The island of Gavdos is the southernmost inhabited border of Greece, the southernmost edge of Europe.
Ancient sources (Herodote, Stravon, Ptolemeos and Ierocles), travellers’ accounts but also more recent studies occasionally refer to Gavdos. Callimachus associates it with Homer’s Ogygi, the island of Calypso. The short tours of Τ.Α.Β. Spratt in 1875, G. De Sanctis in 1899, D. Levi – A.M. Collini in 1925 as well as of P. Faure and T.D.S. Pendlebury brought to light very important information about the antiquities of the island.
The earliest surface remains date back from the transitional Neolithic period. Scattered pottery items seem to represent, to different degrees, all the periods of the Minoan Civilization, maybe with a certain emphasis on the Middle Minoan period. The stationary and movable monuments testify an intensive use of the coasts and the land in historical times, mainly in the Hellenistic, late Roman, early Byzantine and Middle Byzantine periods. The modern monuments of the island are also interesting, in particular those of the 19th century and the early and middle 20th century.
From 1992 to 1997 the University of Crete in cooperation with the 25th Ephorate of Classical Antiquities, conducted surface research on the island. Since 1998 the 25th Ephorate of Classical Antiquities has been conducting rescue excavations in Gavdos.
(Authors: Vanna Niniou – Kindeli, Aggeliki Tsingou, archaeologists)