It was the colony of the city of Andros, which was built around 650 BC, one of the biggest and wealthiest colonies in Halkidiki and the most powerful harbour of the region, with its own monetary unit (one of the most beautiful of its time). Its inhabitants joined forces with the Persian Army, then the Athenians and finally the Spartans. In 199 BC the Romans plundered the town, divided it in smaller properties and gave them to the legionnaires. At a certain point the Romans were the only inhabitants of the area. They named the town Ericius (Erissos). The name later became Ierissos.
The ancient town Akanthos was built on the hills, covering an area of 140 acres. The ruins, that the visitor can see, are traces of the town's walls and houses. A public building with two wells, both with marble openings, was excavated in the middle of the settlement. The excavation works in the area started almost 25 years ago at the town's cemetery. Today, the village of Ierissos is built right on top of it. More than 9.000 tombs from the Hellenistic and Classic Time were excavated. Most findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Polygyros.