The acropolis of Leivithra is an isolated, fortified hill at the “Kastri” site, delimited by torrents converging into the unified, broad bed of Ziliana. The earliest archaeological finds discovered to this day, indicate a long period of habitation from the 8th to the early 1st century B.C., when the site was destroyed and then abandoned. The destruction may have been caused by an earthquake, but the collapse of the slopes could also denote a violent post-seismic phenomenon related to the shifting of the waters of Olympus, a fact which could have explained the destruction of Leivithra by Sys (Ziliana), as mentioned by Pausanias. The risky choice of the site at the convergence of Upper (Ano) and Lower (Kato) Olympus, where successive ravines (Kanalia) are formed, appears to have been the cause for its destruction but it is also the reason behind the unique beauty of its natural environment.
The fortified hill has a triangular surface and steep, almost vertical slopes except for the N and SE side. Only a few sections have been investigated so far, mostly by trenches, where building remains of Classical and Hellenistic period have been unearthed. The fortification stone wall is visible at the N and W side, where it is reinforced with a rectangular tower, but is mainly not preserved at the rest summit of the hill. The internal buildings have mostly irregular ground plan and are organized with free layout among narrow streets. They preserve stone foundations often at great height, suggesting the existence of second floor. The upper walls were built from mudbricks, the roofs were covered with “laconian” tiles and the floors were usually of trodden earth or occasionally of small rounded pebbles. In the ground floor, there were often storage pointed-bottom pithoi, buried and frequently restored with lead clamps. Many artefacts have been found, as mainly pottery, figurines, loomweights, metal objects and tools, coins etc.
For the time being, the expansion and the ground plan of the city still remain unknown. Surface building foundations and other archaeological finds possibly locate the city to the north and west of the acropolis.
Table ware pottery (bowls)
Moldmade "homeric" cup
Stamped handles of commercial, pointed – base amphorae)
Clay loom weights, spools and spindle whorls
Metal weights, fishing sinkers and hooks
Jewelry (pins, fibulae, bracelets, rings)
Weapons (spear butts, javelins, arrowheads)
A bead from Tibet, that was probably transported to Leivithra by Macedonian veterans
Small marble relief
Written by: Effie Poulaki Pantermali