Ancient Thouria Excavation
SUMMER 2019: July 7 – 21
Participation in the excavation of the Ancient city of Thouria near Kalamata in Messenia (Peloponnese, Greece).
A favourite of students from around the world, the Thouria Excavation Program started in 2011 and will be taking place in 2019 for the ninth summer in a row.
Thouria was the Homeric Antheia according to Pausanias or Aipeia according to Strabo. Excavations have revealed an impressive Mycenean necropolis consisting of at least fifteen tholos tombs. Since the eighth century BCΕ, when the Lacedaemonians dominated Messenia, the area acquired the name Thouria and it became the most important “perioikos polis” of western Messenia.
Thouria is mentioned by Thucydides in his account of the dramatic revolt of the Messenian helots against Sparta in 464 BCΕ. The inhabitants of Thouria sided with the helots and suffered the consequences. After the foundation of Messene in 369 BCΕ, Thouria gained its independence from Sparta and in later times, it was given back to the Spartans by Augustus.
The excavations at the Classical-Hellenistic site begun in 2007 by the 38th Ephorate of Pre-historic and Classical Antiquities under the Director of the Ephorate Dr. Xeni Arapogianni. The excavations so far have brought to light significant remains of public and sacred buildings (www.ancientthouriaexcavation.gr).