Wednesday, 4 June 2008

GREECE TRIP - DAY 3b - 30th May 2008

We passed by Kremasti, Vagies, Paradeisi, Soroni, Fanes, all of them looking rather similar and not offering much except for what the tourist may desire for a holiday on a Greek island: Sun, sand and surf. We were making our way to Kalavarda and from there to the archaeological site of Kamiros. This is 34km southwest of Rhodes Town, lies Ancient Kamiros, set on a pine-covered hillside overlooking the sea. Kamiros was a prosperous settlement during the period 1000-400 BC but was first built in the 2nd millennium BC. It has been destroyed by earthquakes twice and after the second in 142 AD, it was not rebuilt.

The ruins are well preserved and create a good impression of the skilled work and town planning of Ancient Greece. The site consists of an amphitheatre, various public buildings, temples, bathhouses, a fountain square, many houses and wide public staircases, some of which have been partially restored. A restored stone staircase leads to the site where the Acropolis stood, and the remains of the stoa and temple still stand today. Visiting Kamiros takes you back through time. You can vividly picture life in the ancient settlements with the narrow streets being overlooked by the grand Acropolis.

When one climbs the hillside one has stunning views of the Aegean Sea, the smaller neighbouring islands and the coast of Asia Minor. It is hard to imagine that these impressive ruins were buried for centuries below the earth, only being rediscovered when an ancient Necropolis was stumbled upon on neighbouring hill. Sadly it was excavated before the time when archaeological sites were scientifically plotted and recorded as a result as was the case then, much of the pottery and other artefacts were "looted" and many of these precious remnants of a wonderful civilization are now in the British Museum and the Louvre in France. Although it was thousands of years ago, the ancients had quite a sophisticated life style as above the town stood the Acropolis and a huge water reservoir that was cut into the soft rock. This collected over 600 cubic meters of rainwater that ran off the roof of the Acropolis. This water was then piped in stone, and later clay pipes down to the town, which also boasted a Public Bath-house.

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