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Ancient Samia (Kato Samiko)
(38.15 km – approx. 35 mins from Katakolon)
The acropolis of ancient Samia (Kato Samiko) is probably located on the westernmost offshoot of the Eleian mountain Minthe, called Lapitha. The acropolis was founded at the end of the 5th century BC and was inhabited until the Roman period. During the 2nd century AD, the traveler Pausanias saw it destroyed.
Its walls, which have the form of an irregular trapezium and constitute a typical example of pseudo-polygonal masonry, have a length of 1500 metres. Four small gates are set in the walls, while large rectangular towers are located on their outer side (max. preserved height: approx. 5m).
The remains of many buildings can be found inside the acropolis. In recent times a large oblong construction, whose roof was supported by columns, has been discovered. This was probably a public building. There are also several large cisterns for water supply.
This site is considered as one of the most important cities of ancient Triphylia. Samia occupied an important strategic position because it controlled the narrow coastal passage from Eleia towards Triphylia and Messenia. It took actively part in the struggle of the Triphylian cities for independence from the domination of the Eleians. In 244 BC, however, the Aitolian Polysperchon occupied the city and used it as a base of operations, in order to separate the Triphylian cities from the Arcadians and to concede them to his allies, the Eleians.
Systematic works at the acropolis were conducted during 2002-2003 by the 7th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Atiquities.
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