Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Theme / Antiquity

Dion

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Dion

About the site


Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Greece, Pieria
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch: Antiquity
Theme: Antiquity
World Heritage:
AntiquityAntiquityAncient Site

The excavation of the area commenced in 1928 and is continued at present by the University of Thessaloniki. It has brought to light a fortified city, surrounded by cult areas, that was inhabitated continuously from the Classical period to Early Christian times. Buildings of various periods have been discovered in a series of different levels. Private residences, public buildings, shops, and a large number of workshops are erected in building blocks defined by the streets. On the south edge of the ancient city are the public baths (thermae), an imposing complex covering an area of over 4,000 square metres and dating from about 200 AD .
In the east sector has been discovered the villa of Dionysos, which takes its name from the large mosaic depicting the god that covers the floor of the banqueting room. The sanctuaries of the gods, two theatres (one Greek and one Roman) and the stadium have been discovered outside the city walls. Amongst the gods worshipped at Dion, the most important was Olympian Zeus, after whom the city was named (the genitive of "Zeus" being Dios). In the god's precinct have been found stone stelae bearing inscriptions relating to treaties of alliance, the settlement of border disputes, parts of official decrees, etc. The sanctuary of Demeter, just outside the walls and the gate at the end of the main street of the city, is the earliest Macedonian sanctuary known to date. It had un uninterrupted life from the late 6th century BC to the early 4th century AD. To the east of the sanctuary of Demeter has been discovered a sanctuary devoted to the cult of the Egyptian gods Sarapis, Isis and Anubis. There is a small temple of Aphrodite Hypolympidia (Aphrodite worshipped below Mount Olympus) in this same sanctuary.

Hellenic ministry of culture