The bay of Pisses

The road reaches the western shore (10km) at the wide bay of Pi­sses, below the site of Ancient Poieessa (pronounced ‘Pee-ee-essa’). The commanding position of the city can be seen from the beach, looking toward the hill to the south: the acropolis occupied the flat plateau between the church of the Panaghia Sotira (right) at the western end of the hill overlooking the sea, and the low summit where the walls stop to its east (left). The rectangle of walls that descend the slope below, follow the lines of the ancient perimeter walls on the east and west sides; the horizontal line of wall which joins them, however, is recent. The ancient walls would have descended further so as to meet the small harbour at the shore in the south corner of the bay. The few visible surface remains at the acropolis are reached by the path which climbs up to the Panaghia Sotira from the road south out of the bay, after it rounds the headland. In front of the church itself, which is built on the western bastion of the ancient acropolis, the ankle and foot of an ancient statue in Parian marble has been cemented on a masonry post. A mass of rubble shows where the city extended towards the southeast; and the presence of one of the towers in the enceinte of walls is indicated by an ‘aloni’ or threshing circle which has been built into its semicircular perimeter. Poieessa, which was founded in the 6th century bc, was always a relatively small city; by the 4th century bc it lost its independence to Karthaia, but continued to be inhabited as an important agricultural centre for the fertility of its hinterland. The quantity of lead fishing-net plummets found at the site suggests that it lived also from harvesting the sea.

Kea Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.

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