Ancient Akanthos

Ancient Akanthos is located in the third leg of Halkidiki and 18 km from Ouranoupolis, at the location of the present-day town of Ierissos. Thucydides mentions Akanthos in his books, while Plutarch mentions a mixed colony of Andrians and Chalcedonians founded on the coast of the dragon, in the place of a pre-existing civilization. It experienced great development during the Archaic period around 530 BC, when at least 92 types of coins were issued with the suicidal lion as an emblem. As a free city it was a member of the Athenian and later the Spartan alliance. In 348 BC it was conquered by the Macedonians without being destroyed and was later incorporated into the Uranopolis region.

The new city was founded in the isthmus between the isthmus of Struma and the Gulf of Sighiso by Alexarchus, the brother of Cassander.According to the historian Lovius, around 200 BC Acanthus was besieged by the Romans.The life of Acanthus continued throughout the Byzantine period until modern times.The visitor can admire the ancient city that extends about 600 meters southeast of the settlement of today's Ierissos where there is a part of the acropolis, a Byzantine church and two post-Byzantine churches.Acanthos has not yet been excavated, unlike the necropolis where research began in 1973 and so far more than 600 graves and thousands of small objects have been found, giving us an insight into life in ancient Acanthos.