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.
The establishment of Amfipoli, at 437 b.c. from Athenians, gradually pushed the financial vigor city of Argilos out of the limelight and finally devastated, at the end of the 3rd century b.c. Another reason for the devastation was the occupation and total destruction of the city by Macedonian King Philip II (357 b.c.) during his expedition in Macedonia and Thrace. After this catastrophe, Argilos never rebuild.
The only part of the city that re-inhabitated was the citadel of Argilos. Marks of life existence of the Hellenistic period have been found in the citadel, where there was excavated a great building of the city.
This impressive building has a square design, with length size of 14 m, big walls and two floors. On the 1st floor lived the master of the house while on the ground floor was found a complete small industry, an oil-press. The building was organized with the Hellenic house template, with an open-air yard at the center surrounded by rooms.
The stairs led to the 1st floor were made out of stones. At the right of the building was found the remains of the oil-press: the Tropio, where the fruit was milled, and two millstones. This is the oldest oil-press facility ever excavated. A copy of it exhibits at the museum of Olive and Oil in Sparta.
At the south sector of the city, spread out from the coast till the citadel hill, many buildings have been excavated. Parts of the paved street witch was leading from the harbor to the citadel have been revealed. Lengthways of this street four buildings have been excavated (individual and public properties) date back at the period from 6th century B.C. till the year of 357 b.c. I
n these buildings the archeologists observed construction phases connected with big historical events such as the Persian expedition of king Xerxes, the Peloponnesian war and Philip’s II expedition. The organization of the draining system of the city is also remarkable.
At the harbor, the excavation revealed building of the 7th century B.C., indications of the first establishments of Greek emigrants in the area. The excavation of the buildings of the south sector helped the archeologists to understand the architecture of the cities in the area of Thrace.
Αlso, to understand how an island colony maintains the architecture and organization of the mother island. The buildings of Argilos put in mind houses of the Aegean topography, and the streets of Argilos reminds typical Aegean island short back streets.