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New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea


Excavations at the ancient city of Tenea in the Peloponnese, which was built by Trojan prisoners of war, have unearthed significant new finds,the Greek Culture Ministry announced on Tuesday. The discoveries include enormous baths dating from Roman times.

New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Ionic capital and column drum at ancient Tenea 
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
The lost city of Tenea, which is mentioned in many Greek myths as well as historical texts,  was uncovered in October of 2018. One of the sources mentioning the existence of the city of Tenea is the ancient legend of Oedipus, the mythical king of Thebes who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother.


This year, archaeologists led by Eleni Korka uncovered a complex of bathing facilities, about 500 square meters (5,382 square feet) in total, dating from between the end of the third century BC to the mid-1st century BC.

New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Archaeologists have been excavating the ruins of the Trojan city of Tenea since 2013 
and last year confirmed it was the city they had believed it to be [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
An archaeologist examines shards of ceramics in Tenea 
[Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
A Roman-era oil lamp which depicts the Trojan hero Aeneas carrying his father 
during the evacuation of Troy [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Ceramic vessels which may have been used to store food and drink 
[Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
This pyxis – a type of Ancient Greek round, lidded vessel which was used to store jewellery 
or cosmetics – has been dated to 580BC [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Coin specialist Constantinos Lagos examines a silver coin 
discovered in the ruins [Credit: EPA]
There are three bath areas which once had heated water, two of them ending in arches and well-preserved clay floors; some of the floors miraculously still have paint on them.


An ancient well which reaches a depth of 15 meters (49 feet) was found to the north of the baths. Next to the well is what seems to be an area where offerings, including figurines and miniature vessels had been deposited. The existence of these objects in this one area points to a religious use of the site.

New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Archaeologist Constantine Psychas (left) transports debris removed by a colleague from 
an ancient well found next to Roman baths in ancient Tenea [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Archaeologist Constantine Psychas empties debris removed from an ancient well found
 next to Roman baths in ancient Tenea [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
The lower portion of Greek goddess Aphrodite, possibly Hellenistic, 
was found in an ancient well 16 meters deep [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
An archaeologist holds a fragment of a statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite 
which was discovered in a well 16m underground in Tenea [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
This drone photo shows the footprint of a Roman-era baths complex discovered
 in the ancient city of Tenea [Credit: EPA]
New discoveries at ancient Greek city of Tenea
Aerial photo of the Roman-era baths complex discovered in the ancient city of Tenea 
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]
Other objects recently uncovered by the archaeologists include vessels for the storage of aromatic oils as well as parts of statues dating from Hellenistic times.

According to myth, the city of Tenea was founded by the Trojans sometime around 1100 BC and its buildings were constructed by prisoners of war. They chose this spot because it was on the road between Corinth and the ancient settlement of Mycenae. Oedipus himself was said to have been raised here after being sent away from his parents as a baby.


Tenea was for many years one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the ancient region of Corinthia in the northern Peloponnese. Until 2018, however, no one had been able to work out exactly where it was located – or why it had declined and seemingly disappeared off the map.

Author: Tasos Kokkinidis | Source: Greek Reporter [October 22, 2019]

TANN

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