Archaeological sites ELLINIKO (Village) ARGOS - GTP + Greek Travel Pages

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Archaeological sites (1)

Ancient fortresses

The remains of a pyramid

  At the distance of about a mile from the Erasinus, and about half a mile to the right of the road, the remains of a pyramid are found, occupying the summit of a rocky eminence among the lower declivities of Mt. Chaon. Its site corresponds to that of the sepulchral monuments of the Argives, mentioned by Pausanias (ii. 24.7); but its style of architecture would lead us to assign to it an early date. The masonry of this edifice is of an intermediate style between the Cyclopian and polygonal, consisting of large irregular blocks, with a tendency, however, to quadrangular forms and horizontal courses; the inequalities being, as usual, filled up with smaller pieces. The largest stones may be from four to five feet in length, and from two to three in thickness. There are traces of mortar between the stones, which ought, perhaps, to be assigned rather to subsequent repairs than to the original workmanship. The symmetry of the structure is not strictly preserved, being interrupted by a rectangular recess cutting off one corner of the building. In this angle there is a doorway, consisting of two perpendicular side walls, surmounted by an open gable or Gothic arch, formed by horizontal layers of masonry converging into an apex, as in the triangular opening above the Gate of Lions and Treasury of Atreus. This door gives access to a passage between two walls. At its extremity on the right hand is another doorway, of which little or nothing of the masonry is preserved, opening into the interior chamber or vault (Mure, vol. ii. p. 196) This was not the only pyramid in the Argeia. A second, no longer existing, is mentioned by Pausanias (ii. 25.7) on the road between Argos and Tiryns; a third, of which remains exist, is described by Gell (Itinerary of Greece, p. 102), on the road between Nauplia and Epidaurus; and there was probably a fourth to the S. of Lerna, since that part of the coast, where Danaus is said to have landed, was called Pyramia. (Plut. Pyrrh. 32; Paus. ii.38.4). It is a curious circumstance that pyramids are found in the Argeia, and in no other part of Greece, especially when taken in connection with the story of the Aegyptian colony of Danaus.

This extract is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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