The valley of Lake Stymphalos lies about 600 metres above sea level on the northeastern frontier of ancient Arcadia in the present nome of the Corinthia. Since 1982 the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens have been investigating the site of ancient Stymphalos on the north shore of the lake. Initial survey seasons provided plans of visible remains as well as a geophysical map of much of the site based on resistivity measurements that allowed a view of buried roads and buildings over some 35,000 square metres. In places even the metre wide drainage ditches down the sides of the roads were visible. The city turned out to have been laid out on a grid plan with six metre wide roads running north-south every thirty metres intersecting major east-west avenues at intervals over a hundred metres. In 1994 we began excavations that have continued annually and that have expanded to include four sites in and to the north of the city. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada with a permit issued by the Department of Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture of Greece.
Little is known about Stymphalos apart from a handful of references in various authors from Pindar (who mentions an Olympic victor) to Pausanias (in whose time the city seems to have been largely abandoned). The excavations of Anastasios Orlandos from 1924-30 were only published in summary fashion and various visitors to the site from the early 19th on left little useful information in their accounts. Indeed had it not been for the fame of Herakles’ sixth labour, the slaying of the Stymphalian birds, the site would be hardly known at all.
The Stymphalos Project owes its existence to the generous financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and to the generosity of the 4th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Nafplion and the Archaeological Council of the Ministry of Culture which approved our permit.
The excavation has been directed by Hector Williams of the University of British Columbia throughout its duration. The original website was created by Ben Gourley who can be reached at email@example.com