Kea Ancient Karthea

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Location: Poles

Ancient Karthea in Kea, Cyclades: Ancient Karthea was the most important of the four city-states of Kea in 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 during the archaic period, and its lifespan lasted until the early Byzantine period. The route leading there is often preferred for trekking on the island, as this site lies about 23 km from Ioulida, the capital of Kea. Little remains today from the ancient town of Karthea. The city was surrounded by walls from the archaic and classical periods, with at least six entrances and towers to protect the area. The city had an extensive defense mechanism which included many towers. Also, it boasted public buildings, laboratories, mines, a water supply system, and its own authorities and laws.

The fascinating 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) and an ancient theatre (1st century BC) have also been discovered. The Archeological Museum of Kea exhibits segments of the Temple of Athena along with other parts of this ancient city.

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