Ancient Cassope, the capital of Cassopaea, was founded before the middle of the 4th century B.C. in order to protect the fertile valley which stretches to the south, from the exploitation of the Eleian colonists. The city flourished in the 3rd century B.C., when the large public buildings were erected and the private houses rebuilt. In the same period it even had its own mint but its prosperity came to an end in 168-167 B.C., when it was destroyed by the Romans.
The first excavations on the site were carried out between 1952 and 1955 by the Athens Archaeological Society, under the direction of S. Dakaris. A second campain, conducted by the University of Ioannina in collaboration with the German Archaeological Institute, started in 1977-78 and lasted until 1983.
The most important monuments of the site are:
The North Stoa was built in the period of the Epirotan League (234/3-168 B.C.). It had a polygonal stone crepis and the superstructure was built of bricks in a timber frame. The north side of the stoa was supported by 17 buttresses. The interior was divided into two parts by a row of 13 square pillars, and the facade was formed by a colonnade of 27 Ionic columns. In front of the facade were preserved 21 stone bases with inscriptions dated to the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.
The Prytaneion and the West Stoa. The Prytaneion is located on the west side of the Agora. It had a central peristyle court with 3 x 4 Doric columns and six rooms arranged around it. On the east side was a stoa with 13 Doric columns while in front of the structure extended an open space (temenos) with bases and altars. The whole complex was destroyed by the Romans in 167 B.C.
The Katagogion was a public building, probably a guests' quarter, dated to the Hellenistic period. It has a peristyle central court, surrounded by four stoas with octagonal columns (7 x 8). In the back of the stoas are 17 rooms that do not communicate with each other. The building had a second storey with a balcony and was built on top of an earlier structure, dated to the 4th century B.C.
House 5. The house lies to the NE of the Katagogion and consists of a central court, an open courtyard, the men's quarters (andron), kitchen, baths and subsidiary rooms. It was destroyed by the Romans in 167 B.C. and temporarily repaired afterwards.
(Odysseus, Greek Ministry of Culture)