Dokos Island

About Dokos

Dokos is a small, 308m high rocky and barren island that is situated opposite Ermioni, between the Argo-Saronic islands of Spetses and Hydra.

In history, Dokos was occupied during the Mycenaean, Classical, Hellenistic, Byzantine, Frankish, and Venetian periods. The ancient Greek name for Dokos was Aperopia, but today it owes its name to the Dokos family of Hydriot ship owners, who owned it at the end of the 18th Century.

During the Mycenaean period, there were two settlements on Dokos, called Ledeza and Miti Kommeni. At the Eastern end of the island, on the hill which now has the ruined Byzantine castle, a small village existed with over one hundred houses during the Classical period. Later the Byzantines built the fortified castle, which was extended by the Venetians, on the hill now known as Kastelli, which included a number of buildings and a large Byzantine basilica, dating back to the mid 7th Century AD. During the Greek War of Independence 1821-1829 against the Ottoman Empire, Skintos Bay on Dokos was used as a safe port by the Hellenic naval fleet of Hydra.

Today, many private sailing yachts anchor at the North-Eastern Skintos Bay during the Summer months, as this large bay provides excellent shelter from all strong winds and is ideal for an overnight stay. Skintos Bay has two smaller coves at each side of its entrance, so depending on the wind, you will certainly find a leeward and safe anchorage. The small chapel of Aghios Nikolaos, which is located on the beach, welcomes you at any time. As there are no excursions or tourist boats that visit the island from Ermioni, this is the only practical way to get to Dokos.

A famous Early-Helladic shipwreck, from the Proto-Helladic period 2700 – 2200 BC and the oldest in the world, was discovered here on 23rd August 1975 by Peter Throckmorton, just off the coast of Dokos, near to the Byzantine castle, at a depth of approximately 20 meters. Following two reconnaissance surveys in 1975 and 1977, a full underwater archaeological excavation was carried out from 1989 to 1992, being the first full-scale excavation of the ancient wreck using the latest technological methods of the time. The results confirmed the ship and its cargo being dated to around 2200 BC, making it by far the oldest known shipwreck in the whole world. Although the cargo ship itself is long gone, as everything biodegradable has been taken back by the sea, the excavation site uncovered one of the largest collections of Early Helladic pottery known, which included urns, cups, and kitchenware, as this pottery was produced before the invention of the basic pottery wheel. Over 500 clay vases were uncovered with a variety of bowls and sauceboats of different shapes and sizes. There were many amphoras found, as well as basins, jars, braziers, baking trays, pithoi and common household utensils. Stone anchors were also found near the cargo shipwreck, consisting of two large boulders with holes drilled in them, probably dropped before the doomed cargo ship sank to the bottom of the sea. All these artifacts and items were raised from the sea bottom and carefully transported to the Spetses Museum, to be studied and placed into conservation. The oldest known intact shipwreck was discovered in 2017 in the Black Sea, off the coast of Bulgaria, at a depth of 2,000 metres. The intact 23m long wreck is of an ancient Greek merchant ship, carbon dated to around 400 BC when the Black Sea was a trading hub filled with Greek colonies. The ships mast, rudders, rowing benches and even the contents of its hold remain intact.

Geographical Info

Latitude: 37.33105 – Longitude: 23.31688  Area: 13.5 km2

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