The antiquities of the island of Antikythera are known since the 19th century, and specific reference to them was made by the radical Cephalonian Ilias Zervos – Iakovatos in his memoirs.5.
In 1888 the research Valerios Stais6 carried out uncovered the inscribed base of a statue that mentioned the dedication to Apollo of Aegilia by Aristomenes, son of Aristomedes, Thessalian from Pherae and by Nikon, son of Kefisodoros, Athenian. Stais assumed incorrectly that the fort on the island was constructed by the Athenians during the period of the Peloponnesian War, i.e. end of the 5th century BC7.
ΤIn 1961 Richard Hope-Simpson8 judging from the existence of some parts of the walls built in the “polygonal” style, without going into any historical interpretation, dated the construction of the fort in two phases; the first during which only the “Acropolis” was constructed in the early 5th century BC, and a second phase during which the western part of the acropolis’ walls was reconstructed and at the same time the whole city was fortified. The data resulted from the excavation however do not confirm the two above described assumptions. The polygonal type of construction is “messy”, as it often happens during the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods, and it is imposed by the local material. In addition, from the movable finds,no evidence of habitation is provided before the third quarter of the 4th century BC.
Movable finds from the surface of the Hellenistic period, and of the early – and after an interruption – of the late Byzantine period, and finally of the late years of the Venetian period have been identified on the island with the archaeological survey that was carried out by the Canadian Archaeological Institute and the 26th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities9.
1Plutarch Cleom. 31 and 32; Claudius Ptolemy Geography III, 14,45; Pliny I4, 57
2Curtius Rufus III 9,3; IV 1,36
3ris Tsaravopoulos, The Inscription IG V 1, 948, and the inscribed sling bullets from the Kastro of Antikythera, HOROS 17 (2004-2009): 327-348 (330). A detailed English summary (with wrong illustration captions and title) in Gdanskie Studia Archeologiczne (GSA) 2 (2012): 207-220; N. Sekunda “The Date and Circumstances of the Construction of Phalasarna’s Fortifications”, HOROS 17-20 (2004-09): 595-600 (598)
5Iakovatos, Ilias Zervos, Ἡ επὶ τῶν Ἀντικυθήρων αἰχμαλωσία μου καί ἡ τῶν συναιχμαλώτων μου, 1857 (2nd ed. Athens 1972)
6Stais AD 5, 1889, 232 nos 42-44 and 237-242
8Waterhouse, H. & Hope Simpson, R., Prehistoric Laconia, Part II. BSA, 56 (1961): 160-163
9Bewan, A., Conolly J., Tsaravopoulos A., The fragile communities of Antikythera, Archaeology International, Institute of Archaeology, London, 10(2006-7)32-36, Bevan, A. and Conolly, J., Mediterranean Islands, Fragile Communities and Persistent Landscapes: Antikythera in Long-term Perspective, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press), 2013.