Petra of Kallikatsou
Carved steps, caves, wells for the sacred ceremonies, artificial caves to store the offerings, dark recesses surrounded by the bright blue green color of the sea and the light color of the salt marsh: A rock standing between light and shadow is the second most important archaeological site of the island. According to archaeologist Pavlos Triantafyllidis, stone tools and surface ceramics discovered in the area date back to the Late Bronze Ages (1100 BC).The rocky extremity is called “Petra of Kallikatsou” and was formed according to historic design and architecture as an outdoor temple (from 1600 BC to 4th century AD). The carvings on the rock as well as the cisterns that were necessary for the sacred ceremonies, or the small artificial caves, where the offerings were put, are still preserved. Several researchers believe that it was a temple probably dedicated to Aphrodite, who was worshiped there up until the Christian times, when the carved spaces began to be used as hermitages (7th to 14th century). In the gulf of Petra you can see the remains of an early Christian building.
According to the myth of Kallikatsou, a young woman wanted to go swimming but was forbidden by her mother, because she had just taken communion. When she insisted, her mother told her “go and become a stone”. As soon as the young women walked into the sea, she turned into stone.
Kallikatsou is a name used in many islands for shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), one of the protected species of seabirds in Greece.