Argos (Argolid) 2780 Argos - Άργος

Ἄργος - Argos, important Archaic to Medieval polis, Argos in the Argolid, Peloponnese

Modern description Odysseus

The Ancient Agora of Argos started to be organized during the 5th century B.C. in the south of the city, on the crossroads from the Heraion of Argos, Corinth and Tegea. The architectural programme was completed at the end of the 4th century B.C.
During the Classical and the Hellenistic periods, the Agora was surrounded by porticos and buildings which can hardly be distinguished at present under the later architectural phases.
Amongst the most important uncovered buildings is:
A large hypostyle hall with sides about 32 m long and a roof held by 16 Ionic columns, while on the main side there was a porch with15 doric columns. It was built around 460 B.C. at the time when Argos adopted the Democratic regime and might have been a 'Bouleutherion'.
A large building, perhaps a 'palaistra', with porticoes of doric columns, was bordering the southern side of the Agora. Other excavated remains belong to the starting line of the dromos of a Stadium, a 'Tholos-Nymphaion' and a semi-circular theatrical construction which includes the basis of an older altar, perhaps from the sanctuary of Apollo Lykeus.
During the Roman times, many of the existing buildings were altered in shape and function, mostly into shops and fountains when, in the 2d and 3d century A.D. a general remodeling of the site took place. Later, during the 4th century A.D., a last monument of Paganism was built, an hearth surrounded by boundary steles from the enclosure (peribolos) of an 'heroon' of the Archa?c period dedicated to the 'Seven against Thebes'.
The invasion of the Goths, in 395-396 A.D. accelerated the destruction and the disappearance of the monuments of the Agora. The center of the city had been shifted.
The first to undertake excavations in the Agora was W. Volgraff, a member of the Franch Schol of Archaeology, who discovered the 'Hypostyle Hall' in 1904. The archaeological investigations were resumed in 1952 again by the French School of Archaeology and are still going on nowadays with short interruptions to allow for the study of the material, under the supervision of members of the School and specially P. Amandry, P. Aupert, J.-Fr. Bommelaer and J. Des Courtils (the 'Hypostyle Hall'), P. Courbin, F. Croissant, R. Ginouves, P. Marchetti (the Tholos-Nymphaion), A. Pariente (the Hearth and the archaic peribolos and the theatrical construction), M. Pierart and G. Roux.


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