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Dokos

The island of Dokos is located in the ArgoSaronic Gulf and is located between Spetses, Hydra and the mainland town of Hermione. In Ancient times, it was called Aperopia. It has few natural springs and is a barren island with a total height of 308 m. above sea level.

It was inhabited from the end of the Neolithic period (4th millennium BC), but human presence on the island increased during the Early Helladic period (2500-2300/2200 BC), when sea trade developed. After that time it disappeared from the record for a long period of history, becoming the habitation of fishermen and shepherds.

In times of trouble, however, its role was upgraded because of its position and fortified character. During the 13th c. BC the powerful settlements of Myti Kommeni and Ledeza grew up. In the middle of the 7th c. AD an actual castle town was formed in the district of the Kastro; and at the time of the national uprising in 1821 the island was used as a naval station for the Hydriot fleet. After Independence, Dokos passed into the possession of different Hydriot families and until recently was used for cultivation and pasturage.

The oldest known shipwreck in the world

On 23 August 1975 Peter Throckmorton, pioneer explorer, located a large pile of broken prehistoric pottery on the seabed at Dokos in a depth of 20 metres.The pottery is dated to the Early Helladic period and it was probably the remains of a wreck of about 2,200 BC.

The bulk of the pots making up the cargo must have been the product of a flourishing workshop in some large habitation centre, perhaps in Argolida. It appears to have been intended for distribution in smaller coastal settlements and nautical stations in the Gulf of Argos and the Myrtoan Sea. The sunken Dokos cargo is impressive for its quantity and the variety of pottery types it contains.