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The 'Other Delos'

Imaginary depiction of the temple of Apollo in ancient Prepesinthos, in Despotiko Antiparos.

Just 700m off the southwest coast of Antíparos, the uninhabited island of Despotikó has been making archaeology headlines, especially for the Archaic Santuary of Apollo, one of the most important of at least 22 other island shrines dedicated to the god surrounding his holy birthplace island of Delos.

Strabo and Pliny the Elder mentioned the island under the name of Prepesinthos. The strait between it and Antíparos is so shallow (and there is another small islet, Tsimintiri, in between) that they may have been connected as late as Hellenistic times; a marble altar inscribed Hestias Isthmias (Hestia of the Isthmus) suggest there was formerly a narrow isthmus.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Christophe.anagno, Creative Commons License, Vincenzo Coronelli, Zde, Creative Commons License