The Port in the Urban System of Sicilian Naxos (5th c. BC)

Maria Costanza Lentini, David Blackman, Jari Pakkanen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The precise location of the port of Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily (734 BC), was long unknown due to the significant change in the ancient coastline. The recent discovery of the city’s Classical shipsheds (neoria) is crucial in this regard: the port basin was located in the south-west sector of the bay and an outline of the spatial and functional relationships between the harbour and the city plan is now feasible. It is also possible to reconstruct the basic features of the city’s ancient landscape, where the bay must have played a central role—and perhaps this reconstruction will also assist us in locating the site of the altar of Apollo Archegetes. Further research will include locating the commercial harbour and studying its relationship with the city and the agora.
The neoria block (most likely c. 28 m x 55 m) lies in the northern part of the city, on the lower slopes of the Larunchi Hill, and its orientation is slightly different from the 5th-century orthogonal urban grid. The excavations have shown that the shipsheds were inside the city walls and, furthermore, were very close to the agora which occupied the upper terrace, dominating the bay and the port. Such proximity could be an indicator of the relative importance of the military fleet for ancient Naxos. For those coming from the sea Naxos displayed the shipsheds as an indication of its wealth and power, following the example known from other Greek poleis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Ports. The Geography of Connections
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of an International Conference at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, 23–25 September 2010
EditorsK. Höghammar, Brita Alroth, A. Lindhagen
Place of PublicationUppsala
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameBoreas. Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations
PublisherUppsala Universitet

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