Ancient Kamiros Rhodes Greece
Located at a distance 32 km from Rhodes Town, Ancient Kamiros was one of the three most important cities on the island before Rhodes was founded in 408 BC. The region was inhabited as early as the Mycenaean era. However, once Rhodes was developed, Kamiros lost its significance and finally vanished for good in the 2nd century BC. The city was built over the ruins of an older settlement, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 226BC. Divided into different zones of public and private buildings, the city is the perfect example of Hellenistic urban layout and designs.
Acropolis and the Temple of Athena Kameiras
Temple of Athena Kameiras: With porticos on all sides, the magnificent temple of Athena was surrounded by peribolos. Like most of the city, it was also built over the foundation of another temple that was destroyed in the earthquake in 226 BC.
Archaic Cistern: Rectangular in shape and lined with plaster, Archaic Cistern was the reservoir that served water to the city via terra-cotta pipes and apertures. With a capacity of 600,000 litres, the reservoir could easily hold water for around 400 families. Steps were built on the side to provide access inside the reservoir for cleaning. During the Hellenistic period, it was replaced by a Stoa.
Hellenistic Stoa: The Stoa was built in the shape of the Greek letter Π. It was 200 meters long and had two rows of Doric columns. An extraordinary, underground water supply system with terra-cotta water pipes, subterranean tanks, and wells replaced the Archaic Cistern effectively.
Private Abode on the side of the Hill
The settlement was built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. It was built according to the Hippodamian system, which means it was a grid of residential blocks and streets of the same size. One of the distinctive features of the residential quarters was the interior colonnaded courtyard, which was generally higher on one side than the other. They were decorated with mosaic floors and painted adornments on plaster. Facades with architraves were also used for decoration purposes.
Doric Temple: The temple was located on the third terrace of the archaeological zone. It stood on the north-western edge of the Fountain Square. It was a poros distyle temple, which means that along with cella, pronaos, and opisthodomos, it had antis in the front and had two columns. It is speculated that the temple was dedicated to Pythian Apollo.
Fountain Square: The Fountain Square was located to the east of the Doric Temple. It was a big, rectangular area with numerous votive bases that were inscribed. It also consisted of six Doric columns that supported an entablature. An open cistern was always present from which water was drawn during the mid 4th century. The cistern was later replaced by a well.
Hellenistic Sanctuary: The sanctuary was dedicated to the gods and heroes of Kamiros. It was located opposite the Fountain Square and featured altars inside the enclosure. It is speculated that this was the Hierothyteion of Kamiros.
It must be noted that Kamiros is often compared with Pompei. However, the comparison is unjustified as, unlike Pompie, Kamiros did not fall due to a natural disaster. The city was slowly abandoned once Rhodes was developed.