there is no Athenian who has not traveled at least once to Nafplio. Just before arriving at the beautiful town of Argolis prefecture, you meet another one with a long history. It is, of course, about Argos. Many may not stop there, however, its importance goes beyond the Greek borders. This is because, according to the researchers, it is the first city ever created in Europe and continues to be inhabited to this day.
So when were houses first built in the area, what were those features that allowed the creation of dwellings and human societies, and what remains of this ancient city can a visitor see today?
Argos, the oldest city in Europe
According to the archaeologists, the first nuggets of human societies in the area are found 7 thousand years ago. Before, however, it got its current name, the area in which Argos is located was called Foronikon Asty. Outside the city, in fact, one can find what remains of Heraion, which was the first and most important sanctuary of Argolis, dedicated to the goddess Hera.
The importance of Argos is also evident in mythology. It is typical that many ancient tragedies take place – or are at least related in one way or another – to the city, while in the Iliad the king of Argos Diomedes plays a very important role.
The reason, therefore, that according to scientists, this particular area helped to create the first city in Europe, was the fact that it was located between Nemea, Corinth and the Arcadian hinterland. It was, in other words, at a pivotal point for the prehistoric Peloponnese while at the same time favoring the development of human civilization and Lake Lerna, a wetland that has almost disappeared today.
The ancient pyramid and the remains of the city
The city is estimated to have been continuously inhabited from that time until today. Several peoples have passed through the area: the Pelasgians, who are considered the ancestors of the Greeks, the Mycenaeans, the Venetians, the Franks. During the ancient world, the inhabitants of the city were called Argives.
However, the phrase aedos Argeioi which is still used today when one wants to reprimand a group of people for something shameful they said or did, was not only attributed to the inhabitants of the city but to all Greeks. This is because by using the terms Argives and Danaans, one could refer to the entire Achaean army.
So, some of the remains of the ancient history of Argos can be found in the Castle of Argos, the ancient theater and the Pyramid of Argos, for which there is still a mystery about its creators.
So next time you’re in the area, stop by. A walk through the first city ever created in Europe is no small thing.