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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Ancient Kamiros

It was the smallest of the three powerful cities on the island before the city of Rhodes was founded. The legend has it that the city was founded by Kamiros (or Cameirus), son of Cercaphus and grandson of Helios. The first signs of habitation in the wider region date back to the Mycenaean era. After 408 BC (founding year of Rhodes), Kamiros went into decline and it vanished forever in the 2nd century AD, probably due to the earthquake in 155 AD. During the Turkish rule, there were only fields at the location where the archaeological site is found today. The location, however, was called Kabiros, a place name that created suspicions to English and French archaeologists, who began their research. Indeed, after the excavations, which started in 1852 and were completed in 1864, one of the most characteristic cities of the Hellenistic period was once again brought to light. The city had been built over the ruins of an older settlement after the earthquake in 226 BC.

The streets, public buildings, temples and a number of private residences survive. The city had an excellent water supply system, drinking fountains, reservoirs and public baths. At the highest point of the archaeological site stands the acropolis of Kamiros.

The excavations unearthed, among other things, clay pots and plates. One of these, the “Kamiros plate”, with a large fish painted in the centre, is exhibited in the Louvre. The rest of the findings are scattered. Some of them are in the British Museum, while others, such as the stele of Krito and Timarista, are in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. Here the foundations of a temple dedicated to Athena Kamiras were found along with a large Doric stoa. A mosaic of chochlakia (pebbles) was also discovered, thus proving how old this art surviving in Rhodes to this day is.

 

Info

Tel. number: +30 22410 25500, 4th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities

 

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