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The civic and religious center of the ancient Attic deme of Ikarion came to light at the end of the nineteenth century in the excavations carried out by the American School of Classical Studies, west of the citadel of Rapentosa in the municipality of Dionysos. The demos (village or town) of Ikarion belonged to the phyle of Aegeis and was named after the local hero Ikarios. According to the myth, Ikarios offered hospitality to the god Dionysos here, so Dionysos taught him the cultivation of the grapevine and wine-making. The first tragic poet Thespis, who created the basis of ancient tragedy in the 6th century B.C. when he introduced into the ancient dithyramb (hymn of celebration for Dionysos) the first actor and the use of masks, came from Ikarion.