Assini: the village and the Ancient Acropolis


Assini or Asine (Ασίνη) is a village in the prefecture of Argolida, belonging to the Municipality of Assini, (which includes the villages of Assini, Tolo, Iria, Drepano and Karnazeika). It is 8 km away from the town of Nafplion and 2 km before Ancient Assini. According to the census of 2001 the municipality has 6000 inhabitants, out of which (according to the census of 2001), 1.064 inhabitants live in Assini.

This is the main road of the village, which goes to Ancient Assini and Tolo. Road to the left goes to our house.

The population is mainly rural, cultivating citrus groves (oranges and tangerines), olives, vegetables, mostly artichokes and also people have fishing as their occupation. The past years the village being not far away from the sea and the most tourist developed resort of Tolo, has also developed tourist facilities as well.

Manoussakios Library
Aghia Paraskevi

Before reaching the village, 500 metres on the foothill of Profitis Elias, is the settlement of Aghia Paraskevi, with about 200 inhabitants enjoying a wonderful view of the plain around it.

View of Assini Village from Kastraki
Ancient Assini – known as Kastraki
Kastraki

The Acropolis of ancient Assini (or Asine), today known as Kastraki is a rocky promontory by a natural harbour in the Gulf of Argolis, near the town of Tolo. The promontory is 52 m above sea level; it is 330 m long and 150 m wide. Some have linked the silhouette of the rock to a ship with full sails.

According to Homer, Assini together with other Argive poleis (city states), such as Argos, Tyrinth and Epidavros, took part in the Trojan War with a fleet that consisted of 80 ships and was led by King Diomedes.

The Walls

The earliest traces of settlement on the Acropolis are from the Neolithic period (5th millennium b.C.). The site was subsequently settled during the Early Bronze Age (2600 – 1900 b.C.), during the Middle Bronze Age (1900 – 1550), during the Late Bronze Age (1550 – 1050 b.C.) and again during the historical period to 600 A.D.

Kastraki – The Walls from the Hellenistic period

The fortification walls around the Acropolis can be dated to 300 b.C. They were most likely built by Demetrios Poliorcetes, during his time as King of Macedonia. The main entrance lies in the north, with a side entrance in the east. The Great Bastion on the eastern side of the circuit wall, as well as two smaller towers on the acropolis, was built to resist catapults and other siege machines. The fortifications were added on to at least during the Byzantine (6th – 7th century A.D.) and the second Venetian (1686 – 1715) periods. During the Italian occupation in World War Two (1941 – 1943) trenches and other defense works were constructed on the Acropolis.

Archaeological excavations were conducted by Swedish Archaeologists between 1922 and 1930 in the main settlement on the Acropolis, in the Lower Town and on the Barbouna Hill. From the 1970s onwards, excavations were resumed by the Swedish Institute at Athens and by the 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Nafplion.

A ship wreck of the late Mycenaean period 1200 b.C., carrying cargo from both Crete and Cyprus was located near Cape Iria 14 km to the southeast of Assini at a depth of 28 m. The findings of the wreck such as pots, amphorae, ceramics, a stone anchor etc., are exhibited at the Museum of Spetses.

A terracotta head of the same period, known as the “Lord of Assini”, gave its name to a poem by the Nobel laureate G. Seferis. It was found in a cult room in one of the Late Bronze Age houses in the Lower Town and can be dated to 1200 – 1100 b.C.

Assini flourished again in early historical times, in the 8th century b.C (Late Geometric period). At this time the town had contacts with Athens, as well as the Cyclades and the southern Peloponnese. According to Pausanias, Assini was destroyed by neighbouring Argos, most likely around 700 b.C., as it had taken Sparta’s side in a war between those city states. The inhabitants were forcibly moved to the Assini of Messenia (today’s Koroni).

The settlement at Assini decline for a couple of centuries but the site was never abandoned completely. An Archaic shrine to Apollo (7th – 6th century b.C.) has been located on the top of the Barbouna Hill. However, there are no extant remains.

Houses from the Hellenistic period (3rd – 1st century b.C.) have been found as well as cisterns and olive presses both on the Acropolis and in the Lower Town. Hellenistic burials have also been found in the neighbourhood. The settlement at Assini continued into Roman times. Ruins of baths from this period (5th – 7th century A.D. can be seen in the Lower Town next to the picturesque chapel of Panaghia.

Archaeological Museum of Naflio

The findings from the excavations at Assini are mainly kept in the Nafplion Archaeological Museum. Some of the findings from the excavations of the 1920s are now in Sweden in accordance with an agreement between the Assini Committee of the 1920s and the then Greek Government.

(Source: Information board on site).

View from Castraki

At the Western side of the Promontory a small bay with organized facilities and a taverna.

The town of Tolo
View of Tolo from Kastraki

At the Eastern side of the Promontory

Assini Beach during winter

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Archaeological Museum of Nafplion / Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ναυπλίου


The Archaeological Museum of Nafplion is situated in Syntagma (Constitution) Square, in the centre of the old town. The three storey building was built by the Venetians in 1713 and served as barracks.

Το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ναυπλίου βρίσκεται στην Πλατεία Συντάγματος, στο κέντρο της παλιάς πόλης.  Το τριόροφο κτήριο κτίστηκε από τους Ενετούς το 1713 και χρησίμευε σαν αποθήκες του Ναυτικού.

The ground flour houses the 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquitites, Department of Archaeology of Argolida and the first and second floors houses the Museum.

