The archaeological research at the ancient Demos of Kymissaleis
|Τhe Demos of Kymissaleis site map
In the south-western quadrant of Rhodes, in the area of modern Kymissala, the
Department of Mediterranean Studies, of the University of the Aegean and the
22nd Ephoreate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, in collaboration with the
School of Rural and Surveying Engineering of the National Technical University
of Athens and with the participation of the Institute of Archaeology of the
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, are currently conducting
intensive archaeological research on the ancient Demos of Kymissaleis.
The research for the past 5 years has shown that the antiquities are scattered in
woodland covering an area of approximately 10 square kilometres or 10,000 acres.
Kymissala therefore constitutes one of the most important and rather extensive
archaeological networks in the countryside of Rhodes (see map).
It had its own citadel, on the hill of Saint Fokas, which dominates the region and
appears to control -at least by sight- 7 sites, which should have belonged to its
jurisdiction, namely the site at Vassilika, Napes, Charakas, Glyfada/Monossyria,
Stelies, Maramarounia and Kambanes.
Several cemeteries exist next to the settlements: at Napes, Charakas and Glyphada,
while minor groups of graves have been also located at the sites of Alonia and
Kambanes, with most important, of course, the central necropolis on the foothills
of Kymissala and Saint Fokas.
It seems that the demos of Kymissaleis existed at least from the 7th c B.C. until
later antiquity (4th-6th c A.D.), as is verified by the excavation in the central
necropolis, as well as by the sporadic archaeological finds that have come to light
The identification of the region with the territory of the ancient Demos of
Kymissaleis has been proven by the existence of the ethnic epithet Kymissaleus on
funerary stelae found in the area, as well as by the survival of the ancient name
Kymissala, consisting evidence of continuity in the region since Greek antiquity.
The research is connected with a vast geographical archaeological site of ca.
10.000 km2, with multiple interconnected fields representing urban planning,
fortresses and acropolis, burial monuments and graveyards that reflect social
stratifications and establishments in an extended chronological period, from the
Early Greek Period to Late Antiquity.
This network of sites is situated within the heart of an area of unique
geomorphology, with rare species of fauna and flora in the Aegean region,
protected by the European Project Natura 2000. Thus one of the prime aims of the
University of the Aegean and the collaborating Institutions is, on the one hand, to
further enforce the protection of the natural environment and on the other hand to
preserve and promote, in a sustainable way, the cultural heritage within this
environment, by focusing in the creation of an archaeological and ecological Park
at Kymissala. This will eventually result in the sustainable development of the
semi-mountainous region of Atavyros in general, which is totally undeveloped