New Excavations in Despotikon



nees-anaskafes-sto-despotiko-1-315x236The important excavation that has been going on during the last few years on the little island Despotikon and the islet Tsimindiri, just outside Antiparos, will continue. The excavation is conducted by the 21st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and is directed by archaeologist Giannos Kouragios.

It is a five-year project that has already obtained grants from the Kanellopoulos and Latsis Foundations, and has the approval of the Central Archaeological Council.

This excavation program will enable the discovery of new parts of a significant Archaic sanctuary dedicated to the cult of Apollo and Artemis. The inhabitants of Paros island built this temple on Despotikon as a sign of their predominance in the Aegean.

According to Archaeology News Network, during the excavations the tower and the two rectangular buildings, which haven’t been excavated yet., will also be examined. In addition, the numerous rooms of the southern complex on Despotikon will be examined. The archaeological surveys will also include the five buildings revealed on Tsimindiri.

So far, 12 buildings have been located on the uninhabited islet of Depotikon, which in the past were connected by an isthmus to Despotikon. Among other finds in the sanctuary, archaeologists have as well revealed 20 marble bases of Archaic statues, 65 parts of Kouroi, the head of a Kore, and part of a marble Archaic life-sized Kouros, which was revealed this year on the island.

Archaeologists are also planning a small scale restoration of the sanctuary –namely the elevation of some columns, so that the third dimension of the temple can be recovered, which at some point in the past reached eight meters high. However, before proceeding to any such actions, the Central Archaeological Council should first give them the green light. According to archaeologist Giannos Kouragios, the creation of an archaeological park on Despotikon remains for now unfulfilled, due to the peculiar ownership situation of the islet.


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