Category Archives: Heraklion

Heraklion


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Heraklion (/hɪˈrækliən/; Greek: Ηράκλειο, Irákleio, pronounced [iˈraklio];  is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete. It is the fourth largest city in Greece and the third largest urban area in Greece. According to the results of the 2011 census, the population of the city proper was 140,730 inhabitants, the municipality’s was 173,993 while the Heraklion urban area has a population of 225,574[citation needed] and it extends over an area of 684.3 km2 (264.2 sq mi).

Heraklion is the capital of Heraklion regional unit.

The Bronze Age palace of Knossos, also known as the Palace of Minos, is located nearby.

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Names


The Arab raiders from al-Andalus (Iberia) who founded the Emirate of Crete moved the island’s capital from Gortyna to a new castle they called rabḍ al-ḫandaq (Arabic: ربض الخندق‎, “Castle of the Moat”) in the 820s.  This was hellenized as Χάνδαξ (Chándax) or Χάνδακας (Chándakas) and Latinized as Candia, which was taken into other European languages: in Italian and Latin as Candia, in French as Candie, in English as Candy, all of which could refer to the island of Crete as a whole as well as to the city alone; the Ottoman name was Kandiye.

After the Byzantine reconquest of Crete, the city was locally known as Megalo Kastro (Μεγάλο Κάστρο,[citation needed] ‘Big Castle’ in Greek) and its inhabitants were called Kastrinoi(Καστρινοί, “castle-dwellers”).

The ancient name Ηράκλειον was revived in the 19th century  and comes from the nearby Roman port of Heracleum (“Heracles’s city”), whose exact location is unknown. English usage formerly preferred the classicizing transliterations “Heraklion” or “Heraclion”, but the form “Iraklion” is becoming more common.

History


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The snake goddess (c.1600 BC) in Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Heraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the largest centre of population on Crete. Though there is no archaeological evidence of it, Knossos might well have had a port at the site of Heraklion as early as 2000 BC.

Founding

Emirate of Crete 

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A monk shows the Arabs where to build Heraklion

The present city of Heraklion was founded in 824 by the Arabs under Abu Hafs Umar who had been expelled from Al-Andalus by Emir Al-Hakam I and had taken over the island from the Eastern Roman Empire. They built a moat around the city for protection, and named the city ربض الخندق, rabḍ al-ḫandaq (“Castle of the Moat”). It became the capital of the Emirate of Crete (ca. 827–961). The Saracens allowed the port to be used as a safe haven for pirates who operated against Imperial (Byzantine) shipping and raided Imperial territory around the Aegean.

Venetian Era

In 1204, the city was bought by the Republic of Venice as part of a complicated political deal which involved, among other things, the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade restoring the deposed Eastern Roman Emperor Isaac II Angelus to his throne. The Venetians improved on the ditch of the city by building enormous fortifications, most of which are still in place, including a giant wall, in places up to 40 m thick, with 7 bastions, and a fortress in the harbour. Chandax was renamed Candia and became the seat of the Duke of Candia, and the Venetian administrative district of Crete became known as “Regno di Candia” (Kingdom of Candia). The city retained the name of Candia for centuries and the same name was often used to refer to the whole island of Crete as well. To secure their rule, Venetians began in 1212 to settle families from Venice on Crete. The coexistence of two different cultures and the stimulus of Italian Renaissance led to a flourishing of letters and the arts in Candia and Crete in general, that is today known as the Cretan Renaissance.

Ottoman Era 

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The Ottoman Vezir Mosque (1856), built on the site of the church of St Titus, and now the basilica of St Titus.

Further information: Siege of Candia
During the Cretan War (1645–1669), the Ottomans besieged the city for 21 years, from 1648 to 1669, perhaps the longest siege in history. In its final phase, which lasted for 22 months, 70,000 Turks, 38,000 Cretans and slaves and 29,088 of the city’s Christian defenders perished. The Ottoman army under an Albanian grand vizier, Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha conquered the city in 1669. Under the Ottomans, the city was known officially as Kandiye (again also applied to the whole island of Crete) but informally in Greek as Megalo Castro (Μεγάλο Κάστρο; “Big Castle”). During the Ottoman period, the harbour silted up, so most shipping shifted to Chania in the west of the island.

Modern Era

In 1898, the autonomous Cretan State was created, under Ottoman suzerainty, with Prince George of Greece as its High Commissioner and under international supervision. During the period of direct occupation of the island by the Great Powers (1898–1908), Candia was part of the British zone. At this time, the city was renamed “Heraklion”, after the Roman port of Heracleum (“Heracles’ city”), whose exact location is unknown.

