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Archaeological Site of Alos

Last Update: Aug 2009
Archaeological site ALOS , MAGNESSIA , GREECE
Tel.: +30 24210 28855, 28866, 28563 , Fax: +30 24210 28563

Archaeological Site of Alos - Overview

   The Hellenistic town of Alos is located at the south part of the plain of Almyros, between the foot of mount Othrys and the bay of Pagasitic Gulf, in a narrow strip of earth. Its location in ancient times was strategic and obstructed the route leading from northern to southern Greece.
   According to mythology, Alos was founded by king Athamas, whose children, Phrixos and Elli, have flown on a golden-haired ram to overseas Kolchis. Homer (rapsody στ) mentions that the inhabitants of Alos, Aleis, took part in the Argonautic expedition with their ships. The historical evidence concerning Alos is scarce; Herodotus mentions that Xerxis, the king of the Persians, went round the town in his march from Tempi to Thermopylae at 480 B.C. Classical Alos was destroyed by Parmenion, general of the army of Macedonian king Philip II at 346 B.C. Hellenistic Alos was founded at about 302 B.C. and has been one of the three Macedonian cities founded by Demetrius Poliorketes at the innest part of Pagasitic Gulf.
   The archaeological excavations at Alos led by the 13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Volos and the Dutch Archaeological Institute since 1976 have revealed part of its excellent fortification and its houses.
   The imposing fortification of the town was strengthened with towers and gates, which surrounded the lower part of the town in the plain, wisely street-planned, and the rest, situated on the neighbouring hill.
   A network consisting of small streets and comfortable roads divided the quarters of the town into blocks and permitted the convenient flow of the inhabitants and passers-by. It is estimated that the town consisted of 1400 houses and 9000 inhabitants. Its cemetery was located near its fortification and in the outer part of it and was connected with one main street, leading from the internal part of the town to its suburbs.
   Alos seams to be a small town, whose economy was based on agriculture and stock-breeding. It made use of its own coin where the myth of Kolchis was depicted for its commercial trade. The vibration of everyday-life in the town was violently interrupted probably due to an earthquake at 265 B.C. After the destruction of the town only few inhabitants continued living for a little while in temporary houses or small places round the central gates of the fortification.
   The finds of the excavations at Alos are exhibited at the Museum of the town of Almyros (7km west of ancient Alos) in groups according to a subject: private dwellings, burial customs, coinage and commercial contacts.

Text: Zoe Malakasioti
        13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

Archaeological Site of Alos - Map

Executives & Departments

  • Archaeological service:, Tel.: 24210 76455, 24210 76278, Fax: 24210 76496
    13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Volos

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Archaeological site

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Visiting Information • By appointment
Ancient settlement • Geometric period, 1025-700 BC • Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC
Cemetery • Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC
Ancient monuments • Walls / Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC • Houses / Geometric period, 1025-700 BC / Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC • Tombs / Geometric period, 1025-700 BC / Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC • Workshops / Hellenistic period, 323-31 BC

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