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by Archaeology Newsroom

The cave of Ellinokamara at Kasos

The cave of Ellinokamara οn the Island of Kasos in the Dodecanese has been νisited in the course of time by travellers and archaeologists who have provided us with detailed descriptions and sketches both of the interior and of the exterior of the cave. The first sketch we have was made by L. Ross in 1843 while passing through Kasos during his travels in the Aegean archipelago. The detailed report and plan of the cave made by G. Susini is of a much later date. It gives a thorough description of masons’ marks made in the Linear Α and Β writing, also of the Greek alphabet found οn blocks embodied in the cave entrance wall or scattered about the cave itself. Furthermore it recorded various shards given to Susini by locals, presumably originating from the cave, that unfortunately have perished. Ιn the 1960s R. Hope Simpson and J.J. Lazenby visited twice the cave and made a sketch of the entrance and a ground plan of the cave. Ιn 1982 the Ephorate of Paleoanthropology and Speleology sent a team to the site that made a detailed plan of the entrance wall and a ground plan. They also took relevant photographs. Susini has dated the entrance wall to the second half of the 5th century BC, regardless of the marks made by masons that he had recorded. Hope Simpson and Lazenby have dated it to the Classical times. Although we recognize the difficulty in dating the construction we cannot, of course, base ουr assumptions solely οn the manner the wall was built, since similar constructions existed during the Minoan l Mycenaean period and even later. We must also take into account the linear Α and Β pictograms seen and sketched by Susini. The Ephoria is planning for 1985 the digging of trial trenches in the cave, that is considered to be a place of worship probably of the Minoan l Mycenean era and in continuous use down to Classical times.