A complex of buildings was discovered next to the temple of Apollo
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A complex of buildings was discovered next to the temple of Apollo

New buildings were brought to light by the excavations and restoration work carried out from 30 May to 7 July 2017 in the sanctuary of Apollo on the uninhabited island of Despotiko (Mandra), west of Antiparos. The results of this year’s works are evaluated as particularly important for the topography of the sanctuary. This year’s finds feature a fragment of a marble statuette dating back to the Early Archaic period, a fragment of the brick with the leg of an archaic kouros and a fragment from the tibia and the ankle of a kouros.

The systematic excavation at Despotiko began in 1997 and has brought to light one of the most important archaeological sites in the Cyclades. The investigations focused on the excavation of the building complex that was partially explored in 2016 in the area south of the Archaic temple. This year, eight other spaces to the south and west side of this complex came to light, without however identifying its boundaries. The complex consists of 12 rooms and its total visible area reaches 180 m². Although their dimensions vary, the densely populated areas of the complex have the same orientation, with entrances to the south. Some of them were probably atrium, perhaps courtyards or vestibules.

Based on the findings (a variety of ceramic of the archaic and classical period) and some architectural elements, the excavator estimates that the complex has served as a storage and accommodation area, documenting the high traffic of the sanctuary and the need for expansion to satisfy the large number of visitors up to 4th c.

The excavation of building B that was excavated already in 2007 and 2013 was completed. All its spaces and the phases of its use dating back to the 7th century BC were discovered in the first half of the 6th century BC. (The main phase of the building) and in the late 6th c. B.C.

At the NE terminus of the peninsula, close enough to the coast, another building measuring 4.40×4.30m was spotted and excavated. Only its foundations are saved. Its location and its planing point to an observation or tower.

The findings of the excavation were rich and varied. Indicatively there are more than 20 candlesticks and 30 fragments of vases with engraved inscriptions, fragments of “marbled” amphorae and lateral chests, fragments of red-figureed craters with depictions of naked youngsters, daily pots such as filters, , Jars, salt-bottles, bottles etc., many metal objects (ears, springs, hooks, etc.).

The restoration work lasted for 4 weeks and the two columns of the restaurant and their columns were completed, while the preparation of another column was completed. In addition to the members of the scientific team, many students and archaeologists from universities in Greece and abroad participated in the researches.