Page 63

48 kolona, aigina Prehistoric settlement - Acropolis and sanctuary of Apollo Byzantine settlement The name “Kolona” was given to the peninsula by Venetian sailors, who used the columns of the Doric peripteral temple of Apollo (6 x 11) to guide them (1). The foundations and one column from the opisthodomos are preserved today. The temple and the buildings connected with the operation of the sanctuary (2, 6, 15) dominate the ancient acropolis atop the hill. The temple was built in the late 6th c. BC when Aigina, one of the most important trading centers, rose to become a rival of Athens. However, in 457/6 BC, Athens dealt Aigina its final blow, sending its inhabitants into exile in 431 BC. The island flourished one last time during the Hellenistic age (3rd-2nd c. BC) under the rule of the Pergamene kings, as evidenced by the preserved building remains (3, 8, 11, 12, 13). Excavations from the 19th century onward revealed that the fragmentary architectural remains of the Archaic-Hellenistic acropolis rested on impressive Prehistoric buildings, with at least ten successive building phases. The first archaeologically-documented testimony to habitation on the peninsula goes back to the Final Neolithic (4th millennium BC, city 1). In the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC, cities II, III), Neolithic huts were succeeded by houses that show technical progress and spacious, nearly monumental design. However, the most impressive architectural remains are the fortifications of the “inner city” (10) from the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (late 3rd millennium-1600 BC, cities V-X), which pass beneath the temple. Characteristics of the fortification system (9) include the successive strengthening of the walls and the increasingly complex formation of the entrances to the city (9). These make it clear that the main objective was to defend the city’s wealth. The expansion of the settlement towards the east with its “inner” (4) and “outer” suburbs (5) and their fortification attests to continued economic prosperity resulting from sea commerce and the simultaneous increase in population from the Middle Bronze Age until the Early Mycenaean period (16th-15th c. BC). The “monumental building” (14) in the “inner city” belongs to this flourish-

Tel: (+30) 22970 22248 / 22970 22637 Opening Hours Tuesday - Sunday: 8:00-15:00 Monday: closed Admission Full: 3 € Reduced: 2 € The Museum is accessible to the disabled Access By “Flying Dolphin” or ferry boat from Piraeus

59

Navigating the Roots of Art and Culture - Part 3  
Navigating the Roots of Art and Culture - Part 3  
Advertisement