In October 2023, the systematic archaeological investigation in Chiliomodi (Corinthia region, Greece) concluded, at the site of ancient Tenea, under the direction of archaeologist Dr. Elena Korka and conducted by the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture.

The excavation, among other things, revealed for the first time this year a portion of the Hadrianic aqueduct in the area of ancient Tenea, precisely determining the course of one of the largest hydraulic works of the 2nd century AD in Greece, intended to supply water to ancient Corinth from Stymphalus.

The aqueduct was located near the Roman baths along the Karkana River. It was excavated over a length of 31 meters in a north-south direction. It is a water conduit constructed with a semicircular vaulted roof, whose surface was visible in antiquity.

The structure has external vertical walls, 3.20 meters in height, made of rough stones bound together with mortar, reinforced in depth with a second series of rough stones to ensure the stability of the monument.

At the same time, a portion of the prehistoric settlement of Tenea was found and excavated, dating back to the Early Bronze Age II (2600-2300 BC), confirming the occupation of the area before the fall of Troy. It was found on the outskirts of the hill Agioi Asomatoi, east of the aqueduct.

Furthermore, a rich complex of buildings from the late archaic to the Hellenistic period was discovered and excavated, including individual places of worship, including three extremely elaborate cisterns, one of them with a cathodic-anodic scale.

Of exceptional archaeological importance and rarity is the treasure of 29 ancient Greek silver coins found along with a portable clay altar, a miniature vase, and a figurine of a horse with a rider. There are 20 staters, 5 drachmas, 3 half-drachmas, and 1 diobol.

The treasure includes coins dating from the late 6th century BC to the 330s BC, many of them being the rarest and most historical coins of ancient Greece: three staters of Helios, minted in Olympia during different Olympic Games; an Aegina stater with a land turtle instead of a sea turtle; staters from Stymphalus (Arcadia), Argos, and Locris Opuntia, as well as a 5th-century BC Theban stater depicting Hercules strangling two snakes with his hands.

The presence of this treasure is linked to the findings of ritual use (female and animal figurines, miniature vessels, and others) discovered last year and continued to be found this year, giving a clear ritual character to the uncovered sites.

In the same area, four silver coins from the late classical period were also found, constituting a separate treasure.

In the upper layers of excavation, two complexes of Roman and late Roman buildings were excavated, along with intricately carved archaic tombs and other Roman tombs.

The oldest tombs are distinguished by their sarcophagus and pit tomb typology, covered with pore-shaped covering slabs, and all of them had a rough stone marker outside the boxes. The burials belonged to both adults and children, decorated with rich geometric and animal motifs.


Sources

Ministry of Culture of Greece


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