Amphipolis - archaeological site
The village of Amphipolis is located in the eastern part of the Greek region of Central Macedonia near the eastern extremity of the Chalkidiki peninsula. The remains of an ancient settlement were uncovered in its proximity - in 437 BC, on the strategic place at the mouth of the Strymon River, the Athenians established one of their colonies, yet based on archaeological research, the locality was populated already in the Neolithic Age. The Greeks used Amphipolis mainly as a port to export timber they extracted in the Thracian forests. Thanks to the rising wealth, the settlement soon became an important power base of the Athenians, and therefore also a frequent target of their adversaries. In 424 BC during the Peloponnesian War, it was conquered by the Spartan commander, Brasidas who defeated the Athenian troops two years afterwards at the Amphipolis gateway when they were trying to recapture the place. However, Brasidas himself died in the battle and he was buried there. The city maintained its independence till 358 BC when it was seized during Macedonian expansion by the king Philip II. Under the rule of Alexander the Great, Amphipolis was an important port city, and after the Macedonian Empire was conquered by the Romans in 138 BC, Amphipolis became the capital of one of the four parts the newly captured Macedonia was divided into by the Romans.
During an archaeological research of the locality at the beginning of the 20th century, fragments of the statue of a lion were discovered that probably belonged to Laomedon’s tomb (Laomedon was a general of Alexander the Great); yet it could also be a part of a monument commemorating some other battle. The lion was reconstructed in 1937 abd nowadays it can be observed close to Amphipolis neat the old railway bridge across the river Strymon.