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Ancient Kalaureia: The Site

Published: 30/07/2015

<p>View of the sanctuary from the west. The island of Aigina is seen in the background. Photo: Berit Wells</p>

View of the sanctuary from the west. The island of Aigina is seen in the background. Photo: Berit Wells

Today Poros consists of two islands: Spheria, which is the modern town of Poros, and Kalaureia, the larger and less populated island. The archaeological site of Kalaureia lies on the island with the same name c. 6 km from Poros town, and can be approached by a winding road either from the town or from the village of Askeli on Kalaureia. The site is on a plateau between the hills of Aghios Elias and Vigla and has a commanding position c. 200 m above the sea level. To the north there is a visual connection with the peninsula of Methana and the islands of Angistri and Aigina, and to the south it is possible to catch glimpses of the sea against the background of the steep Peloponnesian coast. Beyond Aigina, Pireus and the coastline of Attica are visible on clear days.

Our investigations show that the plateau is partly manmade as it was created over time by generations of terraces built in order to extend the area of the sanctuary when need arose. What the terrain looked like originally is still only partially known. A telling detail is that the Early Iron Age remains were at places found underneath more than 1 m of terrace fill from later periods. The terrain in and around the sanctuary obviously underwent a profound change from the Archaic times and onwards. In more recent times, the excavation in 1894 left its marks in the landscape. Some dumps of excavated soil, now eroded to low mounds, are still visible on the site, particularly inside Building A and to the south of it. Some time after the excavation a farmstead was built on top of some of the buildings in the western part of the sanctuary thus causing further damage especially to Building F, the remains of which were practically obliterated in the process

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