Stagira (East part)
Ancient Stagira is located approximately 700 m. N.E. of the current settlement of Olympiada, in a small, beautiful and mountainous peninsula named "Liotopi". The city occupied both of the hills on this peninsula. The position of the city, that is well known to all as the homeland of Aristotles, is identified with certainty so much by the reports of ancient writers, and also by the researches of modern scientists. The ancient testimonies are specific: They insist on a more southernly distance of the city compared to Ancient Acanthus, they report that the city was coastal and most important they refer to a small island opposite Stagira called "Capros" (boar). This named is also given to the harbour of the actual city,
harbour of the actual city, while the local currency of Stagira brought the representation of a boar. This unique indeed islet that exists in the region is the current "Kafkanas", with a size that abstains hardly 1,5 naut. miles from the ancient city. Today it is uninhabited and it gathers all the gulls of the region. From the ruins however that exist there, it appears that it had been occupied from the classic up to the mid-byzantine period. Most characteristic from these ruins are the two big water tanks and a building dating back to the Byzantine years that are situated in the most western tip of the island.
The city was founded in 655 B.C. by Ionian settlers who came from the island of Andros, while a little later Halkidian settlers also came and settled in the city.This is what made the Stagirites become allies with the Persians during the Midikous wars and afterwards, during the Persian wars, they joined the 1st Athenian Alliance, contributing in the common fund. During the Peloponnisian war and particulary in 424 B.C. the city went against the Athenians and fought together with the Spartians. This move angered the Athenians, who hurried to beseige the city, however without result. Later Stagira joined the Halkidean confederation that is to say all the cities of Halkidiki joined up as one, with headquarters in Olynthos.
In 349 B.C. the city was beseiged and succumbed to the king of Macedonia, Philippos the 5th. He completely destroyed the city only to rebuild it again after a few years, in honour of the Great Philosopher Aristotles who had become the schoolteacher of his son, Alexander the Great. It appears however that this destruction by Philippos signaled the beginning of decline for the city, which began continuously to the point that the city, together with the remainder of Macedonia, was subjugated to the Romans in 168 B.C. and by the 1st Cent A.C it was already uninhabited. The geographer Stravos who lived during the years of Christ, marks that at this time Stagira was completely deserted. The next information emanates from an ancient coin from the year 1079 B.C. on which the village "Limpisdia" is written which should be identified with the Medieval settlement that brought the name "Livasdias" and later "Libasda", that existed in the area of "Liotopi". T he information that during the classical period, Stagira also carried the name Orthagoria was given to us, however this is absolutely proven wrong because such an area carrying this name existed near Maronia in Thrace.
In 1990 and before beginning the excavations of ancient Stagira,only the traces of a medieval occupation were visible up on the Northern Hill (mainly the Byzantine walls), while of the ancient city only minimal traces were distinguished, in the dense wooded vegetation. For many years the Community councils of Olympiada had tried hard to convince the Archaeological Service to begin the excavations in the homeland of Aristotles. First a small scaled and only for a few days excavation effort was undertaken in 1968, by the then director of the Thessaloniki museum Mr. F. Petsa. Research took place in two points, near the limits of the city wall area : in the creek of "Sikia", where walls of the classic period were revealed and in the place called "Vina", where a circular tower was discovered. Continuence for this effort was mainly the recovery of a half completed statue, that was pulled out by a private individual in the creek of "Liotopi". More than 20 years needed to pass from that first effort, in order to restart a systematic henceforth excavation in Ancient Stagira. It began in September 1990, with testing and exploratory sections, and the particularly encouraging results of that research created the favourable conditions for the continuation of excavations, which are still being carried out regularly up to today