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Welcome to the Virtual Home of the Kytherian Research Group
We are about uncovering the rich history of Kythera and Antikythera.
The pioneers of new exploration in the field of Kytherian culture and heritage.
Particularly educating members of the Kytherian Diaspora and general public regarding elements of the island and it's history that they may not have seen or known about.
Making a difference. Non profit.
To engage, the community and related parties, help discover exciting new finds, and inspire everyone by sharing knowledge.
One of the main priorities is creating new bodies of work through field research, discovering material that is not 'yet' written in books.
Our initial main project involved assisting the 26th Ephorate of Classical and Prehistoric Antiquities, Ministry of Culture & Tourism Greece - with an archaeological rescue excavation in Kythera during July 2010, to help write a new chapter of ancient history. It was repeated again in July 2011, on an even bigger scale.
The main principle in organising archaeology projects is that the community supports volunteer archaeologists who donate their time and years of experience, in return uncovering new chapters of Kytherian history to share back with the community.
A complete 360 degree outlook. We all know that Greece is suffering an economic crisis at the moment, meaning that it's time for members of the Diaspora to step up and invest in heritage and culture.
In 2011, the scale of projects more than doubled.
A major new project in 2011 was assisting the Ephorate of Maritime Antiquities, Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Greece with research on the Mentor shipwreck . It was a ship that sank off Kythera in 1802, carrying 17 crates of Parthenon Sculptures.
A Greek version of this web site is coming soon...
Kythera is situated at a major cross roads of the Mediterranean. The island was (and still is) at the epicentre of a number of major shipping routes to and from Greece from areas such as Italy and Spain in the west, the Black Sea and Asia Minor in the east as well as Egypt, Africa and other Middle-Eastern countries. This means that the island was strategic as both a trading post and port, plus also provided vantage points for attacks on the Greek mainland, particularly the Laconian (Spartan) region.
Kythera is located opposite Cape Malea, one of the most treacherous stretches of the Mediterranean sea, a severe hazard for ancient mariners. This brought about certain religious/supersticious behavours. Kythera is also located in an earthquake region, prompting other beliefs by the ancients.
Remains from 7300 years ago indicate the island was populated at least that far back.
Later, Kythera was an outpost for the Minoan thalassocracy from Crete.
After the middle of the 15th c. B.C. the Cretan Minoans seem to have abandoned the island while the Myceneans appear on the scene. During the 14th & 13th c. B.C, that is the Late Bronze Age (Late Helladic III), a period when the Mycenean civilization flourished. Mycenean tablets of that time found in Pylos exhibit Linear B script showing the interesting forms ku-te-ra, ku-te-ra-o, and ku-te-ri-ja, which it is thought refers to Kythera.
To which Mycenean kingdom did Kythera belong? We do not know. In Homer it is mentioned that Agamemnon did not only reign over the plain of Argos but also over many islands whereas Apollodorus mentions that when Atreus’ brother, Thyestes, was expelled he went to Kythera. So, it is possible to assume that the Argive Myceneans controlled the island.
It's believed by many that the Phoenicians brought the cult of Aphrodite to Kythera, with worship then spreading throughout the Hellenic world.
In the period of the so-called Dorians, i.e the period of the Dark Ages are particularly dark for Kythera. Neither the sources nor the archaeological finds so far provide any evidence. It was probably during this period or a bit earlier it's thought the cult of Aphrodite was introduced by the Phoenicians who took advantage of the crumbling Mycenean kingdoms or more likely, had established on the island centres of craftsmanship/commercial bases for the production and trading of the purple (porphyra) which was their main produce for export. After such produce, the island in Antiquity was named as Porphyris (ο αμφορέας με την Πορφύρα).
In later times, the Laconians (Spartans) controlled Kythera, with various mentions of conflict against the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. Then the Roman period, and settlement by Byzantines, Venetians, the British and a number of other empires.
About the Kytherian Research Group Inc. (KRG)
The Kytherian Research Group Inc. is a registered non-profit incorporated association in the state of NSW, Australia. Headquarters is based in the suburb of Lilyfield, Sydney. Even though a lot of field research is conducted in Greece, results are published and shared via Australia to an audience around the world.
John Fardoulis firstname.lastname@example.org is the founder and official spokesman.
The Kytherian Research Group works very closely with the Kytherian Association of Australia and a number of government departments in Greece such as the Department of Maritime Antiquities and 26th Ephorate of Classical & Prehistoric Antiquities, Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Most of the good deeds that we do would not be possible without the support of the Kytherian Association of Australia and Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust.
They really help make a difference.
© Kytherian Research Group Inc. 2010