In 1913, with the rest of Crete, Heraklion was incorporated into the Kingdom of Greece. Heraklion became capital of Crete in 1971, replacing Chania.

Architecture and urban sculpture 


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The fountain in Lions Square.

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The Venetian loggia (1626–28).

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Agios Minas Cathedral in honour of Saint Menas, patron saint of the city.
At the port of the city dominate the Venetian constructions, such as the Koules Fortress (Rocca al Mare), the ramparts and the arsenal.

Around the city can be found several sculptures, statues and busts commemorating significant events and figures of the city’s and island’s history, like El Greco, Vitsentzos Kornaros, Nikos Kazantzakis and Eleftherios Venizelos.

Also, many fountains of the Venetian-era are preserved, such as the Bembo fountain, the Priuli fountain, Palmeti fountain, Sagredofountain and Morosini fountain (in Lions Square).

Municipality


The municipality Heraklion was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[7]

  • Gorgolainis
  • Heraklion
  • Nea Alikarnassos
  • Paliani
  • Temenos

The municipality has an area of 244.613 km2, the municipal unit 109.026 km2.

Transportation 


Port 

Heraklion is an important shipping port and ferry dock. Travellers can take ferries and boats from Heraklion to destinations including Santorini, Ios Island, Paros, Mykonos, and Rhodes. There are direct ferries to Naxos, Karpathos, Kasos, Sitia, Anafi, Chalki and Diafani . There are also several daily ferries to Piraeus, the port of Athens in mainland Greece.

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Panoramic view of the old harbour

Airport

Heraklion International Airport, or Nikos Kazantzakis Airport is located about 5 kilometres (3 miles) east of the city. The airport is named after Heraklion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a writer and a philosopher. It is the second busiest airport of Greece and the 67th in Europe, because of Crete being a major holiday destination with 6.742.746 travellers in 2016 List of the busiest airports in Europe.

The airfield is shared with the 126th Combat Group of the Hellenic Air Force. A project for the new airport of Heraklion in Kasteli area is starting at the end of 2017

Highway Network

European route E75 runs through the city and connects Heraklion with the three other major cities of Crete: Agios Nikolaos, Chania, and Rethymno.

Public Transit 

There are a number of buses serving the city (more information visit) and connecting it to many major destinations in Crete .

Railway

From 1922 to 1937, there was a working industrial railway, which connected the Koules in Heraklion to Xiropotamos for the construction of the harbor.

A study from the year 2000 investigated the feasibility of two tram lines in Heraklion. The first line would link the Stadium to the airport, and the second the center of Heraklion and Knossos. No approval has yet been given for this proposal.

In the summer of 2007, at the Congress of Cretan emigrants, held in Heraklion, two qualified engineers, George Nathenas (from Gonies, Malevizi Province) and Vassilis Economopoulos, recommended the development of a railway line in Crete, linking Chania, Rethymno and Heraklion, with a total journey time of 50 minutes (30 minutes between Heraklion and Rethymno, 20 minutes from Chania to Rethymno) and with provision for extensions to Kissamos, Kastelli Pediados (for the planned new airport), and Agios Nikolaos. No plans exist for implementing this idea.

Climate


Heraklion has a hot-summer-Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Köppen climate classification). Summers are warm to hot and dry with clear skies. Dry hot days are often relieved by seasonal breezes. Winters are very mild with moderate rain. Because Heraklion is further south than Athens, it has a milder climate. The maximum temperature during the summer period is usually not more than 28 – 30°C (Athens normal maximum temperature is about 6°C hotter). The minimum temperature record is +0.2 °C

A new temperature record for February was set at 27.8°C, reached on 15 February 2016.

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Colleges, Universities, Libraries, and Research Centers 


  • University of Crete
  • TEI of Crete
  • Foundation for Research & Technology – Hellas
  • Nicolas Kitsikis Library
  • Vikelaia Library www dot heraklion dot gr/en/municipality/vikelaia

Culture


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Natural History Museum of Crete

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Pankritio Stadium

Museums 

  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum
  • Cretaquarium
  • Historical Museum of Crete
  • Natural History Museum
  • The Battle of Crete and National Resistance Museum
  • Nikos Kazantzakis Museum
  • Lychnostatis Open Air Museum
  • Collection of Agia Aikaterini of Sinai
  • Museum of Visual Arts

Sports

The city is home to several sports clubs. Most notably, Heraklion hosts OFI and Ergotelis, two football clubs with earlier presence in the Greek Superleague, the top tier of the Greek football league system. Furthermore, the city is the headquarters of the Heraklion Football Clubs Association, which administers football in the entire region. Other notable sport clubs include Iraklio B.C. (basketball), Atsalenios (football) and Irodotos (football) in the suburbs of Atsalenio and Nea Alikarnassos respectively.

