This paper reconstructs two old, previously undiscovered versions of myths that represent the “barbaric” Amazons in a positive light as immigrants, female ancestors and founding heroines. The paper focuses on the tale of Theseus and Antiope – an especially popular narrative at the end of the 6th c. BC that can be connected with very old cult monuments in Athens. In Ephesos findings from recent excavations in the Temple of Artemis coming from the Early Archaic Period (7th century BC) may likewise have provided reasons for the emergence of an older foundation legend there as well.
Under the influence of the Persian wars and of Athens’ subsequent hegemonic interests these stories lost their function as migration myths serving to establish identity and were eclipsed by Greek-Barbarian duality. This process was so successful because the old spatial references were no longer present.