Archaeological Sites

Ancient Kamiros


The lost & found ancient City

Just 1 km (0.62 mi) from the pebbled shore of the wet coast lies the tranquil and beautiful site of Ancient Kamiros. Discovered in 1859, this Doric city thrived during the 5th century BC. It suffered two large earthquakes, one in 226 BC and one in 142 BC, yet remains one of the best-preserved Classical Greek cities. History lovers will be in awe here!Ancient Kamiros

Kamiros was the smallest city in ancient Rhodes (next to Ialysos and Lindos) and dominated the central-western part of the island. It was the leading commercial center from the Archaic to Hellenistic period. According to a legend, it is named after one grandson of the nymph Rhodes and Helios (Pindar, Olympian VII, 69-76). Kamiros economy was primarily based on agriculture, and the main produce was figs, oil, and wine. Thus, the need to store and transport its surplus produce was the stimulus for the vigorous local ceramic industry. Significant finds from the area today can be seen at the British Museum and the Louvre, while few are found at the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.Ancient Kamiros

The archaeological site offers a complete picture of the small ancient city. Every part of the city is visible from every other – the civic and commercial area (the Agora) is situated at the entrance; the most important religious and administrative buildings are at the crown of the hill (the sanctuary of Athena); and the residential area is laid out between the two in such a way as to give a sense of security to its inhabitants. Almost all the ancient city has survived in an exceptional state of repair, and today you can explore the city and envision what it looked like.Ancient Kamiros


The Agora is the first place you see once you enter the archaeological site. It is situated at the lowest part of the city and used to be the commercial and civic center that citizens would use as a gathering place. This place was bounded by several sacred buildings. One of the most important is the temple dedicated to Pythian Apollo. The busiest part of the city was Fountain Square. You can admire the many bases for votive statues surrounding the square, which have beautifully clear inscriptions. The square was centered by a fountain and a reservoir. The only part left of the fountain is the colonnade that separates the altar from the square. At this part of the sanctuary may have taken place meetings of the local officials.Ancient Kamiros

Residential Area

The main settlement lies in the middle of the city, crossed by a wide 206 m (675 ft) long central walkway. The city was built according to the Hippodamian system – a grid of paralel streets and residential blocks of the same size. The main characteristic feature of the houses is the “atrium,” the interior courtyard surrounded by columns. The houses were decorated with mosaic floors and facades with architraves. A truly fascinating discovery is the public baths with separate hot and cold rooms and “hypocausts” installed beneath the floor to heat the rooms.Ancient Kamiros

The Acropolis

The Acropolis of the city is situated at the highest level. It is a broad area composed of the Temple of Athena Kameiras, Hellenistic stoa, and a huge Archaic cistern that could hold water for approx 300-400 families. The oldest finds from the archaeological site come from this location. Unfortunately, only the foundations of the Acropolis have been preserved. It is also probable that much of the site is still to be uncovered. No theatre has yet been located, nor any fortification walls. The latest archaeological excavations date back to Italian times (from 1928-1943). The Italian Archaeological school also carried out extensive restoration works intending to create an important visitor archaeological attraction. In many cases, however, the result is said to be hurried and makes it difficult to distinguish between ancient pieces and reconstructed parts. Nevertheless, Ancient Kamiros deserved to be included in the must-see list and will undoubtedly be a memorable experience!Kamiros


Are you excited to visit Kamiros? Let us know in the comments below, and we will be very happy to learn about your experience!

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