Στο ισόγειο βρίσκεται ή Δ’ Εφορεία Προϊστορικών και Κλασσικών Αρχαιοτήτων, Αργολίδας και στον πρώτο και δεύτερο όροφο λειτουργεί το Μουσείο.
If you are visiting Nafplion or the region of Argolis, you should not miss a visit to the Museum.

The renovated musuem exhibits 2,000 artifacts that cover a period of 33,000 years, from the Prehistoric to the Neolithic period, Mycenaean period, Classical, Hellenistic to Roman periods from all over the prefecture of Argolid, except Argos, Lerna, Mycenae and the Sanctuary of Asklipios in Epidavros, which are exhibited in their respective local museums.

Εάν επισκεφτείτε το Νομό Αργολίδας, μην παραλείψετε να επισκεφτείτε και το Μουσείο Ναυπλίου.

Στο ανακαινισμένο μουσείο εκτίθενται 2.000 αντικείμενα που καλύπτουν μια περίοδο 33,000 χρόνων, από την προϊστορική εποχή, την παλαιολιθική, τη νεολιθική και την Εποχή του Χαλκού, την Ελληνιστική και Ρωμαϊκή περίοδο από όλο το νομό της Αργολίδος.    Δεν περιλαμβάνεται το Άργος, η Λέρνα, οι Μυκήνες και το Ασκληπιείο Επιδαύρου, τα οποία στεγάζονται σε τοπικά μουσεία.

What you will be seeing in my post is just a fragment of what you will see if you visit the Museum.

Αυτά που θα δείτε στην ανάρτησή μου είναι απλώς ένα μικρό μέρος από τα εκθέματα.

Terracotta Votive Shield (early 7th century b.C.) – Πήλινη Αναθηματική Ασπίδα (αρχές 7ου αιώνα π.Χ.)

Projection of image on one of the shields – Προβολή εικόνων που βρίσκονται στη μία Ασπίδα

Projection of image on jars – Προβολή εικόνων από τα αγγεία.

Terracotta ceremonial masks, 7th century b.C. – Πήλινα τελετουργικά προσωπεία 7ος αι π.Χ.

Paleolithic Period – Παλαιολιθική Περίοδος

Reconstruction of Grave – Αναπαράσταση Τάφου

Jewels – Κοσμήματα

Reconstruction of Houses – Αναπαράσταση Οικιών

Ορθογώνιο τμήμα δαπέδου επιστρωμένου με κονίαμα με παράσταση δελφινιών –

Τίρυνθα Ανάκτορο 13ος αι π.Χ.

Whelk shell, used as scoop – Κοχύλι Κουτάλα

Strainer (450 – 350 b.C.) – Ηθμός (σουρωτήρι) (450 – 350 π.Χ.)

Cooler – Ψυκτήρας

Fruitstand (5800 – 5300 b.C.) – Καρποδόχες (Φρουτοθήκη) (5800 – 5300 π.Χ.)

Griddle tray, tripod cooking pot, tripod griddle tray etc. (5800 – 5300 b.C.) – Μαγειρικά Σκεύη

Ladle (5800 – 5300 b.C.) – Κουτάλα (5800 – 5300 π.Χ.)

Multiple vase, 1450 – 1400 b.C. – Πολλαπλό Αγγείο 1450 – 1400 π.Χ.

Burial Jar, flask, double jug, cups – Διάφορα αγγεία: ταφικός πίθος, κλειστό αγγείο, διπλό αγγείο, κανάτα, κύπελλα

Cups, jugs, pyxis* – Κύπελλα – κανάτες – πυξίδα

*Pyxis (pl. pyxides) vessels with lids used to keep valuable objects, such as jewels etc.

Πυξίδα = δοχεία με καπάκι για να φυλάνε τα πολύτιμα αντικείμενα

Pyxis with horses on lid. Ornaments of an equilateral cross (swastika) was an ornament used in Greek Classical Antiquity. (Found at Assini 750 – 735 b.C.)

Πυξίδα με άλογα στο καπάκι

Pyxis – Πυξίδα

Pythos (2700 – 2200 b.C.) – Πίθος (2700 – 2200 π.Χ)

Alabastron (Chamber tomb 1450 – 1400 b.C.) – Αλάβαστρον (θαλαμωτός τάφος)

Bronze Helmets – Χάλικνα Κράνη

Bronze pin, fishhook, obsidian arrowhead, spoon, tongs, saw, tweezers, knife,daggers, hooks, tools, spearheads, shoulder guard and other tools

Χάλκινα εργαλεία και αντικείμενα

Bronze pyxides – Χάλκινες ΠυξίδεςBronze basin, knife, jug, bowl, mirror – Χάλκινη λεκάνη, χάλκινο ταψί κλπ

Bronze Dagger with silver rivets

Fragments of Silver Cup, painted in the metal inlay technique – Τμήμα αργυρού κυπέλλου  διακοσμημένου με την τεχνική της ζωγραφικής με μέταλλο

Bronze necklace – Χάλκινο περιδέραιο

Bronze armour – Χάλκινη Πανοπλία

The renowned Dendra Panoply (cuirass), the only one of its kind that has been found and dates back to the 15th century BC, featuring a helment made from boar tusks.

Η ξακουστή πανοπλία βρέθηκε στο Μυκηναϊκό Νεκροταφείο Δενδρών (15 αι π.Χ.) και οδοντοφρακτο κράνος και χάλκινες παραγναθίδες.