Ancient Toroni – Lykithos castle
Toroni is in the southwest edge of the peninsula. The port of Toroni is located eastern of Lykithos, the small cape that is on the 13 metre high above the surface of the sea, in the north of the ancient town.
The most important excavations happened in 1975. The town was colonised by Chalcidis in the end of 8th century BC. In 480 BC it helped by force Xerxes in his campaign against South Greece. After the “Midika” it accessed in the First Athenian Alliance. It rebelled in 424 BC and accessed in Vrasidas, the Spartan leader, but during the Peloponnesian war it was the apple of discord between the Athenians and Lakedemonians, that’s why Thoukididis often memorises it.
In 348 BC it was conquered by Phillipos the Second of Macedonia. In 168 BC, after the battle of Pidna and the catalysis of the Macedonian Kingdom, it was occupied by the Romans. The ancient city was one of the biggest and richest in Khalkidhiki.
During the first Byzantine period the town shrunk. In 14th century AD its general space, has already constituted a monastery accessory of Agion Oros.
During the classical period, the city had 2 acropolis one in the south, in its highest part almost and another one in Lykithos, in the little fortified peninsula near the port. Lykithos was fortified in the Roman and Byzantine years.
The fortifications of the towns-tower up to a height and walls- are saved in a god condition and until the end of the last century, so the material was used as paving blocks in order to construct the roads of Konstantinoupolis and Thessaloniki. Today some traces are seen from their foundations.
Prehistoric Settlement in Vetrino
The first residents resided the area of Vetrino in about 5000 BC. Today the fortifications are saved in the Acropolis and the Ancient settlement. During 2000 BC a rise in the local population is noticed and it is obvious by the creation of neighbouring settlements, like in the areas Mitari, Karidi of Vourvourou and the island of Diaporos. From Vetrino someone can admire a unique view the whole area from Toroneos to Sigitikos gulf.
In Pyrgos of Agios Nikolaos a prehistorical settlement was developed on a small rocky peninsula, similarly to Lykithos in Toroni. The settlement was developed in the classic years in a city, which probably was Ancient Siggos, from which Sigitikos gulf took its name. Siggos was a colony of Chalcidis. It is mentioned by Herodotus among the cities that were recruited by Xerxes. After “Midika” it became a member of the Athenian Alliance. The residents took part in the settlement of Olynthos, after however the Nikia peace (421BC) returned and settled again in their homeland. From draft archaeological observations it results that the town existed in the Hellenistic years. Today from the ancient city the revetments of cargo operations in the North coast of the peninsula are well discerned.
In the 14th century the monastery of Agios Nikolaos Hrisokamaros was built in the peninsula which constitutes a monastery dependency of the monastery “Ksenofon”. Form the building group the tower in a ruined condition is saved (from which the area took its name) and the foundations of the cells on the peak line of the peninsula
Prehistoric Tomb in Kriaritsi
In the area of Kriaritsi in Sykia, a prehistoric tomb was uncovered. It is timed since the end of the middle to the ex post phase of the Early Copper era (2.300-1.900 BC approximately). The technical hill covered 30 tombs with round yards, each of which contained pots with the ashes of the dead. The importance of the finding lies in its uniqueness for the area of Macedonia, as it enriches our knowledge for the tomb habits and the construction methods of the tombs during the Copper era.
Prehistoric settlement in the position “Koykos”
In the west of Sykia there is the hill of Koukos. It is a steep, rocky and high hill, which dominates in Sykia and its area. The headland of the peak is surrounded by the castle, where there was an important prehistoric settlement. The excavations form the archaeologists showed that the area is inhabited since the 11th century and the habitation is possibly due to the rich sources of copper which they started to get use of since the middle of the copper era.
Old Christian temple in the area of Agios Georgios in Nikiti The temple came to light by the excavations that started in 1981a few metres west by the modern day chapel of Agios Georgios near the beach of Nikiti. The temple is timed since the first half of the 5th century AD and is one of the most ancient old Christian temples that were found in the area of Macedonia. It is about a basilica with three aisles with a wooden roof with a total length of 48m. In a sign found during the excavation the name Sofronios is mentioned as a bishop of the area. So the temple was called Sofronios Basilica.
The technically excellent decoration of the temple, the floor mosaic as well as the findings of the nearby cemetery, where two domed tombs were found, reinforce the idea that there were important people in the area that could give money for the construction of the temple.
The evidence we have showed that the temple was destroyed by a fire during the 6th century AD. On the other hand, the ancient findings in the nearby area of the settlement seem not to be newer than the 6th century. Approximately the same periods the neighbouring settlement of Elia must have been destroyed. So, someone can come to the conclusion that the settlement as well as the temple was destroyed by raid of barbaric tribes which were frequent that time in the area of Khalkidhiki and Macedonia generally. Another theory supports that the temple was destroyed by an earthquake.
Old Christian Basilica Agios Georgios
The chapel of Agios Georgios is built on middle aisle of the old Christian Basilica church of the 5th century AD, with dimensions 14*12.5 metres, which probably was destroyed in the 6th century AD together with the most important settlement of the time.
The settlement begun to appear in the Hellenistic years (3rd-2nd century BC) and to grow in rapid pace on the hill north of Agios Georgios. A sign found in 1963 in the wall of Agios Georgios chapel important information. According to the text, Iraklidis and Menipos, children of a Fanaios, dedicated something to Dioskouroi and Manta who listened to their request.
The old Christian basilica on which the chapel is now built, according to the findings of the excavation in 1971 we see today, was a beautiful church which was separated in three aisles, with three pairs of marble columns and had a marble detailed worked temple. Southeast of the temple spread the cemetery of the settlement, in which 2 big, built, domed tombs were found. Wirth the excavations in 1979 a roman bath was also uncovered which was maybe used as a baptism bath too.
Old Christian Temple of Agios Athanasios
In the area of Toroni there is the old Christian temple of Agios Athanasios. It was built on the 5th century and is a basilica with three aisles. It was destroyed by a fire in the 6th century and on its traces another temple was built which was also destroyed. Today the mosaic of the middle column is saved in a good condition.