features
Construction period (centuries) 4th A.D. - 7th A.D., 7th c. BC. but the harbour could very possibly had been in use from the Hellenic antiquity.  
Port configuration Artificial Harbour, Outer Harbour  
Port basin size 15000 m2 
Main wind direction NE
Port land area km2 
Port entrance From east, not in full protected  
Change of sea surface elevation
Sedimentation Yes  
Outer port structures Moles
Inner port structures Wharves  
Land facilities Temples  
Construction method Hydraulic concrete had been used  
Neotectonic history  
Shore line displacement Silting  
Function and operations
Anthedon is located at the end of a Mycenaean road originating from Lake Kopaida area that is testified archaeologically at the south coast of Paralimni (Schlager et al. 1968, 23). Strabo (Geogr.IX.2.2) mentions the existence of a harbour at Anthedon, providing information from the historian Ephoros who considered that Viotia was superior to the surrounding nations because it had three seas and many good harbours, one of which was Anthedon. Diodorus Siculus (Hist. IE.78) also notes that at 364-363 B.C. Thebans voted for the construction of 100 triremes and the building of an equal number of shipsheds. Anthedon could not be uninvolved in such a project, either for building or mooring the triremes. Finally, the research of D.J. Blackman, J. Schafer and H. Schlager concluded that the visible remains of the harbour structures belong exclusively to one building phase, which can be dated from the Ioustinian period or/and later until the end of 7th century A.D.
Combining the above information with the archaeological and philological evidence for the inhabitation of the area from the Mycenaean period to 7th century A.D., leads to the conclusion that this location was active as a harbour with or without installations already from the Mycenaean period. The remains of the Byzantine period are propably covering previous port structures on an underlying layer. Hence, the harbour of Anthedon must have been operating as a trading station for the rich mainland, while at the same time being a naval base of the Viotean and a squadron of the Byzantine fleet.  
Sources
References in ancient literature
  • Homer, Iliad Β' 508
  • Pseudoskylax, Periplus 1.47
  • Herakleides, Greece Description, Ι.23
  • Plutarch, Lives: Sulla 26.4-9
  • Strabo, Geography ΙΧ.2.2, 13, 22, 26
  • Diodorus Siculus, Library of History ΙΕ.78
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece ΙΧ.22.5-6
  • Στέφανος Βυζάντιος, Εθνικά: Ανθηδών  
  • Related researches Archeological  
    Findings in museums No  
    Other references
  • Leake, W.Μ., 1835. Travels in Northern Greece, [http://esf.niwi.knaw.nl/esf1996/leake96/html/geenfram.htm], Univ. Leiden Netherlands
  • Buck C.D., 1889, "Discoveries at Anthedon in 1889", AJA 5, pp. 443-460
  • Rolfe J.C., 1890, "Discoveries at Anthedon in 1889", AJA 6, 1890, pp. 96-107
  • Blackman D.J., Schafer J. & H. Schlager, 1967, "Un port de la basse epoque romaine en Grece centrale",Archeologie 17, pp. 13-17
  • Schlager H., Blackman D.J., Schafer J., 1968, "Der Hafen von Anthedon mit Beitragen zur Topographie und Geschichte der Stadt", Archaologischer Anzeiger 1, 21-98
  • Sakellariou M.,1972, "Decline of ruling cities. Mainland Greece and Aegean from 404 to 355 B.C.", Historia tou Ellinikou Ethnous Γ1, Ekdotike Athinon, 433-434 (in Greek)
  • Papachatzis N., 1974. Description of Greece, Attica, Ekdotike Athinon, 142, 435, 445 (in Greek)
  • Richard S. et.al., 1976, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, Princeton University Press, Princeton, p. 59 (s.v.Anthedon)
  • Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean, [www.ypai.gr/atlas], Ministry of the Aegean - University of Athens  
  • Protection regime  
    Author Theotokis Theodoulou  
    Editor Theotokis Theodoulou  
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