© Ministry of Culture and Sports
Topographic sketch of Dakaris
The fortified settlement of Dymokastro develops on the smooth side of the hill, south of the Karavostasi bay, covers an area of 220 acres and has a defensive wall 3,400 m long. The wall surrounds the settlement from East and North while the southern and western sides of the hill are naturally fortified and inaccessible, protected by a wall only in the most vulnerable parts.

The fortification consists of three consecutive circuits, given conventional names by S. Dakaris, the first scholar to study the site: the two eastern ones (Citadels A and B), with a perimeter of 1,600 m, are dated in the 4th century. BC, while the western one (Citadel C), with a circumference of 1,400 meters, was constructed in the Hellenistic period. The fortification, elaborately constructed in its most part, is well preserved. The wall, built of local limestone, was constructed in polygonal masonry and in its best preserved parts reaches a height of 4 m, while its width ranges between 2-4 m. Towers and frontal retrenchments reinforce its defensive ability. The main gate is located at the southeastern edge of Citadel A, while a second smaller gate at the northwestern edge of the hill top fortification served as a transition gate from the Citadel A to Citadel B. More openings in various parts of the fortification would allow communication between the three citadels, while another gate probably placed in the northwestern side of the Citadel C ensured the passage to the ancient port of Skala.

The Citadel A is the most densely constucted part of the ancient settlement and, according to all indications, its residential and administrative centre. Spatial planning was not based on organized urban design, but determined by the natural terrain. The settlement developed in artificially constructed embankments retained by strong retaining walls and is crossed by a network of roads. The buildings were constructed of local limestone, often partly or fully carved into the natural bedrock, most of them with rectangular or trapezoidal ground plans while some had a more elaborate form, its rooms arranged around a colonnaded courtyard. These buildings usually had pebbled floors and walls covered with colored coatings.

A stoa on the northern end of Citadel a served the commercial activities of the residents. A second stoa placed a in the south is associated with a large building complex of religious character, consisting of two small two-room shrines with a nave and a vestibule. Another shrine located in Citadel B has a tripartite internal division and two utility rooms. To the east there is a rock-cut altar.

A particular feature of the settlement are the three rock-cut, circular tanks for the collection of rainwater. The habitation picture completes a burial tumulus, part of an ancient cemetery at the foot of the hill outside the walls.
Kassiani Lazari, Archaeologist