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SERMYLI (Ancient city) HALKIDIKI
Is the most ancient settlement in Chalkidiki, having a uninterruptedly presence in the area since the Neolithic era. Its ancient name was Sermyli, then it was changed to Ermyli during the dark ages, only to become Ormylia which lasts till today.
The first findings are dated in the Neolithic age (4000-2000 bc) and were found at Toumpa of Prophet Ilias, on the hill of St George during the 2nd millennium bc, in the square Toumpa near the end of 2000 bc and at Kastri of Vatopedi around 1000 bc.
During the classic age, the historical testimonies mention 2 cities in the area, both of them being colonies of the Chalkideous (they came in the area during the 13th - 12th century bc) and members of the Athenian alliance during the Persian Wars. The first one with the name Sermyli, according to the ancient historian Herodotus, was very big and very important. It was located next to the sea and near the debouchment of the river. It was controlling the primary and shortest road from Kalamaria to Sithonia. The oldest testimonies on the history of Ormylia, are given through the silver coins that were cut in the 6th sentury bc. Herodotus is also mentioning the city as one of those that gave army to the Persian King Xerxis.
When the Persian Wars were over, the city entered the Athenian Alliance and from the contribution they were paying (3-5 talanta) we can easily assume that it was the most important city of Chalkidean people besides Toroni.
During the Peloponnisian War, the city suffered a lot for the Spartans (Thoukididis history, A' 66) A few bronze coins that were cut after 404 or 379 bc, testify that the city was self-governed in that period. In the 384 bc it was destroyed by Filippos and its habitants were scattered in the greater area, establishing small settlements that were hardly surviving.
In the old Christian period (4th - 7th century ad), two settlements have been located. One was northwest from where Vatopedi is located today, in area "Gveli" and the other one is the castle in Kallipoli, which must have been built around the 5th century ad on a steep hill next to the river. This testifies that the habitants of the area were in grave danger from the various barbarian raids.
This text is cited Oct 2003 from the Municipality of Ormylia URL below.
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