Not far away from the village of Asprovalta and just 6 klm away from the ancient city of Amfipoli, on the Palaiokastro hill, lies in an area of 150.000 m2 the ancient city of Argilos. Build, as the excavation research confirms, at 655 B.C. by residents came from the island of Andros, composing the oldest colony of Andros in the area. Sani, Akanthos and Stagira were created few years after Argilos.
The purpose of the village was to control the valley of Strymonas, witch was rich in agricultural products, woods and mines and the mountain of Disoros, also rich in mines.
Already from the time of Byzantine Empire Ioustinianos we have a description of the charming valley of Rihios river, the natural carrier overflowed water from lake Volvi to the Strymonikos gulf. At the west entrance of the valley, on the top of the hill was build the Castle of Rentina, with aim to protect the village and to control this important and critical passage.
On the north side of the hill was passing the roman Via Egnatia street following ancient traces of access already known from the wars between Athens and Sparta to conquer the city of Amfipoli and to control the mines of mountain Paggaio. During a stratigraphical cut on the west side of the hill, many tools and objects dated from Neolithic period were found. There were also found, in different areas of the hill, archaic statuettes and potsherds dated from Classic till Roman and early Christian period.
At the area known as Liotopi Routsheli, at the 85th klm of the modern National Road from Thessaloniki to Kavala, about 2 km. to the east of Asprovalta, a building of Late Classical-Early Hellenistic date was excavated during work on laying the modern Egnatia road. An independent, well-designed complex covering a total area of more than 0.35 hectares in the lower foothills of mount Kerdyllia, it enjoys an outstanding panorama of the Strymonikos gulf stretching before it and a commanding view of the narrow plain between the sea and the mountain.
Founded directly on bedrock, it is built for the most part of large unworked stone blocks. At the corners and thresholds, and at points where the walls bind together, these blocks are dressed on one or more sides to create a flatter surface, so as to create a better joint. At several points, the bedrock itself was utilized and its faces slightly dressed to give it the dimensions of the wall, where it is visible above the level of the foundations.
In the village of Vrasna, high on Kerdyllia hills, the visitor of Strymonikos gulf can find a Byzantine tower dated from the beginning of the 15th century. It is located on the courtyard of the church of the Assumption of the Virgin with his south side bordering the north stonework of the temple.
According to a research of 9th Byzantine Research Bureau this fortress had three floors and a shelter. Unfortunately traces of the shelter haven’t been saved. The internal area of the fortress was about 50m2 and the depth of the walls was starting from 2,4m2 on the base and decreased at each of the floors.
The city of Stagira was established at the year of 655 BC, from colonists came from the island of Andros, and some from the city of Chalkida a few years later. After the Persian wars, Stagira became a member of the First Athenian Alliance, contributing the public cash. During the Peloponnesian war, at the year of 424 BC, the city defected from Athenians and entered into alliance with Spartans. That incident made Athenians really angry. That’s why they tried to besiege Stagira with no result.
Some years later, Stagira went over to Chalkidiki’s Public, a confederation of all the cities of Chalkidiki, under the leadership of the city of Olinthos. At 349 BC, the city was besieged and conquered by Macedonian King Philip II. The city was totally destroyed. Some years later, Philip decided to rebuild Stagira honoring the great philosopher Aristotle (Stagira was his birth place). The city never bends around from the destruction and the state of decadence. Geographer Stravon, who lived at the times of Jesus Christ, indicates that Stagira were already abandon.
Part of a country house was excavated about 500 m. to the east of the Vrasna fortress complex. The outer wall was excavated for a length of 38 m., and also two rooms with rubble masonry. Unfortunately, the site was levelled during the 1980s to build a motorcycle racetrack.
It can be concluded from what has survived that it was a building in the type of the ancient Greek house with an internal courtyard, around which were arranged rooms opening on to it From the coins and the small quantity of diagnostic pottery, it is dated from the time of Alexander the Great to about the reign of Antigonos Gonatas.
Part of a building complex with the character of a fortress was excavated in 1992 and 1993. Standing s? a elevation in the ground at Tripimeni Petra, it consists of a fortress building with five sides, which covers an area of about 4,000 m2 and occupies a prominent position from which it can control the entire area as far as the sea, and, of course, the road.
The outer wall of the fortress, which is built of limestone blocks up to a certain height and mud block above it, was roofed with Laconia tiles. The complex has three rectangular towers on the sides from which it was vulnerable, the north, east and northeast. The entrance was in the west side, which had a less pronounced slope and was therefore more accessible to wheeled vehicles. The outer wall on this side is thicker than the others and is reinforced by interior buttresses. On the south side, the fortress was protected by a moat, which is still preserved.
On the southeast side of Dardanelles, right across of the small islands called Prigiponisa, are found coastal villages, known for their natural beauty and the achievements of their residents. Among them are the villages of Kouri, Saint Kiriaki, Tsinari and Katirli. Part of the Nikomidia region since 1912, these four villages along with other four, non-coastal, villages were composing the Gialova Kaza. Katirli was considered the most important village, cause of its population and its wealth and beauty.
The village was build on to a privileged spot cause it was only 18 miles away from Constantinople the capitol of Byzantine empire. Being on the same neighborhood with the capital and the easy access through out the sea contributed the development of trade as well as the cultural and spiritual development. Most residents of Katirli had a second house in Constantinople, mainly in Arnaoukioi witch was used for trade, between other, activities.
At the entrance of Ellispontos, near the ancient city of Troy and only 1 klm away from the ancient city of Ofrinio was build the village of Renkioi, a “village of ruins” in Turkish language. Only 1,5 klm away from the sea, Renkioi was amphitheatrically build, in a bright green area full of oak and pine trees, high on a hill. The village had a healthy climate with heavy winter and cool summer.
From the highest point of the village, could be seen the ancient city of Troy, the Dardanelles, the cities of Lampsakos and Kallipoli, the north Aegean islands and the mountain Athos. The population of the village was about 5.000 people, all of them Greek Christians. The only language used was the Greek language and most specific a local idiom, like the one it is used in the island of Mitilini.