Aigeira ( Greek: Αιγείρα ( f sg ), ancient Greek Aigeira Αἴγειρα until the 7th century BC Hyperesia Ὑπερησία ) is a small town in the north of the Peloponnese, with around 1,500 inhabitants ( 2001). The village lies on the Gulf of Corinth in Corinth Akrata between the east and the west Egio.
By 2010 Aigeira was also an independent municipality since 1997 as a township ( dimos ) with around 4,500 inhabitants; since January 1, 2011 this is one of six municipal districts of the newly created municipality Egialia.
The ancient Aigeira, situated east of the present settlement on the hill Palaiokastro, was an important city of the Achaeans. Were already in the 3rd millennium BC down there man. According to Homer, sent the city that still Hyperesia was called in his time, ships in the Trojan War. At least until the year 688 BC was Hyperesia her name. According to legend, Hyperesia was threatened at this time, such as the ancient travel writer Pausanias reported by troops from Sicyon. The outnumbered defenders won yet, by a stratagem the victory. They tied their torches to the horns of goats and rushed them to the enemies who fled in fear. To thank the residents named their city after the goats (Greek Aiges ) - from Hyperesia was Aigeira.
The convenient location gave the city a period of great prosperity. As one of the twelve most important cities of Achaea Aigeira was a member of the Achaean Confederation. According to Pausanias there were in the city, a statue of Zeus and Athena, as well as the Temple of Artemis Agrotera.
The city fell into disuse after the fall of the Roman Empire, probably in the wake of a major earthquake in the 4th century AD According to legend, it was destroyed by a tidal wave. Since the city lies more than 400 m, an earthquake is more likely.
Archaeological investigations of the OEAI
The Austrian Archaeological Institute ( ÖAI ) introduced in 1916 for the first time by excavations in Aigeira. On 31 August 1916, the excavators found under the direction of Otto Walter in a small temple - naiskos - close to the theater the head of the statue of Zeus, which should come from the otherwise unknown Athenian sculptor Euclid, according to Pausanias. Later, the company also found the left arm and a finger of the right hand of the statue. The recorded under William Alzinger again in 1972 excavations came in the naiskos revealed a pebble mosaic. The mosaic depicts an eagle, tearing a snake. This is seen as a further indication that the naiskos could be identified as Zeus of Aigeira. In addition, the theater was fully exposed in the following years. Excavations on the Acropolis populated since Neolithic dwellings with storage spaces and a kiln were unearthed from Mycenaean times. In archaic and early classical period was in the same place a sanctuary, probably for a female deity. The sanctuary was abandoned in Hellenism. In a cistern parts of a spätarchaisch - early classical Tondaches and various votive offerings were found. Tycheion - - In the area of theater that described by Pausanias sanctuary of Tyche was lokaklisiert. Further north, the foundations of two other temples were uncovered under the leadership of Anton Bammer. Since 1998, under the Acropolis, under the direction of Georg Ladstätter a building complex with banquet rooms and bathing facilities, possibly a guest house exposed. New research in Aigeira, particularly in the area of terrain saddle southeast of the Acropolis, dealing with the period of transition from the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.