Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Corinth to Lechaion Walking Paths

Lechaion and Corinth Roads

This summer I had the pleasure of working a couple weeks on an archaeological dig at the Lechaion Harbor Project directed by Paul Scotton and the Corinthian Ephorate. I took the opportunity to do a lot of hiking in the area. I previously reported on the routes Paul might have taken between Corinth and Cenchreae, the Corinthian harbor on the Saronic Gulf to the east. I also am persuaded that Paul probably had occasion to go through Corinth's Lechaion harbor to the north on the Gulf of Corinth. (I provide rationale for this claim in the document I've linked below.)

The document link below is a summary of the routes I investigated. There has been uncertainty about the routes between Corinth and Lechaion. The so-called Lechaion Street that visitors can walk in the Roman forum of Corinth does have evidence of a road that extends straight north toward the harbor. (Green line on graphic above) It ends up somewhat west of the harbor, however, so some have suggested another route further to the east that goes directly there. (Navy blue line on graphic) Because of swampy conditions, a route further to the west (purple) is also possible.

Realizing how much has likely changed over 2000 years, I can only make reasoned guesses, but here is what I think is most probable.

  • There were probably multiple routes between the two sites.
  • There are really only two 'indentations' or cuts in the ridge to get up to Corinth, so it is more likely that roads pass through them.
  • It makes good sense to me that the Lechaion Street route and its extension to the harbor was likely a prominent route. It runs straight on a north-south axis (which Romans liked) and goes through one of the cuts in the ridge passing by the Asklepion and the Waters / Baths of Aphrodite. (Romans would have enjoyed a water feature upon entering a city.)
If anyone is interested in walking any of the routes, I provide background to the area, suggestions for walking, and links to further information. The document is 18 pages long, but you may enjoy simply checking out my pictures at the end!

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