Ancient Orraon was founded and fortified between 385 and 370 B.C., when Alketas was the king of the Molossoi or, at the latest, in the second quarter of the 4th century B.C. The settlement was destroyed by the Romans in 167 B.C., was subsequently rebuilt and was finally abandoned by its inhabitants who were obliged to settle in Nicopolis, a city founded by Augustus after his victory in the battle of Actium, in 31 B.C.
The most important monument of the site is the fortified city of ancient Molossia. Very characteristic are the narrow alleys of the settlement, the cisterns and the impressive fortification wall with the bastions, but also the absence of public places. All these features, in combination with the strategic position of the settlement, point to its defensive character.
Twelve narrow parallel streets, in a N-S direction, cross two wider streets, thus forming rectangular oblong insulae, 15 m. wide. The full width of each insula is usually occupied by a single house.
The private, stone-built houses of Orraon are exceptionally well preserved, sometimes even up to the upper storey, where the windows, and the door jambs and frames can be seen.
The first excavations on the site were carried out in 1972 by Ioulia Vokotopoulou, then director of the 12th Ephorate. In 1975, the University of Ioannina, under the direction of S. Dakaris, in collaboration with the German Archaeological Institute, started the excavation of House 1 in the ancient settlement, which was resumed in 1981.
(Odysseus, Greek Ministry of Culture)