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An island S of the Peloponnesos. The sources (Il. 10.268; Paus. 3.23.1) speak of the ancient port of Skandia, which is probably modern Kastri. The island belonged to Argos, but in Classical times on was under Sparta. The ancient city of Kythera is identified with the summit now called Palaiokastro, at the center of the island, where traces of an enclosing wall, probably archaic, are visible. Near the church of Haghios Kosmas, on the SW slopes of the mountain, rose the sanctuary of Aphrodite (Hdt. 1.105.3). Near Kastri on the SE side of the island was a Minoan settlement, begun toward EM I-II, with Mycenaean pottery in the ultimate phase. At Kastraki there have been finds of EH I-Il. There is a small museum at Khora.


V. Stais,Deltion 1 (1915) 191ff; L. Bürchner-Maull, RE XII, 1 (1924) 207-18; H. Waterhouse & R. Hope Simpson, “Prehistoric Laconia, Part II,” BSA 56 (1961) 148ffPI; G. L. Huxley & J. N. Coldstream, “Kythera, First Minoan Colony,”ILN 6630, 249 (1966) 28-29; id., Kythera, Excavations and Studies (1972)MPI;EAA Suppl. (1970) 227.


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