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Famous Natives

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Nicholas Kalliakis was a significant Renaissance humanist, scholar and philosopher from Heraklion. 

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El Greco (Dominikos Theotokopoulos)

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Cyril Lucaris

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Epitaph on Nikos Kazantzakis’ grave. I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I’m free.

Heraklion has been the home town of some of Greece’s most significant spirits, including the novelist Nikos Kazantzakis (perhaps best known for his novel Zorba the Greek), the poet and Nobel Prize winner Odysseas Elytis and the world-famous painter Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco).

Literature

  • Elli Alexiou (1894–1988) author
  • Minás Dimákis (1913–1980) poet
  • Odysseas Elytis (1911–1996) Nobel awarded poet
  • Tess Fragoulis, Greek-Canadian author
  • Rea Galanaki (1947–present) author
  • Giritli Ali Aziz Efendi (1749–1798), author and diplomat
  • Nikos Kazantzakis (1883–1957) author
  • Pedro de Candia, (1485–1542) author and travel writer, recorded the Spanish
  • Conquest of the Americas
  • Vitsentzos Kornaros (1553–1613) author
  • Stephanos Sahlikis (1330-after 1391) poet
  • Lili Zografou (1922–1998) author

Scientists and Scholars 

  • Nicholas Kalliakis (1645–1707) Greek Cretan scholar and philosopher 
  • Niccolò Comneno Papadopoli (1655–1740) lawyer, historian and librarian
  • Andreas Musalus (ca. 1665–1721) Greek Cretan professor of mathematics, philosopher and architectural theorist 
  • Francesco Barozzi (1537–1604) mathematician and astronomer
  • Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (1591-1655) rabbi, author, physician, mathematician and musical theorist
  • Fotis Kafatos biologist, President of the European Research Council
  • Spyros Kokotos (1933–present) architect
  • Maximos Margunios (1549–1602) scholar, theologian, poet and writer, titular bishop of Kythira
  • Marcus Musurus (Markos Mousouros) (1470–1517) scholar and philosopher
  • Peter of Candia also known as Antipope Alexander V: philosopher and scholar
  • Joseph Sifakis (1946–present) computer scientist, co-recipient of the 2007 Turing Award
  • Michael N. Katehakis (1952–present) applied mathematician and operations researcher at Rutgers University
  • Gerasimos Vlachos (1607–1685), scholar
  • Simone Stratigo (ca. 1733–1824), Greek mathematician and an Nautical science expert, whose family was from Heraklion (Candia) 

Painting and Sculpture 

  • Theophanes (ca.1500–1559) painter of icons
  • Michael Damaskinos (1530/35-1592/93) painter of icons
  • El Greco (1541–1614) mannerist painter, sculpturer and architect
  • Theodoros Poulakis (1622–1692) painter of icons
  • Andreas Ritzos (1422–1492) painter of icons
  • Emmanuel Tzanes (1610–1690) painter of icons
  • Aristidis Vlassis (1947–2015) painter
  • Konstantinos Volanakis (1837–1907) painter

Film Industry 

  • Rika Diallina (1934-), actress and model, Miss Hellas
  • Ilya Livykou (1919–2002), actress
  • Sapfo Notara (1907–1985), actress
  • Yannis Smaragdis (1946-), film director

Music 

  • Rena Kyriakou (1918–1994) pianist
  • Francisco Leontaritis (Francesco Londarit) (1518–1572) composer
  • Giannis Markopoulos (1939-) composer
  • Manolis Rasoulis (1945–2011) lyrics writer
  • Nikos Xilouris (1936–1980) composer and singer
  • Notis Sfakianakis (1959-) singer

Sports 

  • Nikos Machlas (1973-) footballer
  • Georgios Samaras (1985-) footballer
  • Greg Massialas (1956-), American fencer and fencing coach

Business 

  • Constantine Corniaktos (1517–1603) wine merchant and wealthiest man in the
  • Eastern European city of Lviv[18]
  • Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (1955-) business woman, lawyer and politician

Politics 

  • Leonidas Kyrkos (1924–2011), politician
  • Aristidis Stergiadis (1861–1950) High Commissioner of Smyrna
  • Georgios Voulgarakis (1959-) conservative politician

