Sites & cities that bear the name of Cichyrus


Today in : Greece
First trace of activity : ca. 14th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 2nd century C.E
Recorded names : Ἐφύρη, Ἐφύρα, Ephyra, Κίχυρος, Kichyros

Description : Cichyrus (Ancient Greek: Κίχυρος, Kichyros), earlier called Ephyra (Ἐφύρα or Ἐφύρη), was the capital of ancient Thesprotia, according to the myth built by the Arcadian leader Thesprotos. Thucydides describes it as situated in the district Elaeatis in Thesprotia, away from the sea. At its site is the famous Necromanteion (Νεκρομαντεῖον, "Oracle of the Dead"). First settled during the Bronze Age and resettled in the 14th century BC by colonists most probably from Chaonia and the west Peloponnese region. The city is about 800 m north of the junction of the Kokytos River with the Acheron, and about 4.5 km east of the bay of Ammoudia. Near it was the outlet into the sea of the Acherusian Lake. Strabo (7.7.5) gives the same information and adds that in his time Ephyra was called Kichyros. The name had been changed from Ephyra back to the more ancient name about 200 years earlier. The Thesprotian Kichyros/Ephyra appears to be the town mentioned in two passages of the Odyssey (i. 259, ii. 328). The Ephyri, mentioned in a passage of the Iliad (xiii. 301), were supposed by Pausanias to be the Thesprotians inhabitants of the town. but Strabo maintained that the poet referred to the Thessalian Ephyra (Strab. ix. p. 442). Some commentators even supposed the Ephyra on the Selleeis to be the Thesprotian town, but Strabo expressly maintains that Homer alludes in these passages to the Eleian town. Pausanias represents Cichyrus as the capital of the ancient kings of Thesprotia, where Theseus and Peirithous were thrown into chains by Aidoneus; and its celebrity in the most ancient times may also be inferred from a passage of Pindar. The remains of the ancient Ephira are near the present Ioannina. In the period between 1958 and 1987, several excavations were conducted by a team from the University of Ioannina that were later expanded between 2006 and 2008. In them, archaeologists found remains of the only Mycenaean acropolis whose existence has been confirmed within the region of Epirus. Two of the three walls of the fortification that were found in the southern part of the acropolis, were built in stone with Cyclopean style in the fourteenth or early thirteenth century BC, while the third is much later, of the Hellenistic period. On the other hand, on a plateau on the western side of the acropolis, three large funerary burial mounds of the 12th century BC have been found.

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