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NAUPLIA Argolid, Greece.

The name derives from the legends associated with the original Nauplius of tradition, son of Amymone and Poseidon. The two imposing rocks of the peninsula, Its Kale and Palamedi, face one another across an inner bay of the Gulf of Argolis. The town is on the flat N side of the harbor, with N-S streets which climb by steps to the higher S level. Pronoia is on the E land side of the strong fortress of Palamedi which can now be approached by a motor road, though formerly only by steps (857).

Archaeology: The Classical acropolis was presumably on Its Kale. Blocks from the original walls, ca. 300 B.C., the earliest now visible, some polygonal, have been reused in later fortifications and there are traces of cuttings and steps. The earliest excavations in the Pronoia area revealed Mycenaean chamber tombs and recently work there has added rich examples. In the 1950's Geometric finds outnumbered Mycenaean. In 1970-71 excavations in the area produced evidence of Neolithic and of Early and Middle Helladic occupation. The presence of cavernous holes seems to confirm Strabo's reference to a “man-made labyrinth” and “caves.” Continued excavation here may well prove this region to have been an important center of the EH period.

History and Chronology: Nauplia was a member of the Kalaurian Maritime League, but in the 7th c. B.C. was conquered by Argos, its natural rival. Its succeeding history, disturbed by conflicts, is meager. It includes a transference of population during the Messenian Wars; Pausanias found the site deserted.


Paus. 11.38; Strab. 369.373; R. & K. Cook, Southern Greece (1968); Archaeological Reports in BSA (1971) 11; Deilaki in AAA 1 (1971) 10-11; H. Wace, Nauplia, 3d ed. (1971); id., EAA, s.v. Nauplia (q.v. for bibliography).


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