Monday, June 30, 2014

Helike, an Ancient Greek City

Helike or Eliki was an ancient Greek city which was located near the Selinus River towards the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth, near the present city of Aeghion. A huge sea wave and an earthquake took place in 373 BC and destroyed the city and the ruins sank under the sea.

Reference is made to the city of Eliki in the Iliad by historians Pausanias, Heridotus, Marcus Aurelius, Siculus and Homer. This city was considered to be the home to the Temple of Elikonian Poseidon as well as a centre for worship for the ancient god of the sea, Poseidon.

After the earthquake had submerged the city together with the people, a huge bronze statue of Poseidon was left standing and is referred as the Lord of Helike in the Iliad.

Pausania writes about Helike who was the daughter of Selinos of Aegialia and was later called Achaia. She had married Ion, the son of King of Athens and a city was named after her by the king.

According to the Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, he relates that before the earthquake, this city was among the first cities of Achaia.

Objects Found – Seashells/Clay/Bronze Money

Researchers have discovered object which may have been from the ancient Greek city of Helike and reports of the finding were disclosed at the meeting in Greece.

The objects discovered were made of clay and a piece of money made of bronze that seemed to be around two thousand four hundred years old which were found after digging near Aeghion on the south-western shore of the Gulf of Corinth.

Besides this, seashells and other remains of sea objects were also found which suggest that the city’s remains were in the sea a long time. The search for Helike city by the scientist went on for twelve years where experts were employed to search the Gulf of Corinth with sound devices.

Archaeologists have been working on the excavations for a long time in an effort to find some traces of the lost city of Eliki and from the remains of the sea objects they believed that Helike must be under land near the coast and over a period of time the land in the area had been lifted.

Magnetic and Radar Devices Used

Some of the researchers tested the material under the land surface and with the use of the magnetic and radar devices they explored for buried wreckage, discovering an area of more than six hundred fifty meters wide which gave evidence that the people had once lived under the surface.

This area seemed to be almost one kilometre from the present shore area and archaeologist are keen on exploring further for evidence of a buried road which could lead them to find the main city of Helike.

Archaeologist are keen on discovering the remains of Helike’s major public building which could help them in discovering what type of life was lead during the most important period in ancient Greek history.

They would also get to know more on the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis and like Helike, Atlantis was said to be a city which had sunk beneath the sea.

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