Sparta was inhabited in the 10th century BC by Dorians who subdue the Achaeans and is inhabited by four komas (Pitani, Messoa, Limnai, Kynosura). It acquired a wall only in Hellenistic times. In its heyday from the 8th to the 6th century BC dominates the Peloponnese and develops the arts, trade and cultural relations with the Mediterranean world. In the 5th c. BC retains its power, but folds into the military and aristocratic political system - in force from the 7th c. BC - in order to maintain its sovereignty over the conquered neighboring areas. External revival of its institutions is observed in Roman times. From the sanctuary of Chalkioiko Athena, on its acropolis, there are no visible building remains today. In the southwest, on the side of the acropolis the theater of Roman times is preserved and to the east part of a circular building (5th century BC to the Roman era) which has been identified with the dome of Zeus Olympia and Aphrodite Olympia. The worship of Helen and the Dioscuri was important in Sparta. On the west bank of Evrotas, the sanctuary of Orth(e)ia, primordial goddess of vegetation who was later identified with Artemis. The altar already existed in the 8th century. BC, while the temple was built in the 7th century and renovated in the 6th century. BC, as well as in Hellenistic times. In the times of Augustus, an amphitheater was built around the altar square, where the initiation rites of the teenagers (the "flaggings") took place, which was renovated around 300 AD. Today its infrastructures are visible. The teenage votive tablets with embedded scythes, clay ritual masks and lead votives, in the Archaeological Museum of Sparta, while the most important ivory votives in the National Archaeological Museum. Remains of early Christian period buildings with mosaic floors have been excavated.
Therapni - Menelaion
Mycenaean acropolis (14th - 12th century BC), with a building that was built in three phases and probably had a palatial character.
Count of the Achaeans, perhaps identical with the Sparta of the Homeric epic. In a place of perhaps prehistoric worship, on a hill, a sanctuary of Menelaus and Helen, who were worshiped here as gods, was founded in geometric times. Remains of two men with rectangular analemmas, one enclosing the other (6th and 5th centuries BC). Uphill access leads to the foundations of a rectangular temple inside.
One of the few Mycenaean outdoor sanctuaries that have been uncovered was excavated here. It was mainly used between the 13th and 12th centuries BC. Clay figurines of bulls and birds stand out among the votive offerings of the faithful.
Count of the Achaeans who maintained a degree of independence after the establishment of the Doric state of Sparta. It is located S. of Sparta in the area of S(k)lavochori. On the hill of Agia Kyriaki is located the acropolis of Amyklos where the pre-Doric sanctuary of Hyacinthos, which evolved into the sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. The relief and the precinct of the sanctuary were revealed around the oldest church of Agia Kyriaki, while SW. of the newer church, the circular altar of the sanctuary was found. The most important monument was the altar-throne of Amyklaios Apollo, a complex building with rich plastic decoration, which surrounded the column-shaped colossal statue of Apollo, which had as its base the tomb of Hyacinthus (a work of Vathikleus from Magnesia in Sipylus of Asia Minor, 6th century BC). Parts of the superstructure are kept in the Museum of Sparta.
Monumental vaulted tomb of the early Mycenaean era (circa 1500 BC). It was violated, but contained an intact pit where the two uniquely crafted gold cups with bull-hunting scenes, weapons and many seal stones were found. The finds in the Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Komi, from which remains of NW walls are preserved. of Geronthras.
Geraki / Geronthrai
Abundant ancient building remains built into the medieval churches of today's Geraki (Agios Athanasios, Agios Ioannis). The location of the ancient city, as well as the acropolis (building remains) is located in the 13th century castle. A.D. Pausanias mentions a temple of Ares in the city and of Apollo on the acropolis. Ruins of an early Christian basilica on the site of the Byzantine church of Agios Sozontos.
Mari / Marios
Sections of a wall from archaic - classical times.
The town is located on hills on the beach of Kyparissios near Zarakas. Ruined in the 2nd century BC. Worship of Asclepius in a cave in its area (surroundings, carvings). Wall ruins are attributed to its citadel.
Makronissos Settlement of the latest Neolithic period (5th millennium BC).
Pleiai Located on a hill with a medieval tower, in the SW. of today's Apidia, where there are traces of settlement from Neolithic and Archaic times.
Elos Epinio of Amykla in the 2nd millennium BC, survived in the 5th century BC as a small laconic town. Its location is assumed E. of Agios Stefanos, in the area of the villages of Vlachioti, Vezani (Glykovrysi) and Kokkini(a), where ancient relics are in various places.
Akriai or Akria and Akrea
It is located S. of the present village of Kokkinia (or Kokkinia) on the beach on a hill, with ruins of a medieval tower, near which part of an ancient wall and remains of buildings with mosaic floors from Roman times.
Molaoi At the location of Chalasmata, 3 km NE. of the town, pentacle (?) Early Christian basilica (mid 6th century) and a little later deaconry. Mosaic floor in the middle aisle and sanctuary.
Finiki / Hyperteleaton Sanctuary of Apollo Hyperteleata, religious center of the Eleftherolakons. Inscriptions and a bronze vow identify the position of the sacred N. of the village. Remains of an archaic Doric temple.
Asopos Ancient city with a sanctuary of Asclepios. It is located in a place where building remains between the current villages of Asopos and Plytra.
Old Monemvasia / Epidaurus Limira
Around the classical acropolis there is a Mycenaean cemetery of chambered tombs (15th - 12th centuries BC). The finds show a thriving trade network with the Aegean islands and Crete. The fortified enclosure of the ancient city and the acropolis, 5th - 4th c. BC, are preserved throughout. Inside the city, building remains from Roman times. In the 6th century A.D. the inhabitants of Epidaurus Limira moved to the natural fortress Minoan Akra (Monemvasia).
Gerakas / Zarax Ancient city and citadel. A wall of both is preserved on the N. and W. side with a polygonal and iso-building masonry system (5th - 4th century BC).
Agios Stefanos A settlement on the south coast of Laconia, inhabited from the Proto-Hellenic to the Mycenaean era (3rd - 2nd millennium BC) and probably associated with the mining and trade of the sought-after green stone lapis lacedaemonius.
Epidelion Sanctuary of Apollo (Delion). It is located north of today's Agios Fokas, where sunken ancient building remains.
Neapoli / Boiai
Remains of buildings, walls and thermal baths, in modern Neapolis, at the mouth of the Boiatian gulf. The city of Boia, a port of Sparta in classical times, flourished in Roman imperial times. In Neapolis there is a local Archaeological Collection.
Under the current metropolitan church, remains of an early Christian basilica. Marble reliefs of popular style (perhaps 6th or 7th century).
Nymphaeum Ancient port near Cape Malea, identified with the current port of Agia Marina.
Elafonissos / Onou Gnathos
In the boundaries of the modern settlement of the same name, a settlement of the Early Bronze Age has been identified, while findings from the same period come from the sites of Vigla, Gaidourospilo, Akrotiri Elena, Elies, Kato - Nisi, Kapsalianika - Spyrianika, Kournospila, Spilies tou Mavroidi (or Mavroudi), Lefki and Foudianika. A Mycenaean settlement and chambered Mycenaean tombs have been identified at Kato Nissi, in the area of Panagia.
Architectural remains in Lefki and Vigla probably belong respectively to the temples of Apollo and Athena mentioned in ancient sources.
In the area of the islet of Pavlopetri, an important Mycenaean settlement and cemetery of box-shaped and chamber tombs (1600 - 1200 BC) has been identified, today submerged in the sea.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou