Ancient Larisa, one of the twelve pities of the Aeolian League, was once one of the most important city centers of Aeolis. The area included the territory extending from Izmir to the Bay of Edremit.
Plan Of Larisa
A – Main Gale
B, C – Temples
D, D – Walls
E. E – Ancient Road
F – Extension of Acropolis
J . Palace
K, L – Fourth Century Walls.
It was located at a principal spot along the main connecting route between Smyrna and Pergamum and is found today some twenty five miles to the north of Izmir at the present Turkish village of Buruncuk.
History Of Larisa
Since there were as many as ten spots on an ancient map of Asia Minor called Larisa, there is some room for doubt as to which Homer referred to when he wrote about the tribe of Pelasglan warriors who lived in Larisa. Most students of the period agree that this Larisa was the one because the Pelasglans were allies of the neighboring Trojans, and evidence proving the existence of Larisa during the time of the Trojan war has been uncovered.
The historian Strabo recorded that the Aeolian Greeks took the city as well as others in the area and brought them under the control of the Aeolian League. The Lydians and, later, the Persians, controlling the area, left the inhabitants of Larisa much to themselves. And it was not until the period of Hellenism that the city lost its independent status. The city was once surrounded by mosslve fortifications, and it is thought to hove-been first occupied around 3000 B.C. Sherds dating to the second millennium B.C. found on the site have beens, traced to the Hittites. It is supposed that Larisa was sacked by the Athenians in 429 B.C. then again overrun by bands of Gauls in theyear 279 B.C. Nothing was heard of the city following this.
Ruins Of Larisa
Extensive excavations have revealed a fortified acropolis at Larisa, on the hill rising some three hundred feet above the village. It is thought that the major fortifications of the citadel were constructed around the middle of the sixth century B.C. and most of the extant Aeolian ruins are from that period. Three distinct periods can be discerned from the building types, however. The only remains of the many buildings that once stood on the acropolis of Larisa are the foundations and some stonework of polygonal design. The most important buildings to be seen include two temples, one of which was dedicated to the goddess Athena, and the royoi palace, A necropolis dating from the sixth century B.C. is found down over the hill to the east containing nearly a hundred tumulus type graves.