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The Archaeological Site of Lindos (outside and around the Acropolis)

The ancient city of Lindos was situated outside and around the Acropolis, which was found at the top of a hill, overlooking the area. The ruins of the ancient city are quite extended and reach the modern town of Lindos. The site is found at a distance of 46 kilometers southern to the town of Rhodes.

The most important monuments of the site are the following:

The theater: Situated at the southwestern side of the hill, the ancient theater is found below the Acropolis and the temple of Athena (Minerva). The cavea (“koilon”) of the theater and the circular orchestra are carved in the hillside rock. The theater had a capacity of more than 1.800 spectators; it had 26 rows of seats, divided by a large diazoma in two parts, the lower one of 19 rows and the upper one of 7 rows. The three first rows contained the honorary seats, reserved for officials, and they were separated from the staircases of the “koilon” by low walls. Imposing honorary seats for the most illustrious guests, (the so-called “proedriae”) were also situated around the orchestra. The theater had nine cunei, only five of them well preserved today.
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In the virtual extension of the scene of the theater the visitor can see the ruins of a quadrangular building with arcades at each side. Four rows of columns, one at each side supported a pitched roof made of wood and surrounded an atrium. The entrance of the building was found at the northwestern side; it was completed by a series of columns, forming a porch and carrying an architrave. It is suggested that the building, whose capacity was of 1.500 to 1.700 people, was intended to hold ritual and religious ceremonies. In later periods the building housed three Christian churches (successively).

At the site of Vigli, northeastern to the Acropolis it is found the so-called “Boucopion”, a place intended for sacrifices, as its name implies (“boukopion” in greek means “cutting of oxen”). 38 inscriptions on the rocks around have helped to identify the use of the place. A small temple of the 10th or 9th century b.C., made of raw stones, comprised by a pronaos, a nave and a kind of antechamber, intended to keep the votive offerings related to the sacrifices, clay and bronze figurines, the majority of them representing oxen. So far, it has not been identified which deity was worshipped here.

The cemeteries of the ancient city are situated around the settlement. Two are the most important funerary monuments of the cemeteries: Firstly the tomb of Cleobulus. It is not the tomb of the well known tyrant of Lindos, but of a wealthy family of the place. It is a circular structure with nice masonry and a vaulted roof. The cornice of the entrance is decorated with fleuron. On the inside wall a kind of sarcophagus, originally with a cover which has not been preserved, hewn out of the rock, is dated in the 2nd-1st c. BC. Some faint traces of Christian frescos and the name “St. Ai mi lianos”, easily read, indicate that in a later period the place had been converted to a Christian church.

Upon the hill, western to the acropolis, on the site of Kampana, at Krana, it is situated an ancient funerary monument, carved in the rock. The monument is called “Archokrateion”, but it is better known as “Frangoklessia” (“church of the Francs”), which indicates that it was used as a Christian church during the period of the Knights’ domination. The exterior, two – storey façade of the building is decorated with half-columns supporting an architrave with metopes and triglyphs, whereas on the upper floor, pillars alternate with blind openings. Funerary altars, bearing the names of the dead on their bases, were placed at the façade of the first floor. In the interior, a corridor led to a place intended to burial ceremonies. 19 tombs are cut in the walls of this chamber, whereas on the sides of the hall, pillars alternate with plaster panels.

Access to the archaeological site is possible from the modern town of Lindos.
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