Ancient Site Orchomenos (Boeotia) Page 2

the well preserved theater of orchomenosThe Mycenaean palace was built around 1350 BC and destroyed 1200BC and still retains many of its frescoes. Remains of a 4th century BC Theater are across the road from the palace. In the ruins a path leads to the walled Treasury of Minyas (open Tues -Sat 9am-3pm;Sun 10am-2pm)

Minyas was the ancestor of the Minyans), which is an enormous tholos tomb which resembles the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae with the roof caved in but the huge blue (other say grey) Levadhia marble lintel still in place over the door and the inner chamber, which is connected with the main tomb via a corridor, still has part of its original ceiling. It was excavated by Schliemann in 1880-86. The bronze rosettes which adorn the walls are very impressive, and the Thalamos, (as the inner chamber is known) was hewn out of rock, with the intact ceiling made of green schist slabs carved with spirals interwoven with fan-shaped leaves and surrounded with a border of rosettes. Remarkable also are the remains of a marble pedestal that was part of a funeral monument.

plan of the site of orchomenos in boeotiaThe City Walls formed an elongated triangle, with the acropolis at the apex. During the early 20th century, further excavations were carried out by Furtwangler and bulle, who unearthed settlements at various levels. Both east and west of the Treasury of Minyas are remains of a Neolithic City (6000-3400BC) with beehive huts made of unfired brick on stone masonry foundations. Above this was found a city dated between 4th and 3rd millennia BC with deep round ashpits 6-8meters in diameter; above that a 3rd to 2nd millenia BC city typical of Thessalian settlements of that era and containing some of the Minyan ware (see above).

There are remains of an Archaic Temple near the cemetery dated 9th to 8th century BC, resting on an older settlement, which was part of a Middle Helladic City of 1700-1450 BC and a Temple of Asklipios. The Macedonian City (built by Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great) is on the upper terraces. The Acropolis is at an altitude of 308meters/1010 feet) and is lead to by an ancient stairway, with huge walls and cliffs fortifying it, the walls dated from the 4th century BC and among the finest examples of fortifications in ancient Greece.

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