Archaeology, Hydrogeology and Geomythology in the Stymphalos Valley

Kevin James Walsh, A.G. Brown, Robert Benjamin Gourley, Robert Scaife

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses the results of recent excavations of the city of Stymphalos and environmental studies on the floor of the Stymphalos polje to examine the role of both the lake and springs in the history of the classical city. Associated with Artemis and famed for Herakles' sixth labour (killing of the Stymphalian birds), the city has a rich (geo)mythology. While this narrative has been associated solely with the lake, it is argued here that this geomythology was part of the city's relationship to environmental unpredictability and the relationship between water supply and water loss. Seen in this context, the construction of the fountain-house above the contemporary lakeshore is symbolic of the importance of springs to the foundation and sustainability of the classical city during both the Greek and Roman Periods. Through these archaeological and environmental analyses, we seek to illustrate the complimentary, but complex nature of archaeological, hydrogeological and palaeoenvironmental data that intersect in the geomythological landscapes of Mediterranean antiquity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science Reports
Early online date3 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2017
EventEAA - Taşkışla, Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 10 Sept 201414 Sept 2014

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© 2017, Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Mediterranean
  • Mediterranean climate

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