previous next

PITYOUSSA (Chios) Greece.

So called in ancient times because of its abundant pines, it is an island in the Aegean separated from the W coast of Turkey by a strait 8 km wide. Its earliest inhabitants included the Pelasgi, the Lydians, and the Carians; later it was populated by people coming from the island of Euboia. The capital of the island, also called Chios, is one of the centers that claim to be the birthplace of Homer. The modern city has developed over the ancient one. It is situated in a rich industrial zone which made it a commercial center, as is attested by the first silver stater coins, issued in the late 7th and early 6th c. B.C. with a sphinx as an emblem. It is known that at the end of the 7th c. B.C. the city had a democratic regime. It sided with the Persians after their conquest of Asia Minor, and then fell under their rule. After 477 Chios entered the Delian League, remaining a member until 412, and then entered into the second constitution under the aegis of Athens. The center of the ancient city probably corresponded to the site of the ancient port. Inside the castle there are traces of Roman constructions. A necropolis of the 6th c. has been excavated, as have archaic houses on isolated terraces. The museum houses ceramics and sculpture, the finds from the excavations carried out at Emporio, and architectural fragments and miscellaneous objects dating between the 7th and 4th c. B.C. A ceramics factory, which had first been placed at Naucrati, is now attributed to Chios. The ware is characterized by decoration in black and polychrome on a white ground, and its manufacture flourished towards the end of the 7th c. B.C., when the products were exported all over the Mediterranean. From Pliny (HN 36.11) we know that a family of artists was active at Chios: Melas, Mikkiades, and Archermos, the grandson of Melas and father of Boupalos and Athenis.

Delphinion, a small port situated 15 km N of Chios, served as an Athenian naval base during the Peloponnesian War. The acropolis was destroyed by the Spartans in 412 B.C. It was enclosed by a wall, parts of which have been found, along with several towers. To the NE of the acropolis an artificial platform has been discovered, dating from the end of the 4th c., on which there are the remains of houses datable from the 4th to the 2d c. B.C.

Emporio is located 7 km SE of Phyrgi. The horseshoe-shaped port is open to the SE, and immediately to its N is the hill of the Prophet Elias, 240 m high. The fortified city of the Early Bronze Age was on a small promontory to the S of the port. Later the settlement moved, occupying the whole hill on which the acropolis was located, and a large area around its foot. The city was destroyed and abandoned at the end of the Mycenaean period, ca. 1100 B.C. The pottery shows that the Mycenaean occupation of Emporio goes from Mycenaean III A to Mycenaean III C. Beneath the Mycenaean land, there are six levels that seem to correspond to those at Calcolitico in W Anatolia, and are contemporary with Minoan I in Crete. The neolithic levels seem to belong to the earliest emergence of the neolithic cultural age. In the Classical and Roman periods there was a small city near the port, but in a different location. Between the port and the acropolis there are four successive retaining walls, one above the other; and on the top of this terrace there are rich votive deposits dating from the end of the 8th c. to 600 B.C. On the hill of the Prophet Elias, N of the acropolis, a megaron and a Sanctuary to Athena have been found. The city was probably abandoned in 600 B.C., while the sanctuary was frequented intermittently from the 8th c. The temple was constructed in the middle of the 6th c. and remained in use until the Hellenistic period. It has a rectangular plan, with a portico and a square cella with a base for the cult statue and an altar. It was destroyed and rebuilt in the 4th c. B.C. The votive offerings were scattered on the floor of the cella and heaped behind the altar. They come from three distinct periods: ca. 600, mid 6th to mid 4th c. B.C., and from the period of the reconstruction. The city is outside the acropolis wall to the W. The houses are of the megaron type, oriented to the S, with two columns in the portico, a central door, and three internal columns. Others are without portico, oriented either N or S, and have a square plan. They were abandoned at the end of the 7th c. B.C. Beside the port are the remains of an apsidal sanctuary from mid 5th c. with four Ionic prostyle columns; and the remnants of an earlier 4th c. sanctuary. Hellenistic remains are rare. The construction was oriented to the E, with the entrance before the entrance to the port. The basilica which in part overlays the temple is perhaps Roman, but the other remains are from the 6th and 7th c. A.D., when the basilica became a church with a baptistery. The settlement ended with the arrival of the Arabs in A.D. 665.

Pindakas or New Emporio, whose name perhaps derives from πῖδαξ, meaning fountain or spring, is located to the W. It is a small hill about 1.5 km from the port of Emporio, in the S part of the island of Chios, in a strategic position. A large polygonal wall has been explored which forms two terraces with the remains of houses from the Classic and Hellenistic periods. The finds show that the first period of occupation was not earlier than mid 5th c. B.C., and continued until the end of the 4th c., from which there are the incomplete remains of a building, perhaps a temple. On the lower terrace there are late Roman constructions, abandoned contemporaneously with the houses at the port of Emporio, in the 7th c. A.D.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

M. Foustel de Coulanges, “Mem. sur l'ile de Chio,” ArchMiss (1856) V; G. Gilbert, Griechische Staatsaltertümer (1885) II 115; H. F. Tozer, The Islands of the Aegean (1890) 139; E. Busolt, Griechische Geschichte (1893) I 313; Escher, in Pauly-Wissowa III (1899) 2286-2301, s.v. Chios; Head, Historia Nummorum (1911) 599; K. Regling, Antike Münze als Kunstwerk (1924) I n. 22; H. Price, JHS 44 (1924) pl. 80; D.W.S. Hunt, Arch.Anz. (1930) 144; (1934) 186; (1938) 579; id., “An Arch. Survey of the Classical Antiquities of the Island of Chios . . . March-July 1938,” BSA 41 (1940-45 [1946]) 29; M. Hanfmann, Ionia, Leader or Follower? (1953) LXI 1ff; J. Boardman, BCH 79 (1955) 286; 80 (1956) 326; id., “Delphinion in Chios,” BSA 51 (1956) 41; id., “Excavations at Pindakas in Chios,” BSA 53-54 (1958-59) 295; id., “Underwater Reconnaissance off the Island of Chios, 1954,” BSA 56 (1961) 102; id., Greek Emporio: Excavations in Chios, 1952-55 (1967); W. G. Forrest, “The Inscriptions of South-East Chios, I-II,” BSA 58 (1963) 53; 59 (1964) 32; S. Hood, Arch.Anz. (1964) pp. 216-17; (1968) pp. 95, 97; id., Excavations at Emporio, Chios, 1952-55, Atti VI Congresso Internazionale delle Scienze Preistoriche e Protostoriche II, 1963 (1965), pp. 224.

G. BERMOND MONTANARI

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: