Archaeology in Kythera

Located at the crossroads of vital Mediterranean trade routes that played a pivotal role throughout history and with an excellent vantage point that overlooked the Ionian, Aegean and Cretan seas, Kythera was an island highly prized by conquerors. Minoan, Mycenaean, Phoenician, Byzantine, Venetian and British forces occupied this prime strategic jewel and left their unique mark in Kythera’s archaeological record.

This island provided sanctuary to diverse groups ranging from pirates, colonists and refugees from the Neolithic era onward. Masterpieces such as a 6thC BC marble lion and a Renaissance statue of Aphrodite and Eros, probably crafted in Venice, are among the artifacts unearthed in Kythera.

Stone tools and artifacts dating back to 4000 BC and belonging to the Classical and Roman times mark this as an important site. Excavations are ongoing throughout the summer and visitors can request a guided tour from the on-site working archeologists and even volunteer.
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For a glimpse into the island’s Byzantine past, visit this veritable Byzantine ghost town razed in 1536 by Ottoman warrior Barbarossa. Located close to Kakia Lagada canyon, you’ll find the remains of 12thC monasteries, over 20 Byzantine churches and almost 80 homes that made up this former capital.
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Highlights of this site – the island’s capital city in Antiquity - include a sanctuary dedicated to Aphrodite, the remains of walls and buildings.
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Minoan graves and the remains of an ancient castle are visible at this site. Inquire at the museum for more information.
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Other Activities for Kythera

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