Law 

  • Romilos Kedikoglou (1940-) President of the Court of Cassation of Greece

Clergy 

  • Maximos Margunios (1549–1602), bishop of Cyrigo (Kythira)
  • Kyrillos Loukaris (1572–1637) theologian, Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria as Cyril III and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as Cyril I
  • Meletius Pegas, Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria
  • Theodore II (1954-) Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa
  • Peter Phillarges (ca. 1339–1410) (also Pietro Di Candia, later Pope Alexander V)

Fashion 

  • Maria Spiridaki (1984) fashion model and television presenter

Local TV stations 

  • Channel 4
  • Creta Channel
  • Kriti TV
  • MyTV
  • Local transport services[edit]
  • KTEL Buses
  • Heraklion Crete Taxi Services

International Relations


Consulates

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Location


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Helike


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaUNESCO World Heritage Site LOGO-100-100

Helike (/ˈhɛlɪkiː/; Greek: Ἑλίκη, pronounced [heˈlikɛː], modern Greek pronunciation: [eˈlici]) was an ancient Greek city that was submerged by a tsunami in the winter of 373 BC. It was located in Achaea, Northern Peloponnesos, two kilometres (12 stadia) from the Corinthian Gulf and near the city of Boura, which, like Helike, was a member of the Achaean League. Modern research attributes the catastrophe to an earthquake and accompanying tsunami which destroyed and submerged the city. In an effort to protect the site from destruction, the World Monuments Fund included Helike in its 2004 and 2006 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.

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Helikeausgrabungen

Excavations at the site of Helike. In this case, a Hellenistic-era building; possibly used as a dye-works

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Shown within Greece

Contents
1 History
1.1 Subsequent events
2 Research efforts
3 Rediscovery
4 See also
5 References
6 External links

History


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A coin from Helike.

Helike was founded in the Bronze Age, becoming the principal city of Achaea. The poet Homer states that the city of Eliki participated in the Trojan War as a part of Agamemnon’s forces. Later, following its fall to the Achaeans, Eliki led the Achaean League, an association that joined twelve neighboring cities in an area including today’s town of Aigio. Eliki, also known as Dodekapolis (from the Greek words dodeka meaning twelve and polis meaning city), became a cultural and religious center with its own coinage. Finds from ancient Eliki are limited to two 5th-century copper coins, now housed in Bode Museum, Berlin. The obverse shows the head of Poseidon, the city’s patron, and the reverse his trident. There was a temple dedicated to the Helikonian Poseidon.

Helike founded colonies including Priene in Asia Minor and Sybaris in South Italy. Its panhellenic temple and sanctuary of Helikonian Poseidon were known throughout the Classical world, and second only in religious importance to Delphi.

The city was destroyed in 373 BC, two years before the Battle of Leuctra, during a winter night. Several events were construed in retrospect as having warned of the disaster: some “immense columns of flame” appeared, and five days previously, all animals and vermin fled the city, going toward Keryneia. The city and a space of 12 stadia below it sank into the earth and were covered over by the sea. All the inhabitants perished without a trace, and the city was obscured from view except for a few building fragments projecting from the sea. Ten Spartan ships anchored in the harbour were dragged down with it. An attempt involving 2000 men to recover bodies was unsuccessful. Aigion took possession of its territory.

The catastrophe was attributed to the vengeance of Poseidon, whose wrath was incited because the inhabitants of Helike had refused to give their statue of Poseidon to the Ionian colonists in Asia, or even to supply them with a model. According to some authorities, the inhabitants of Helike and Bura had even murdered the Ionian deputies.

About 150 years after the disaster, the philosopher Eratosthenes visited the site and reported that a standing bronze statue of Poseidon was submerged in a “poros”, “holding in one hand a hippocamp”, where it posed a hazard to those who fished with nets.

Around AD 174 the traveler Pausanias visited a coastal site still called Helike, located 7 km southeast of Aigio, and reported that the walls of the ancient city were still visible under water, “but not so plainly now as they were once, because they are corroded by the salt water”.

For centuries after, its submerged ruins could still be seen. Roman tourists frequently sailed over the site, admiring the city’s statuary. Later the site silted over and the location was lost to memory.

Adalberto Giovannini[de] argued that the submergence of Helike might have inspired Plato to write his story about Atlantis. Ancient scholars and writers who visited the ruins include the Greeks Strabo, Pausanias and Diodoros of Sicily, and the Romans Aelian and Ovid.

Subsequent Events

On 23 August 1817, a similar disaster, an earthquake followed by a tsunami, occurred on the same spot. The earthquake was preceded by a sudden explosion, like that produced by a battery of cannon. The aftershock was said to have lasted a minute and a half, during which the sea rose at the mouth of the Selinous River and extended to cover all the ground immediately below Vostitza (the ancient Aigion). After its retreat, not a trace was left of some artillery depots which had stood on the shore, and the beach was carried away completely. In Vostitza, 65 people lost their lives and two thirds of its buildings were entirely ruined, as were five villages in the plain.

