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Culture Caves Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Rodopi Municipality of Maronia

Neolithic vessels found at the cave of Maroneia
(Photo: D. Triantafyllos 'Ancient Thrace' 1994)

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Cave of Maroneia

Aikaterinh Balla
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
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The archaeological research carried out in the area of Proskynites at Maroneia, north of the “bridge of Platanitis”, revealed a cave that bears signs of habitation from the Neolithic, Bronze and the Early Iron Ages as well as the historic times. According to the excavations, the cave appears to have served as a house in the prehistoric times, while in the Early Iron Age it was probably used as a shelter and as a worship place.

The cave consisting of vertical and hard-to-walk galleries contains numerous stalactites and stalagmites and it was already known to the inhabitants of the region since a long time ago. When Professor G. Bakalakis visited the cave in 1938, he assumed that it was probably the cave that Apollonius Rhodius mentioned in his “Argonautica” as the house of Orpheus in the land of the Ciconians. According to other legends, this site is identified with the Cave of Cyclops Polyphemus who was blinded by Ulysses when the latter intoxicated him with wine from Maroneia. In 1969, a group of speleologists investigated the cave and designed a map in view of its possible development as a tourist destination.

The cave still undergoes archaeological research that is carried out by the Ephorate of Speleology of Northern Greece.