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Xanthi - Archaeological site of Avdira Archaeological site of Avdira
Avdira, the home town of the great Greek philosopher Democritus, is located 25 kilometres away from the city of Xanthi. According to mythology, the city was founded by Hercules himself to honour his battle partner Avdiros, who was killed by the horses of Diomedes. Archaeological findings though suggest that the city was founded in the 7th century BC by Klazomenoi, Ionian citizens from Minor Asia and then the colony was enforced by citizens of the city Teo from Minor Asia as well. The city grew culturally and economically especially after the Persian Wars and has been the most important member of the First Athenian Alliance after Athens, of course. In the years that followed, Avdira were conquered by Trivalloi, Macedonians, Selefkides and Ptolemies. In 170 BC it was conquered by Romans and entered an era of gradual decline. By the end of the ancient times, Avdira was an insignificant city, limited inside the walls of the citadel. During the Byzantine Empire it was moved further north, in a place called Paliochora. The excavations of the ancient city started in 1950 and the reconstruction and preservation of the findings continues to date. The most important things that the visitor will see in the archaeological site is the west side, where there are many Roman houses and the "House of Dolphins", a house of the classical era that has a mosaic of dolphins on the floor. Very close to the port of the city there are also very important findings, such as defensive walls, a temple dedicated to an ancient goddess and a cemetery of the Hellenistic period. The archaeological site of Avdira is open every day during the morning.
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