2027 – Are parts of the Xerxes Canal still visible?

Aerial view of the location of the Xerxes Canal by Google Maps where I marked the probable beginning (Xerxes with his fleet came from the East) and the ending of the canal near Tripiti. Roughly the course of the canal is identical to the road Ierissos (Nea Roda) – Agios Oros (Ouranoupolis).This map from a scientific article about the location of the canal shows that the beginning of the canal could be left and right from the Nea Roda Graveyard. Scientists dug for evidence in 1991 and 2000.

This map from 1883 is an impression of the canal where there are some swampy parts are to be seen. On the left,  a winding river,  coming from the direction of Ierissos and also visible on Google maps.When I was in Nea Roda in the summer of 2018 I searched in vain for a sign or explanation of the exact location of the canal. But instead I found this stream on the beach. Directly left of the stream, not visible on the photo, is the Nea Roda Graveyard. So according to the scientific map this could well be the right spot of the beginning of the canal.

The ending of the canal is somewhere around the Tripiti harbour where the ferry to Amouliani Island is located. Also the berths of some Mount Athos taxi boats and ferries.So the conclusion is that there is not much to be seen of the Xerxes Canal nowadays except the stream next to the graveyard. If you want so see a real canal which divides a peninsula you have to travel to Cassandra, the first of the three Chalkidiki peninsulas, the canal at Nea Potidea.

Herman Voogd

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