Photike is located in the northern part of the Kokytos valley, close to modern Paramythia in Thesprotia. It was a Roman colonial town, probably founded during the reign of Augustus, which later developed into a Medieval bishopric see. Our knowledge of Photike has until now been based on Roman inscriptions and some Early Christian and Middle Byzantine church ruins which have been partly excavated.
Since 2019 the Ephorate of Antiquities of Thesprotia under Drs. Yannis Chouliaras and Georgia Pliakou directs together with Dr. Björn Forsén of the Finnish Institute at Athens/University of Helsinki a project with the aim of throwing new light on Photike. With the help of a surface survey and geophysical prospection the borders of the urban area and the possible stretch of main roads have been localised. Late in summer 2021 the excavation of one of the newly found building structures began.
The excavation revealed ruins of Roman buildings and graves, with the most conspicuous architectural feature being a room heated by a hypocaust system, that is, a kind of central heating that produces and circulates hot air below the floor. The excavation produced finds stretching in date from the third century BC until the sixth centuries AD. The early finds indicate that there must have existed a Hellenistic settlement at this place before colonists were transferred there by the Romans.
The most interesting find of the excavation was a series of first century BC roof tiles stamped with the name of Quintus Lucienus. He was a Roman senator and one of the synepirotae, that is, early Roman large landowners in Epirus occurring in Marcus Terentius Varro's famous handbook on agriculture, De re rustica. This is the first time when Quintus Lucienus occurs in an inscription found in Epirus. What more the stamps indicate that these tiles were produced on land belonging to Lucienus, most likely located somewhere close to Photike before it became a Roman colonial town.
The first years of the archaeological project on ancient Photike have thus shed light not only on the Roman town, but also revealed that the site was settled already before the arrival of the Romans.
Olive Tree Routes
Greece You Will Want To Stay Forever
Greece Does Have a Winter
Greece at the International Art Exhibition of Venice Biennale
The Restoration of the Acropolis
Conference on the Future of Europe
The return of the Parthenon Marbles
Archaeological Museums & Collections in Greece
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Archaeological Resources Fund