The cave of Aggitis river (Maara)
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
The cave of Aggitis river (Maara) is located in the District of Kokkinogeia of the Municipality of Prosotsani, about 25 km to the northwest of the city of Drama. It is one of the most recently excavated caves in Greece and of great natural beauty and geological importance. The cave was formed by the springs of the Aggitis river on the south foot of Mount Falakro.
The first effort to explore the cave was carried out by French speleologists in the late 1970’s, followed by a research conducted by the Hellenic Speleological Society and a study made by the Democritus University of Thrace. Further joint efforts were undertaken by the 18th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities, the council of Kokkinogeia and the Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology and Speleology of the Ministry of Culture.
Exploration has been held in about 4.5 km of the length of the cave that is believed to be approximately 12 km long. It is accessible to a length of 2.5 km, though visitors can see the first 500 m.
The prehistoric stone tools and the animal bones of horses, deer, mammoths and rhinoceros unearthed close to the entrance of the cave confirm that it dates back to the 30,000 BC.
Remains of a settlement from the Neolithic Age (late 3rd Millennium BC) were uncovered in the chamber of the wheel at the left riverbed. In the surrounding area of the cave, at the right riverbed are discerned remnants of a settlement and a Roman cemetery (30 BC – 324 AD) that have not been excavated yet. Remains of the Byzantine fortification are preserved on the top of the hill of the Aggitis springs.
Finds are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Drama.