Excavations in ancient Halasarna (present-day Kardamaina) on Kos: The Hellenistic Sanctuary of Apollo and the Early Christian Settlement


Georgia Kokkorou-Alevras, Professor of Classical Archaeology

Sophia Kalopissi-Verti, Professor of Byzantine Archaeology

Maria Panayotidi-Kesisoglou, Professor of Byzantine Archaeology


Kostas Kopanias, Lecturer in Eastern Civilizations,

Georgios Antoniou, Architect-Engineer,

post-graduate students and undergraduate students of the University of Athens.


The excavations in Kardamaina on Kos began in 1985 after architectural remains were found by chance during the construction of the foundation of a hotel on the Pateras-Tsangaroulis property, on the site Kaminia or Tsoukalaria, at the western limits of the present settlement of Kardamaina. The subsequent excavation led to the discovery of a Hellenistic sanctuary of Apollo, as well as to part of the seaside settlement of Early Christian Halasarna, which was built on the ancient ruins.

Reconstruction of the east side (entrance) of
building C (temple). Drawing by G. Antoniou


Part of the Early Christian
settlement, SE view


Basic objectives

The undertaking by the University of Athens to excavate the Hellenistic sanctuary and the Early Christian settlement of Halasarna has two basic objectives, research and training students.

The discovery, conservation, preservation and study of the architectural remains and small finds, as well as the final publication of the sanctuary and of the Early Christian settlement is the main objective of the excavation.

An equally fundamental goal is training the students of the Department of Archaeology and History of Art in excavation techniques, as well as to draw architectural remains to scale, to keep a daily excavation journal, and to record, preserve and manage finds.

At the same time, systematic research and preparation of the area as a whole is being carried out in order to create an appealing archaeological destination for visitors. A further objective is the initiation of students into the relative issues, since the area will be host to a long historical period from the Hellenistic to the early Byzantine centuries, thus decisively contributing to enhancing the development of tourism in the area.

Ground plan