For the first time ever, archaeologists have found the first tangible remains of a long-lost city that the ancient Greeks believed was first settled by Trojan captives of war after the attack on Troy.
Greek archaeologists found the final location of the ancient city of Tenea, in the north-eastern Peloponnese, whose existence until now was only found in epigraphic references, according to the Greek Ministry of Culture.
To uncover the remains of the ancient city, Greek archaeologists focused on two excavations near the city of Jiliomodi, about 20 kilometers from Corinth and 95 kilometers from the capital Athens.
Experts discovered the remnants of ancient walls, clay, marble or stone floors, buildings, as well as household pottery, a bone gaming die and more than 200 coins dating from the 4th century B.C. to late Roman times.
Archeologists also made a surprising discovery as they found a pottery jar containing the remains of two human fetuses amid the foundations of one building.
Experts say that this is quite unusual since the ancient Greeks typically buried their dead in organized cemeteries outside the city walls.
According to ancient legends, the ancient city of Tenea was founded by prisoners of the Trojan war to whom Agamemnon, Mycenae’s king, permitted to build their own town.
Mention of Tenea was made by Strabo:
Tenea, also, is in Korinthia, and in it is a temple of the Apollon Teneatos; and it is said that most of the colonists who accompanied Archias, the leader of the colonists to Syracuse, set out from there, and that afterward, Tenea prospered more than the other settlements, and finally even had a government of its own, and, revolting from the Corinthians, joined the Romans, and endured after the destruction of Corinth. And it seems, also, that there is a kinship between the peoples of Tenedos and Tenea, through Tennes the son of Kyknos, as Aristotle says; and the similarity in the worship of Apollon among the two peoples affords strong indications of such kinship. —Strabo, (8.6.22)
Lead archaeologist Elena Korka, who has been excavating the area surrounding the mythical city since 2013, told The Associated Press that her team had only been digging in the rich cemeteries surrounding Tenea until this year.
“This year we excavated part of the city itself,” Korka told AP.
And while little is known about the city and their inhabitants, the archeologist believes that future excavations will help us understand more about the ancient city.
“(The city) had distinctive pottery shapes with eastern influences, maintained contacts with both east and west … and had its own way of thinking, which, to the extent that it could, shaped its own policies,” Korka said.