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Travel: Ancient Kamiros, Rhodes

The city was founded by the Dorians, like Ialyssos and Lindos

  • 09/02/2323 18:14
  • 3 min
Travel: Ancient Kamiros, Rhodes

Ancient Kamiros  is called the Greek Pompeii, but this is not entirely accurate. Pompeii, as is known, was covered with a layer of ash from Vesuvius, while Kamiros, abandoned by its inhabitants, was covered with earth.

Traveling here by bus from the city of Rhodes costs 4.20 euros, by taxi 60 euros, car rental 12-45 euros / day (depending on the season)

The city was founded by the Dorians, like Ialyssos and Lindos. However, the discovery of a Mycenaean necropolis near the village of Kalavarda indicates that before the advent of the Dorians, the area was inhabited by the Achaeans. Unlike Lindos, with its glorious maritime traditions, Kamiros was an agricultural settlement. Its main products were olive oil, wine and figs (figs). The city reached a significant prosperity in the VI century BC. The proof of this is the vessels found here, as well as the fact that Kamiros of that time was the first of the Rhodes cities to mint his own coin.

However, with the founding of the city of Rhodes in 408 BC, the inhabitants began to gradually leave Kamiros. Archaeological finds show that in the 4th century BC, a small city remained on this site, which subsequently became completely empty.

For several centuries, the area was overgrown with forest and became known under the name "Kampiros". It was this name that prompted archaeologists to start looking for the ancient city of Kamiros here.

Archaeological finds turned out to be very rich. These were mainly pottery, with which the inhabitants of the ancient city decorated, among other things, their graves. Most of the local finds are exhibited in the British Museum and the Louvre.

At the entrance to the territory of the archaeological reserve, our gaze opens up the Agora market square and the sanctuary of a now unknown deity. To the northwest of this sanctuary are the ruins of a Doric temple from the 3rd century BC, two columns of which have been restored and give us an idea of ​​what the whole temple looked like. Nearby is an almost square platform with three steps. Historians suggest that during the rituals that the priests performed in front of the temple, spectators - the townspeople - could be accommodated on these steps. On the southern part of the square there is the remains of a cistern that contained a supply of water necessary for the needs of the market. In antiquity, the agora was the economic, political and social center of the Greek cities. In front of the Agora of Kamiros stands a row of restored columns.

Heading to the stairs leading to the main street of the city, we find a small semi-circular elevation from which the townspeople could make speeches and make announcements. Behind this elevation is a rectangular platform surrounded by a wall, where altars were located and sacrifices were made to the gods.

At the northern section of the main street, dividing the territory into two parts, there were public baths built in the Roman style. Next to the baths is a water tank. Rising higher, on both sides we see the houses of the townspeople. As you approach the hill of the acropolis, the ascent becomes steeper. The Acropolis is located on a triangular platform, on the very top of a hill, 120 meters above sea level. Almost all of its northern part was occupied by the Great Portico (Stoa) with two rows of Doric columns.

Behind the columns were a series of halls. A large portico was built in the 3rd century BC on top of a huge cistern carved into the soft rock of the acropolis. This cistern contained 600 cubic meters of rainwater flowing from the roofs of the buildings of the acropolis. Through a complex pipeline system, this water was supplied to the city for the needs of the townspeople.

Behind the portico stood the temple of Athena, also built in the 3rd century BC on the site of an older temple destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC. From the acropolis, our gaze opens up an amazing view of the city, the sea, the small islands and the coast of Asia Minor.


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