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Menelaeiou archaeological site


Greece Travel Guide|Archeological places

Menelaeiou archaeological site is located approximately 5 km southeast of the modern city of Sparta

Menelaeiou archaeological site includes a cluster of hills ridge ("Boreios Hill" Menelaeio, Prophet Elias and Aetos). Throughout this region found traces of habitation of the Middle Helladic and Mycenaean times. On the west side of the hill Menelaeiou is the temple of Menelaos and Helen, who, according to Pausanias buried there and in the northeast of the sanctuary, composite structures of the Mycenaean period.

In "Boreio Hill", which has suffered great erosion, excavations revealed evidence of occupation of the Middle Helladic period, corroded layers of ceramics of the late 16th and first half of the 15th century. and few architectural remains of houses of the late 13 th century. BC.

In Hill Menelaeiou no architectural remains have been found in Middle Helladic period. The'' I'' which Hall was constructed on the east side of the hill after the mid-15th century. BC, the south entrance, announcing the plan subsequent Mycenaean palaces. The building that suffered serious damage very quickly, perhaps by an earthquake and the eastern exterior wall collapsed. The Mansion'' II'', the new building that replaced it was built at a greater distance from the southern and eastern edge of the plateau, with an entrance at this time in the west.

On the same hill started in the 8th century. p.X, the cult of celebrity heroes and later gods of Menelaos and Helen, to build an altar and probably a fence. In the late 7th century. BC or early sixth century. BC should be dated to the first church was built of limestone in the west of the plateau of the hill on a rocky soil swelling. In the early fifth century. BC built around an imposing rocky swelling platform of conglomerate blocks which had the aim of creating a grand platform of at least 8 m an inclined plane (ramp) leading from the west side of the platform at the top of the platform.

The southernmost of the hills, "Aeto" The excavations revealed two pottery kilns and six of the Middle Helladic graves of whom the oldest was a freatoeidis pit covered with slate, within which a woman was found buried. In the same place was constructed after the mid-15th century BC (YE IIB), a monumental edifice in the axis east - west with a floor of pebbles. The amended building very quickly and seems abandoned in the early 14th century. BC (YEIIIA1 period). O Hill reorganized in the 13th century. BC by forming two flat surfaces. In less than those built large rectangular building with an entrance on the north, whose walls bear murals. The upper and lower plateau separated by an impressive wall construction, width 1.20 m and height probably 2m. who according to the findings, was destroyed in the late 13th century. BC (YEIII B2 period).

O Menelaeiou archaeological site on the east bank of the Eurotas is not only an important place in the history of Laconia and a very attractive place for visitors who, after climbing through olive groves, sees the top of the hill, striking and unusual architectural sanctuary of the classical era and preserved architectural remains of the Mycenaean era. From the hilltop, the visitor also has the ability to better understand the monumental topography of the Eurotas valley and admire the natural terrain of Tafgetou.

Author: Helen Zavvos, archaeologist

Official Unit:
E Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

Sparta Menelaion (Laconia)

Phone: +30 27310 23,315