Destination Description

Kamiros (Κάμειρος in Greek) is an ancient city on the northwest coast of Rhodes island, near the village of Kalavarda. Although this ancient site is very popular among travelers there are not cafeterias and souvenir shops in the area. Kamiros was one of the three large Doric cities of the island, which united with Ialyssos and Lindos in the 5th century B.C. to create the powerful city – state of Rhodes.

The first signs of habitation in the wider region date back to the Mycenaean era. In prehistoric times the Mylantian gods (Zeus Mylantios and Himalia), who taught mankind milling and kneading, were worshiped here. Kamiros was gradually abandoned by its inhabitants and slowly buried by the earth itself with the passage of time. The city was built over the ruins of an older settlement after the earthquake in 226 BC and is a characteristic example of Hellenistic urban layout and design, with its division into zones of public and private buildings.

Kamiros has been often compared to Pompeii, something which is not correct since Kamiros did not fall into decline because of a natural disaster. Its decline, like the decline of Ialyssos, was the result of the gradual abandonment by its residents, who decided to move to the city of Rhodes. In 1929 archaeologists localized the ruins of the ancient city, and the excavations which brought it back to life continued till the end of World War II. The motive to start the excavations was the accidental discovery of some ancient graves. The findings which had been revealed by the excavations through the time, which are very rich and important, have been taken to the British Museum and the Louvre.

Kamiros greatly contributed to Greek and European ancient history and civilization and unfortunately this great archaeological site is not well promoted and little is known today.