Despotiko (ancient Prepesinthos) is perhaps the sanctuary which has attracted the greatest publicity during the last decade. The latest publication is a synthetic book by Y. Kourayos, Despotiko. The Sanctuary of Apollo, Athens 2012, lavishly illustrated, which summarizes the excavations at the site up to 2012. The excavations are ongoing and are focusing lately in uncovering the earlier history of the Geometric-Archaic sanctuary. The sanctuary was doubtless dedicated to the cult of Apollo and Artemis and reached its peak during the second half of the sixth century B.C. This extra-urban sanctuary of Paros, despite the fact that it was ignored by the ancient sources, may be compared both in its extent and its wealth to the sanctuary of Apollo on Delos. According to Kourayos the Parians would have defined their territory with this sanctuary, though it is more likely that the Parians had in mind in creating a panionian sanctuary equally important as the one on Delos, which was seemingly in the beginning under the influence of their rivals, the Naxians, rather than theirs. One could suggest that when Paros was able to play a more influential role in the Delian sanctuary and afterwards Athens interfered in its control, the interest to develop further this "rival" sanctuary gradually diminished; as a consequence the sanctuary which was thriving in the second half of the sixth century, started declining thereafter, especially after the Persian wars.


Kourayos Y., B.E. Burns. Exploration of the Archaic Sanctuary at Despotiko Mandra, BCH 128/129 (2004-2005) 128-129, 133-174.

Kourayos Y., Despotiko Mandra. A Sanctuary dedicated to Apollo, in Μ. Geroulanou, M. Stamatopoulou (eds.), Architecture and Archaeology in the Cyclades, Colloquium in honour of J.J. Coulton, Oxford University, April 16-17, 2004, Oxford 2005, 105-133.

Kourayos Y., The Archaic Sanctuary of Apollo on the Island Despotiko, in Colloque de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 30-31 Janvier 2004. Les client de la céramique grecque, Cahiers du CVA no1, Paris 2006, 59–67.

Kourayos Y., Despotiko. The Sanctuary of Apollo, Athens 2012.