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Ancient Olynthos

where the heck is itThe site is open Tues-Sun, from 8am-2:30pm; 3 euros admission.

Olynthos is situated just above the narrow neck of land above the Kassandra peninsula in Halkidhiki. Olynthos was the most important BC Greek city in this part of the Macedonian coast area during the 5th-4th century BC.

The fenced site occupies twin flat topped mounds. There were Neolithic dwellings here in the early 3rd millennium BC; the Bronze age settlement was at Aghios Mamas.

the excavationsAround 800BC the south hill was reoccupied by a Macedonian tribe; it was settled by Bottiaians in the 7th century BC. Xerxes requisitioned troops and ships here in the late 5th centuryBC; it was burnt by Artabazus and the site was given to the Chalkidikians. It became head of the Halkidhikian League during the same century.

The population of this town grew to 30,000. Except for a short period of submission to Sparta, the town remained independent, but after siding with Athens against Philip of Macedon, the latter totally leveled it, so much so that Demosthenes, who had won the Olynthians over to supporting Athens, commented that a visitor to the spot would never know that there had been a city there. A Byzantine church later occupied the site.

the built big housesThe Classical city, excavated by the American School in 1928-34, was built on the Hippodamian grid system. Hippodamius is the father of city planning.

The restorations of the site's pebble mosaics are mostly covered over, though one can see some streets and houses.

The site is open Tues-Sun, from 8am-2:30pm; 3 euros admission.