5 kms Southeastern of Sparta
on a height of mountain Parnon
above of the eastern bank of river Evrotas
The ancient name of the area was Therapne.
An extended Mycenaean settlement was revealed, which was identified
by H. Catling with the Homeric Sparta, the centre of the palace of Menelaos. Specifically
the investigations brought into light traces of Middle Helladic habitation (burials-pottery),
pottery of Late Helladic IIA period (15th century B.C) unrelated to any excavated
architectural structure, building of Late Helladic IIB period (15th century B.C),
known as Megaron I (Mansion I) ; it was used until Late Helladic IIIA1, when it
was destroyed by earthquake and was replaced by a building of different orientation
but of the same use: the Megaron II. The area was abandoned during Late Helladic
IIIA2 period (14th century B.C) and was inhabited again during Late Helladic IIIB2
period (end of 13th century B.C).
Date of architectural phases and description:
Geometric period : Foundation of the sacred peribolus and altar. It was
probably founded on an area where worship was taken place during the mycenaean
Archaic period (500 B. C.): Construction of the first monumental building,
consisting of a small cella made of rectangular porous stones.
Classical period: Construction of large crepidoma on which a cella was built
. Peculiar structure in the shape of a pyramid.
The Greek Archaeologist Chr. Tsountas identified in 1889 Mycenaean
pottery sherds, but not any architectural remains, south of the Archaic altar
of Menelaos and Helen. Excavations were conducted by the British Archaeological
School At Athens in 1909, under the direction of R. M. Dawkins and in 1973-76,
under the direction of Dr. H. Catling.
The walls have been partly restored with concrete, by the British
Archaeological School at Athens.
The most important monuments of the site are:
Part of settlement dated to Late Mycenaean period (14th-12th century B.
C.). It was uncovered during excavations conducted by the British Archaeological
School At Athens, under the direction of H. Catling.
Sanctuary of Menelaos and Helen; a monumental ramp which is surrounded by
peribolus leads to a temple. It is dated to Archaic until Roman period.