Archaeologists in Greece have unearthed what they believe are the remnants of the long-lost ancient city of Tenea.
Tenea was an ancient Greek (then Roman) city founded in the 12th or 13th century BC.
It is believed that the first inhabitants were former Trojan prisoners to whom Agamemnon, King of nearby Mycenae, permitted to build their own town after the Trojan War. Hence the name Tenea resembles that of Tenedos, their home-town.
“The fall of Troy, according to myth, led Aeneas to found the city of Rome. It also inspired Agamemnon to found the city of Tenea in the Corinthia by installing Trojan war-prisoners strategically on the passage near Tenea leading from Corinth to Argos and Mycenae,” explained lead archaeologist Dr. Eleni Korka, Director General of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.
“Tenea flourished by founding with Corinth the colony of Syracuse. Commerce brought great wealth to the city.”
“Later on, during the Roman invasion in Corinthia, only Tenea was spared due to the mythic common descent of the inhabitants of Rome and Tenea.”
The remnants of Tenea were uncovered by Dr. Korka’s team in excavations at Chiliomodi, a village in eastern Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece.
“The precise location of Tenea was previously only documented in historical sources, but we were able to pinpoint its location following the discovery of a variety of artifacts and the remnants of housing,” the archaeologists said.
They discovered the remains of several Hellenistic- and Roman-period buildings, including door openings and walls as well as stone and marble floors, and several burial sites.
They unearthed pottery fragments that date to the fourth century BC to Roman times.
They also found a huge storage jar and an 11.5-foot (3.5 m) section of a clay pipeline.
“Among the findings was a unique plastic clay lantern in the form of a reclining Seilinos, found for the very first time in its context, and clearly associated with Roman religious beliefs,” Dr. Korka said.
In addition, the team found jewelry and more than 200 coins, evidence that Tenea was a wealthy city.
Among them were a series of coins minted by Roman emperor Septimius Severus (ruled from 193 to 211 CE) as well as rare coins issued by various Peloponnesian cities.
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