Archaeological Excavation of Neo Rysio-Kardia – The Settlement

The site “Trapeza of Neo Rysio-Kardia” is located on a mound with flattened surface (trapeza) in the northern end of ancient Kroussis and to the south of the Anthemous valley, close to the modern-day villages of Neo Rysio and Kardia, and near the airport of Thessaloniki. There, the remains of an ancient settlement that pre-existed the founding of Thessaloniki (316/5 BC) were discovered. This settlement was founded on a prominent location that oversees almost the whole valley of Anthemous, the Thermaic Gulf, as well as Mt. Kissos (modern Chortiatis).

During the first season (2016), research was concentrated on surveying the site and cleaning the surrounding wall of its upper terrace. During the next three seasons (2017-2019), the research team dug trial trenches that brought to light parts of buildings and streets. These finds offer valuable information regarding the plan of the settlement, which was mainly inhabited throughout the Early Iron Age and the Archaic periods (11th/10th-6th centuries BC).

The site “Trapeza of Neo Rysio-Kardia” belongs to a dense group of settlements that existed along the Thermaic Gulf before the conquest of this region by the Macedonians in the 6th century BC. In the dig site several rectangular and trapezoid buildings with several rooms came to light, built with walls whose lower parts were made of stone and the upper parts were made of clay mudbrick. Probably the roofs consisted of wooden planks and reeds. Inside the rooms pits were unearthed, as well as stone and clay constructions used for everyday activities. Between the buildings, the vertical and horizontal roads that were unearthed give an indicative image of the settlement’s urban planning even from the Early Iron Age.

Excavation over the past years brought to light highly interesting archaeological finds (pottery, stone and metal tools, spindle whorls and loom weights, bones and sea-shells). Each year, students also have the opportunity to practice at the cleaning, storing, inventorying and photographing of the excavated material. In the conservation laboratory of the International Hellenic University fragmented vases are mended, and archaeological material is conserved by an experienced team of conservators and by our students.

View of the valley of Anthemous from the site

Aerial view of the site

Ancient roads and buildings

Ancient roads and buildings

Orthophoto map of the site

Plan of the excavation. Detail from the central part of the settlement

Plan of the excavation

The site and its environs from Google maps

View of Mt. Chortiatis and the valley of Anthemous from the site

View of the Thermaic Gulf and Neo Rysio from the site