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PERACHORA (Peiraeum or Peraea) Corinthia, Greece.

A large promontory at the E end of the Corinthian Gulf N of the Isthmus and opposite ancient Corinth. On the summit of Lutraki Mountain, which commands the promontory, are remains of a small Classical building, perhaps a temple. Other sites in the region include Therma (modern Lutraki) where a stone lion now in Copenhagen was found; the Classical fort of Oinoi on the N side of Mt. Gerania; a large ancient cemetery at the modern village of Perachora, the finding-place of a stone lion now in Boston; a small Classical settlement with cemetery at Monasteri; a larger one at Asprocampo with several archaic inscriptions. The most important site in Perachora is Heraion, a fortified town with Sanctuaries of Hera. It has been excavated. Finds are in the National Museum of Athens.

Originally in Megarian hands, the promontory and Heraion were taken over by Corinth ca. 750-725 B.C. Argive imports are prominent in the earliest deposits at Heraion. A flourishing center until the end of the Classical period, Heraion's shrines received vast quantities of rich dedications. In the Corinthian War, 391-390 B.C., Perachora served as grazing land and a supply center of sufficient importance to merit an attack by Agesilaus. Both 4th c. and Hellenistic buildings attest considerable activity at Heraion, but after the Roman sack of 146 B.C. the site almost died out. Only a few Roman houses occupied it.

Near the W end of the promontory is Lake Eschatiotis (modern Vouliagmene) along whose W shore there are remains of an ancient road that Swings W past a 4th c. B.C. fountain-house and through the town of Heraion. Below and N of the fortified acropolis are foundations of archaic and Classical houses. Beyond the town a valley falls off towards the sea, at the E end of which is the Temenos of Hera Limenia, a rectangular enclosure with a temple lacking porch and colonnade and built ca. 750 B.C. Inside the temple was a small altar with four low curbstones, three of which were reused stelai inscribed in the early Corinthian alphabet with dedications to Hera and originally carrying votive spits. This temenos, which produced the greatest deposits of votive objects until ca. 400 B.C., is one of the richest minor sanctuaries in Greece. West of the temenos is a circular pool in which 200 bronze phialai of the 6th c. B.C. were found, probably indicating the presence of an oracle (cf. Strab. 8.380). West of the pool is a large Hellenistic cistern with apsidal ends and a row of stone piers down the center. South of this lies a contemporary building with three large rooms, one of which contains couches.

Bordering the small harbor on the NE is an L-shaped stoa of the late 4th c. B.C. The building had two stories and is the earliest known stoa with an Ionic order standing above a normal Doric. A large, archaic triglyph altar at the Wend of the stoa served the Temple of Hera Akraia. Ionic columns built round the altar ca. 400 B.C. probably supported a canopy. North of the altar are the meager traces of a late 9th c. B.C. Temple of Hera Akraia, the earliest on the site, which survived until ca. 725 B.C. Among the finds in the Geometric deposit were clay models of buildings imported from Argos. To the W is the 6th c. B.C. Temple of Hera Akraia, a long, narrow structure consisting of a simple cella with a Doric porch at the E, and divided longitudinally by two low walls which supported two rows of Doric columns. A cross-wall runs in front of the base for the cult statue. The base is later, as shown by a foundation deposit of the early 4th c. B.C. The roof was of marble tiles decorated with lateral acroteria of flying Nikai. South of the temple is an enclosed court with an L-shaped portico of wooden and stone pillars, which remained in use ca. 540-146 B.C. Built diagonally across it was a Roman house of the 2d c. On the lighthouse rock are cisterns, a Classical house, and a long stretch of Classical fortification wall on the N.


H. Payne & T. J. Dunabin, Perachora I-II (1940, 1962MPI); Dunabin, BSA 46 (1951) 61-71; N.G.L. Hammond, BSA 49 (1954) 93-102M; J. J. Coulton, BSA 59 (1964) 100-131PI; id., 62 (1967) 353-71PI; H. Plommer, BSA 61 (1966) 207-15PI; J. Salmon, BSA 67 (1972) 159-204.


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