The peninsula of Lavreotike, the southernmost part of Attica, is a semi mountainous area rich in argentiferous ores, which were systematically exploited during the antiquity. Thanks to the silver mines of Lavreotike the city -- state of Athens evolved to a leading power during the Classical period (5th and 4th cent. BC). Dense evidence of mining (wells, galleries) and metallurgical procedures (workshops for cleansing and smelting of the ores) is found in the area.
The archaeological site lies in the northernmost of a series of valleys that stretch to the great valley of Souriza. It is at a distance of 4 km south of the town of Aghios Konstantios (Kamariza).
The archaeological site was rendered accessible to visitors through a program financed by the European Union (3rd Community Support Framework) and executed by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.
THE MONUMENTS OF THE SITE
In the fenced site of Drymos 13 mining wells, tentatively dug out to reach the vein of the argentiferous ore, have been found. There also exist the openings of galleries for the extraction of the ores.
Seven metallurgical workshops for the cleansing of ores have been revealed. They date to the 5th and 4th cent. BC and mark progress in size and technology used. Furnaces are located in other parts of Lavreotike.
The main parts of a cleansing workshop were the washery and the big open cistern. The cleansing of the ores from the non argentiferous constituents was necessary to achieve complete melting and good quality metal. The invention of the washery and its continuous evolution furthered the huge production of silver and lead in the Classical period. Its operation depended on the gathering and use of the rain water, which was recycled in order to be economized.
Along the south side of the valley a big trench was dug out to drain the rain water whence water also flowed into the cisterns. The trench has been reconstructed for the protection of the site.
In the west part there exists a big subterranean reservoir for drinking water, and on the slope at the NW a rectangular war tower, on top of a preexisting workshop. The tower is most probably connected to the effort of the Athenians to protect the area after the slaves of the mines escaped (413 BC) during the Peloponnesian War.
In the east part, at the confluence with the great valley, extends a big cemetery plundered in the past.Chronique des Fouilles linkWikidata ID: Q985449
(Odysseus, Greek Ministry of Culture)