Dolihi of Mt Olympus: The Giants’ Necropolis


According to a survey conducted by the Greek journalist and author Giorgos Lekakis, whose article was cited in the newspaper Eleftheros Tipos, the ancient  Perrhaebian city, Tripoli was located in a strategic point, connecting Macedonia with Thessaly, such as the current road which links Elassona and Kozani. That is the reason why ancient Dolihi was guarded by three (at least) citadels.

1. Kastri (Paleocastro) which is an ancient citadel, just 4.6 km by the central square of the village.

2. The second was on the hill of St Ilias, with a wall that crowns the hill and that is why the local residents call it “Stefani”.

3. Other relevant ancient citadels are located in Sarantaporo also for the strategic control of this pathway.

This area has designated prominent figures in the past: In Argonauts was Mopsus, a seer and augur. In the Trojan War there was Geneus, the chief of Perrhaebi, the ancient Greek peoples who took part in the Trojan War under Guneus and also fought in the Battle of Thermopylae. And the last prominent figure of the region was Ianiskos, the son of Asclepius.

But after many years of surveys and findings, it is now impossible to hide this area’s most interesting and uncanny secret: the giants’ remains. The most important historical building of Dolihi village is the Church of Metamorphosis Sotiros in the central Square. It is built on an ancient site, where there was a cemetery where giant bones and skeletons were found (Greek Mythology refers to these creatures as “giants”).

Some of the human teeth found in these graves were big and thick “like fingers”, according to the local residents. They also said that in the whole region the locals’ tractors were spotting human bones, huge calves, known as “arides” in Greek. These findings were immediately sent to Volos or Larissa and ever since have been lost. In the late Roman period, in the area of the cemetery a public bath had been built.