PRASSIES (Ancient demos) PORTO RAFTI
Koroneia (Koroni) Attica. A headland which closes the S side of the bay of Porto Raphti on the E coast. It lay in the territory of the deme of Prasiai but was sparsely inhabited, if at all, except during the Chremonidean War, 265-261 B.C., when it served as a fortified camp and base of operations for the Ptolemaic fleet, which, under the admiral Patroklos, came to aid Athens against its Macedonian besiegers. The fleet departed unsuccessful, and Koroneia, like the Ptolemaic bases at Patroklos' Island, at Rhamnous, and elsewhere, was abandoned (Paus. 1.1.1; 1.7.3; 3.6.4-6).
Remains investigated in 1960 illustrate well the features of a Greek fortified military camp (cf. Polyb. 6.42). The peninsula, ca. 1 km in length and width, is a naturally strong position, connected with the mainland only by a low, sandy isthmus. Its center rises to a natural acropolis, ca. 120 m high, from which steep, inaccessible slopes fall off to the NW, the N and the E. A long ridge forms a boundary to the peninsula at the S, toward the isthmus; at its W it is separated from the acropolis by a valley, sloping gently to the sea, while at the E it is joined by a broad saddle to the acropolis.
The camp was defended by two lines of fortifications. A dry-rubble wall 2.25 m thick and ca. 950 m long runs the entire length of the ridge, protecting the peninsula on the landward side. Nine towers strengthen its lower, W portion, but there are no gates, and the camp was evidently supplied by sea. A second wall, 1.50 m thick and standing in places to its original height of over 2 m, encircles the acropolis. One tower commands a view of the S part of the peninsula and of the sea lanes to Keos. Three narrow posterns on the N and three wider passages on the S gave access through the wall to the acropolis.
Within the acropolis and on the saddle are the roughly built structures of the garrison. They were constructed of rubble with no regular plan and roofed with reused tiles. A small house near the peak consisting of a main room and anteroom, may have served the officer of the watch. A larger structure nearby, with five rooms, to judge from its profusion of plates and bowls, may have been an officers' mess. Small storerooms lined the inner face of the acropolis wall. On the saddle, a complex of more than 20 rooms was probably a barrack, with rough, stone benches for beds.
Furnishings were utilitarian--kantharoi and plates, cooking ware, and wine amphorai to store and carry water on a site unprovided with wells or cisterns. Much of these furnishings may have been requisitioned from neighboring demes. There is a variety of fabric and shape among the pots, but the pervasive coins of Ptolemy II are consistent and confirm both the date and the character of the site.
James R. McCredie, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Aug 2005 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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