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Asklepieion of Kos Schievink, Pim


The sanctuary of Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine and healing, of Kos is located on a hill approximately 3-4 km outside the ancient city of Kos. This city was founded in 366 BC after synoecism. The sanctuary was excavated by Rudolf Herzog in the beginning of the twentieth century. The excavations were continued by Italian archaeologists. Consisting of three main terraces, this sanctuary overlooks the city of Kos. There are four main building phases: 1) third century BC; 2) second century BC; 3) first century AD; 4) second-third century AD. Lamps found on the middle terrace date to up until the fourth century AD (Interdonato, 2013, 116). The island was throughout its history hit by earthquakes that also damaged the sanctuary. It is very likely that the massive earthquake of 554 AD, that ravaged Kos, destroyed the sanctuary. An altar found on the second terrace dates to the mid-late fourth century BC (IG XII,4 1: 397) and is the earliest evidence of activity on the site, altough the sacred grove might have been used earlier for worship of Apollo Kyparissos.

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