The settlement was created in 1923, in a location of a temporary agricultural settlement with huts where a dozen of families used to live. When the refuges of St. Kyriaki of Asia Minor arrived here in 1922, those families moved to today’s Stagira. The region is of great historical importance since Ancient Stagira is located at the eastern part of Olympiada, at the area called Liotopi. According to a local tradition the village was named after Olympiada, mother of Alexander the Great, who was exiled by King Kassandros to Ancient Stagira. According to others, she was exiled to the nearby island of Kapros, located 1,5 nautical miles, on the opposite side of Olympiada, currently named Kafkanas. Ancient geographer Stravonas also mentions the island Kapros. According to him, the port of ancient Stagira was also given that name.
Today’s village, built alongside a beautiful beach, stretches in a bay of a natural harbor. It is surrounded by green mountains and magnificent beaches that attract a lot of visitors. Cultural and artistic events take place each summer on St. Kyriaki holiday, among them the one regarding Aristotle, the great philosopher who was born in Ancient Stagira.
EXCAVATIONS IN ANCIENT STAGIRA
Excavations in Ancient Stagira started in 1990, with funds of the European Union and the Ministry of Culture. They were also supported by the Community of Olympiada. For the next 10 years, during summer, the 16th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Thessaloniki, headed by the archaeologist Dr. Kostas Sismanidis, continued the excavations.
Dr. Sismanidis himself, states:
“Only the traces of the medieval inhabitance on the northern hill (the byzantine trenches) were visible before the excavations started in Ancient Stagira. Very few traces of the oldest city of Stagira were distinguished through the dense woody vegetation. A few day, small scale, first attempt to excavate was discovered in 1968 by F. Petsas, director of the Museum of Thessaloniki at that time. Investigations took place in two spots outside the limits of the fortified city: in Sykia bay, where classical period walls were discovered and in Vina position (approximately 1,5 km SE from Ancient Stagira), where a circular tower was discovered. This attempt was caused by the discovery of a kouros statue, recovered by a diver from the Liotopi bay. It took more than 20 years from that first attempt, to begin excavating again in Stagira, systematically. The excavations started with tentative and exploratory incisions in September 1990. The encouraging results of that research created the favorable conditions for the continuation of the excavations”.