New finds unearthed at Despotiko

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Archaeological excavations at the Mandra site on the uninhabited islet of Despotiko, southwest of the small island of Antiparos in the Cyclades, unearthed the northern wall of an archaic building, it was announced on Monday. 

View of the archaeological excavation at Mandra site on Despotiko islet [Credit: ANA-MPA]

The excavation works, which began on June 2 and were completed on July 8, also brought to light the headless upper torso of an archaic period male youth statue (“kouros”), the third sculpture that belongs to the specific “kouros” category ever unearthed. 

The second half of the statue, namely, the lower torso, was unearthed during earlier excavations in 2005, while its missing head is possible to be the one unearthed in 2010. 

The statue, that was found safely placed upside down in the ground supported by marble stones, has the left arm bend over the chest, indicative of the style characterizing the 6th century BC sculpture workshops on the island of Paros.  

The fragments, preserved in excellent condition, mirror the unparalleled quality of the local sculptures. Three fingers of the right foot of another “kouros” were found near the sea placed on a brick base. 

This year’s excavation also brought to light a plethora of archaic and geometric period ceramics proving the existence of a temple. 

Excavation works on the nearby Tsimintiri islet have revealed five large constructions. In antiquity, Despotiko and Tsimintiri were joined through an isthmus. 

Excavations at the Madra site on Despotiko were sponsored by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Foundation. 

Source: ANA-MPA [July 20, 2011]

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