Kalamakia Cave was formed many hundreds of thousands years ago and was occupied by palaeolithic men. The deposits and the archaeological remains, which appear today, date approximately between 80.000 and 40000 years ago (Middle Palaeolithic period). After that the entrance of the cave was blocked by accumulated stones and earth. It reopened about 5000 years ago when this heap of stone and earth was dismantled by the sea waves.
It is located at the entrance of the Itylo bay, on the western coast of the Mani peninsula (southern Peloponnese). It lies near the shore, at the foot of a 40 meter high cliff. The cave appears as a gallery 8 meter high and 7 meter wide, at the porch level, while its depth is almost 20 meters. Towards the back of the cave, this gallery becomes very narrow and low as it is filled with deposits, rich in archaeological remains, almost up to the roof.
The excavation at Kalamakia cave began in 1993. It is conducted by the University of Athens and the French Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, under the auspices of the Ephory of Paleoanthropology and Speleology.
The systematic excavation and the interdisciplinary study of Kalamakia cave provide us, for the first time, with precious information about palaeolithic men as well as about climate, fauna and flora in southern Peloponnese during the last glaciation.