Περιφερειακή Ενότητα Δράμας

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Historic times

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The so far excavations have not yet illuminated the life and character of ancient settlements in the prefecture of Drama, during the archaic and classical periods. Pottery from the area of ​​the Industrial Zone of Drama and Potami village reveals the contact of the area, as early as the 7th century, with Macedonia coast. From the middle of the 4th century, after the inclusion of the area in the Kingdom of Macedonia by Filippos II (356 BC), the area flourished again under the influence of Filippi and Amfipolis. Thracians - who had been inhabited, since early times in the area, various works, community and fortification ones – acquired Greek characteristics. The recently excavated ancient temple of Dionysus in Aggitis valley belongs to the early Hellenistic period; it is situated 2,5km far from the picturesque village Kali Vrysi.
The site «Little Toumba» - of Kali Vrysi’s community -onto a plateau that dominates the whole beautiful valley is a natural passage at various times, between the mountains Menikio and Falakro. From 1991 to 1995 conducted systematic excavations in this position and revealed rectangular, monumental building with fine masonry, containing cult data local. Dionysus had followers in the area of ​​Kali Vrysi, in ancient times, in the last quarter of the 4th to early 3rd BC century. The worship of Bacchus-Dionysus was prominent in ancient Thrace and the key element of the trance dancers with wine and dancing. In the area of Kali Vrysi, there are sporadic finds of the Roman times, which reveal the lasting worship of Dionysus - during the Roman era - outside the excavation area. Echoes of Dionysian worship are today's traditional events of Kali Vrysi, in early January, as the procession of «Bambugeri», which refers to the procession of «Rural Dionysia». The sanctuary of Kali Vrysi was plundered and destroyed by fire in the early of the 3rd century BC - a time, when the Galatians passed through the area after the battle of Lysimachiae and stopped continuing its existence in Roman and years later .There were found scattered graves in various parts of the prefecture - samples of necropolises of the Hellenistic times. Simple cist graves and burials - cremations were found in the lowlands Kalamona the region of Prosotsani, Mikropoli, Charitomeni, Grammeni, Kalabaki and elsewhere. We do not know enough about the Hellenistic settlements, because investigation did not go further. During Roman times, after the famous battle of Filippi in 42 BC, Antony, who was the first settler of the roman colony, organized the installation of veteran soldiers of the 28th Legion. But the most important was the colonization by Octavian Augustus in 30 BC. Rewarding veterans and giving them plots, he installed them at a wide area in the prefecture of Drama – particularly in valleys, plains and highlands. Thus, according to inscriptions, the boundaries of the Roman colony were spread up to the region of Platania, and were mainly agricultural, in character. It was created an extensive «country» of the Roman colony of Filippi (Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis) with several «villages» and «cottages». We have not counted yet how many villages and farmhouses there were.
Inscriptions, funerary monuments, several findings provide valuable insights into «villages» in different areas of Drama, such as Aggiti’s Springs, Grammeni Kalabaki, Platania, Kefalari, Mikromilia, Kali Vrysi, etc. Within the boundaries of the Roman colony, the most important citadels and fortified «castles», as they are called, fortified positions in the hills. These positions controlled roads and important passes rivers, towards the mainland, mainly around the valleys, such as the citadel of Platania, with traces life from the distant Iron Age (1050-800 BC) to the Late-Christian Era, featuring military occupation and control units, probably to guard the river roads. Other major citadels - «castles» are those of Adriani, Pyrgi, Springs of Aggitis and Xiropotamos, where a section Roman aqueduct was identified and etc. Among the tombs of several areas that are being identified sporadically, we distinguish simple graves, cist burial and monumental buildings. In Roman times, were created new roads and repaired old ones, which usually follow natural passages. The major thoroughfare is Egnatia Road (Via Egnatia) at the end of the second BC century, work of the Roman proconsul Gnaeus Egnatius, who connected Rome with Byzantium (Konstantinoupolis), and passed through the region of Drama. At the same time, there were other roads, which were used to connect the villages together and the villages with the hinterland – however, are hardly detectable today.