Until now, the city’s location has only been known from ancient texts. Although archaeologists had a rough idea of where it was, they had no tangible proof.
According to the Greek Culture Ministry, an excavation which began in 2013 near the modern-day village of Hiliomodi 60km southwest of Athens has finally produced hard evidence of the city’s existence.
Lead archaeologist Elena Korka told the Associated Press that her team had only been digging the cemeteries around Tenea until now, but this year began work on the city itself.
So far, her team has uncovered the remains of a housing settlement, jewellery, household pottery, several burials, and coins dating from 400 BC to late Roman times.
Carefully-constructed walls as well as clay, stone and marble floors were uncovered, and around 200 rare coins, including one designed to pay for the journey to an afterlife, were also found.
Seven graves – including one containing the remains of a woman and child – were unearthed, adorned with vases and jewellery.
Lead archaeologist Elena Korka said that the discoveries suggest that the citizens of Tenea had been “remarkably affluent”.
She said the city would have been located on a key trade route between the main cities of Corinth and Argos in the northern Peloponnese, and that the city “had distinctive pottery shapes with eastern influences, maintained contacts with both east and west… and had its own thinking, which, to the extent that it could, shaped its own policies”.
Little is known about Tenea, but legend has it that it was founded by Trojans who had been captured by King Agamemnon of Mycenae during his war with Troy in the 1200-1300 BC.
The city is thought to have flourished during the Roman era but may have been abandoned by 400 AD.
Korka said more details about the city will emerge as excavations continue over the coming years.
DigVentures crowdfunds archaeological projects that everyone can be part of, in the UK and overseas. With help from people all over the world, we investigate the past and publish our discoveries online for free. Become a DigVentures Subscriber and be part of great archaeology - all year round!Subscribe