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The Ancient City of Kamiros

Kamiros, the smallest of the three ancient cities forming the Rodian state, is in the west part of the island. More isolated and conservative than commercial Lindos and aristocratic Ialysos, it retained its rural character throughout antiquity. 
Homer describes it as 'arginoeis', a reference to its fertile, argillaceous soil. The earliest traces of occupation in the broader area of Kamiros, the Kamiros, go back to Mycenaean times, as is demonstrated by the cemetery discovered at the village of Kalavarda . Geometric and Archaic Kamiros are known manly from cemeteries, located around the ancient city. The cemetery at Makry Langoni has yielded the stele of Krito and Timarista, a famous piece of Classical sculpture, now on display in the Rodos Museum

In the area of the archaeological site that is open to visitors are preserved the ruins of the Hellenistic city of Kamiros, which was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 226 BC. There had been a settlement on this same site from as early as the archaic period. The city is a characteristic example of Hellenistic urban layout and design, with its division into zones of pubic and private buildings, its arrangement around the natural slopes of the hill, and its chess-board system of streets, Kamiros was divided into three unequal parts: the lowest level which ch formed a kind of agora, with a religious character, a zone with private dwellings on the side of the hill, the acropolis on the summit. At the north-west edge of the Agora Square stand the restored columns of a Doric temple, with two columns in antis, which date from the late 3rd-early 2nd c. BC. It was possibly dedicated to the god Apollo. 

To the east of the temple is the so-called Fountain Square, a rectangular open area with a large number of inscribed votive bases. The fountain was on the south side of the square. Its facade consisted of 6 Doric half-columns, now restored, inked by stone closure slabs. Immediately behind this was an open cistern containing water, which gushed from water-spouts. The fountain was built in late Classical times and modified at the beginning of the 3rd c, BC, when a second, smaller square was laid out on the site, with a well at the centre. Opposite Fountain Square is preserved a Hellenistic sanctuary dedicated to the gods and heroes of Kamiros, with altars within an enclosure. This was probably the Hierothyteion of Kamiros, known from inscriptions. 

The ruins of the houses of the city are arranged on the slopes of the hill, to right and left of the main street linking the lowest level with the acropolis. There are two outstanding dwellings to the east of this street, with interior peristyle courtyards; behind the sanctuary with the altars are the remains of a bath-house, which was probably a public building. 

On the acropolis of Kamiros was the sacred precinct of Athena Kamiras. Parts of the enclosure wall are preserved in the south part of the plateau, as well as the foundations of a temple, probably peripheral, dating from the late 3rd-early 2nd c. BC. There is a very impressive cistern to the north of the temple, dating from the 6th-5th c, BC. This cistern fell into disuse in the late 3rd-early 2nd c. BC, when a large stoa was erected along the acropolis plateau. The stoa had the shape of the Greek letter and was 200 m long. On its facade was a double colonnade in the Doric order, and there were shops in the rear. It formed an imposing backdrop dominating the city and offered the inhabitants of ancient Kamiros, as it does the modern visitor, a panoramic view over the sea and the surrounding agricultural area.



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