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Antikythera – Aegilia. An Island “between Persia and Rome”

Antikythera – Aegilia. An Island “between Persia and Rome”

Αris Tsaravopoulos, Archaeologist, Greek Ministry of Culture


A whole fortified city of 150 acres dated from the 4th century to the 1st century BC is preserved on the island of Antikythera. The fortification walls built with the financial support of the Persian Empire in the attempt to organize a counterattack to Alexander the Great’s army, can be seen in all their length, and, in many places, they are preserved up to 9m high. After the disappearance of the Persian Empire and Alexander’s death, Antikythera/Aegilia participated in the piratical activity of the Cretan cities during the Hellenistic period.
The city was destroyed during the last phase of the Roman-Cretan war, pillaged by the Romans as a campaign “against piracy”, in 69-67 BC. The beginning of this war was marked by the well-known “shipwreck” of Antikythera, that was carrying the “Mechanism” and many important sculptures!
The results and the historical conclusions drawn by the ongoing excavation on the island will be presented.
The hypothesis that links the well-known “Antikythera Shipwreck” with the activity of the Antikythera inhabitants and the Cretan – Roman conflict that ended with the final enslavement of Crete to the Romans in 67 BC will also be discussed.