Ancient Karthea in Kea

Ancient Karthea in Kea, Cyclades: Ancient Karthea was the most important of the four city-states of Kea in the antiquity. It is located in a region that is pretty hard to access, on the southeastern side of the island, right above the bay of Poles.

Ancient Karthea was founded in the archaic times and its lifespan reached till the early Byzantine period. The route there is popular for trekking on the island, as this site is located about 23 km from Ioulida, the capital of Kea, and 30 more minutes on foot. Little remains today from the ancient town of Karthea. The city was surrounded by walls from the archaic and the classical times with at least 6 entrances and towers to protect the area. The city had an extensive defense mechanism which included many towers. Also, it had public buildings, laboratories, mines, water supply system, and its own authorities and laws.

Some of the most interesting monuments in Karthea include the Doric temple of goddess Athena (late 6th century BC) and the archaic Temple of Pythion Apollo (530 BC). In the valley of Vathipotamos, the Temple of Demetra (3rd century BC) along with a theatre (1st century BC) were also discovered. The Archeological Museum of Kea exhibits parts of the Temple of Athena and other parts of this ancient city.

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