The Dwarf Elefants of Tilos
Tilos is a gem of the Dodecanese islands, rich in both culture and natural beauty, and its breathtaking views represent much of its charm. From peculiar wildlife and spectacular flowers to magnificent historic villages and pure-white secluded beaches, there’s absolutely nothing you can’t find off the dazzling little island.
If you’re searching for an adventure on a lost island, how about a peak at the fossilized bones of dwarf elephants? For those interested into the island’s past, they will trully fascinate you.
On the left hand side of the road to Megalo Horio is the Harkadio Cave where the remains of dwarf elephants were discovered in 1971. The cave is not open to the public as excavations are still not completed. In this cave also neolithic ceramics and tools made of stone have been found, just as deer bones from a much older date than the bones of the elephants (about 140.000 BC).
However, the view from outside the cave is wonderful and underneath is a small amphitheatre which is host to concerts during the summer months. Nearby the entrance, you will see the construction of a new museum which will eventually contain the finds inside the cave.
The town hall at Megalo Chorio houses a small Museum with the fossilized bones of the Dwarf Elephant that used to live on the island from about 50.000 years ago and spend its summers here. These dwarf elephants lived on the island until about 4000 BC.
The bones of thousands of elephants have been found in the cave and this discovery was one of the first to establish the existence of elephants in Europe.