Research Efforts


The submerged town was long one of the biggest targets for underwater archaeology. Scientists were divided in their opinions about the exact location of Helike. Numerous archaeologists, historians, professors and explorers wrote, studied and actively searched, trying to discover any trace of the ancient town, with little success. But their work, essays, observations and studies contributed to an important and growing body of knowledge. Among them are the following:

In 1826, François Pouqueville, French diplomat and archaeologist, who wrote the Voyage en Grèce; in 1851 Ernst Curtius the German archaeologist and historian who speculated about its location; in 1879 J. F. Julius Schmidt, the director of Athens Observatory, issuing a study comparing the Aegeion earthquake which occurred 26 December 1861 with an earthquake which might have destroyed Helike; in 1883 Spiros Panagiotopoulos, the mayor of Aegeion city, wrote about the ancient city; in 1912 the Greek writer P. K. Ksinopoulos wrote The City of Aegeion Through the Centuries and in 1939 Stanley Casson, an English art scholar and army officer who studied classical archaeology and served in Greece as liaison officer, addressed the problem.

Other investigators include in 1948 the German archaeologist Georg Karo; in 1950 Robert Demangel, who was from 1933 to 1948 the director of the French School of Archaeology in Athens; in 1950 Alfred Philippson, German geologist and geographer; in 1952 Spiros Dontas, Greek writer and member of the Academy of Athens; in 1954 Aristos Stauropoulos, a Greek writer who published the History of the city of Aegeion; in 1956 the Greek Professor N. Κ. Moutsopoulos; in 1967 Spyros Marinatos, a Greek archaeologist who wrote the Research about Helike and in 1968 Helike-Thira-Thieves; in 1962 George K. Georgalas, the Greek writer; and in 1967 Nikos Papahatzis, a Greek archaeologist who published Pausanias’ Description of Greece.

Spyridon Marinatos, emphasizing the importance of the discovery of Helike, said that only the declaration of a third world war would obscure the discovery of Helike. He pointed out Helike as an unresolved problem of Greek archaeology in 1960. In 1967, Harold Eugene Edgerton worked with the American researcher Peter Throckmorton. They were convinced that Helike was to be found on the seabed of the Gulf of Corinth. Edgerton perfected special sonar equipment for this research but permission to search was not granted by the Greek authorities. In 1967 and in 1976, Jacques Cousteau made some efforts with no result. In 1979 in the Corinthian Gulf, the Greek undersea explorer Alexis Papadopoulos discovered a sunken town and recorded his findings in a documentary film which shows walls, fallen roofs, roof tiles, streets, etc. at a depth of between 25 and 45 m. “Whether or not this town can be identified with Helike is a question to be answered by extensive underwater research. In any case, the discovery of this town can be regarded as an extremely interesting find”, according to the Greek scientific journal Archaeology.

Rediscovery


In 1988, the Greek archaeologist Dora Katsonopoulou, president of the Helike Society, and Steven Soter of the American Museum of Natural History launched the Helike Project to locate the site of the lost city. Ancient texts, telling the story of Helike, said that the city had sunk into a poros, which everyone interpreted as the Corinthian Gulf. However, Katsonopoulou and Soter raised the possibility that poros could have meant an inland lagoon. If an earthquake caused soil liquefaction on a large scale, the city would have been taken downward below the sea level. Also, if an earthquake caused the sections of coastline to fall into the sea, this would have created a tsunami, which in turn would have flooded the inland lagoon with the city in it. Over time, the river sediment coming down from the mountains would have filled in the lagoon hiding the city remains beneath the solid ground.

Before Helike was rediscovered, a few false starts came along the way. In 1994, in collaboration with the University of Patras, a magnetometer survey carried out in the midplain of the delta revealed the outlines of a buried building. This target (now known as the Klonis site) was excavated and a large Roman building with standing walls was found. Also a well-preserved settlement of an early bronze age was uncovered. Finally, in 2001, the city of Helike was rediscovered buried in an ancient lagoon near the village of Rizomylos. To further confirm that the discovered site belongs to Helike, the earthquake destruction layer consisting of cobblestones, clay roof tiles, and pottery was uncovered in 2012. This destruction layer is in good agreement with ancient texts on the location of Helike and earthquake effects to the city.

Excavations are being carried out in the Helike delta each summer and have brought to light significant archeological finds dating from prehistoric times when Helike was founded up until its revival in Hellenistic and Roman times.