On account of its privileged position and fertile soil the island has been inhabited continuously since the Middle Neolithic period (6th millennium BC). It enjoyed a particular floruit during the years of the Mycenaean expansion in the Aegean (1400-1100 BC) and participated actively in the international Mycenaean trade with Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean.
An Early Bronze Age settlement (mid-3rd millennium BC) has been excavated at Asomatos, indicating close relations with the opposite coast of Asia Minor. An impressive megaron-plan building with highly significant finds.
During the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1600 BC) a settlement of Minoan character developed on the fertile plain of Ialysus (Trianda). It subsequently grew into a thriving city. After the catastrophic earthquake in 1400 BC the settlement's cultural physiognomy became Mycenaean.
An extensive Mycenaean cemetery of richly furnished chamber tombs, in clusters, has been uncovered at Ialysus (1400-1100 BC). There are many Mycenaean cemeteries in the E and S parts of the island.
In historical times Rhodes had three cities, Ialysus, Camirus and Lindus. The city of Rhodes was created by synoecism in 408 BC, in an exceptionally strategic position for controlling the sea lanes. It had five harbours and an excellent town plan based on the Hippodamian grid system. A defensive wall, conduits and harbour installlations have survived. On the acropolis (Aghios Stephanos hill / Monte Smith) stood the temples of Zeus Polieus and Athena Polias, the sanctuary of Apollo Pythios with a Doric temple of the 1st century BC -- the NE corner of which has been restored --, probably a sanctuary of Artemis, a stadium and odeum -- which have been restored --, and a gymnasium, all on overlying terraces. There is a nymphaion-grotto in the vicinity of the acropolis, while monumental Hellenistic tomb complexes are hewn in the rock, mainly to the S of the city. In the lower city, an Ionic temple of Aphrodite (3rd century BC), a Roman arch in the Corinthian order, streets with stoas, probably a sanctuary of the Eleusinian deities, a sanctuary of Apollo Phytalmios.
At Vroulia there is a coastal settlement of the Geometric period, with houses built into the defensive wall (casemate).
At Ialysus (Mount Philerimos) is an acropolis with a sanctuary of Athena Polias (fountain of 4th century BC and Hellenistic temple). At Camirus the city has been uncovered with sanctuaries and the acropolis with a temple of Athena. On Mount Atabyrus (Atavyros) scant traces of the sanctuary of Zeus Atabyrios, and at Theologos-Tholos a temple of the 4th century BC dedicated to Apollo Erethimios.
In Lindus, the sanctuary of Athena Lindia (9th-1st century BC), with a characteristic theatrical arrangement of the buildings on terraces, includes a Doric amphiprostyle temple and propylaia. There is also a large Hellenistic stoa of the 3rd-2nd century BC. Preserved in the modern village are a theatre (4th century BC) and a rectangular edifice with internal peristyle, for assemblies (3rd-2nd century BC). Monumental tombs, such as the so-called 'Tomb of Kleoboulos' and the Archokrateion at the site of Krana. A Geometric sanctuary in the locality Voukopio.
At least 17 Early Christian basilicas are known on the island. Remains of 6 Early Christian buildings in the city of Rhodes. A large Early Christian basilica on the W side of the city, with a baptistery and additional buildings (three building phases, 5th-6th century). Wall-paintings and mural mosaics, as well as a mosaic floor are preserved. Further W, remains of a small building of cruciform plan, with mosaic floor (5th-6th century). Ruins of basilicas in the Medieval city and in Athena square (on the site of the ruined church of Archangel Michael). An Early Christian building phase in the church of Saint Spyridon. Close to the electricity generating plant (DEI), an Early Christian cemetery. Other basilicas at Afantou, Kolympia, Arnitha, Salakos, Vigli Lindou, Vlycha Lindou, Malonas, Lardos (Catholic Virgin), Gennadi, Plymmiri (with mosaic pavement), Kattavia, Mesanagros, Skala Kamirou, Dimylia, Soroni (Saint Soulas), Psinthos (with mosaic fragments), acropolis of Ialysus. Ruins of Early Christian buildings at Dafni, between Trianda and Kremasti. A mosaic pavement at the site of Styloi, on the road from Rhodes to Skala Kamirou.
There is a rich archaeological museum in the town of Rhodes. Early Christian mosaic floors and sculptures in the archaeological museum and the church of Our Lady of the Castle (Panaghia tou Kastrou). Mosaic floors from Cos are exhibited in the Grand Master's Palace.Wikidata ID: Q13533316Trismegistos Geo: 2057Manto: 8228879
Info: Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean
(Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean, Ministry of the Aegean)