LYKOSOURA. 44. Route. 397
of Despoina was excavated in 1889 by Kavvadias, Leonardos, and
Lykosoura was considered to be the oldest town in the whole Grecian
world and to have been founded by Lykaon, son of Pelasgos (p. 390).
This opinion originated not only in the actual high antiquity of the
city, but apparently also in the neighbourhood of Mt. Lykaeon and the
similar sound of that name to the name of the town. Lykosoura was the
earliest seat of the Arcadian kings, who afterwards removed to Tegea
(p. 362) and finally to Trapezous (p. 389). In later times the town owed
its importance to the possession of a temple of Despoina, highly venerated
by all the Arcadians. In consequence of this the inhabitants were not
compelled to take part in the settlement of Megalopolis (p. 381). In the
time of Pausanias .Lykosoura was almost uninhabited.
The Temple of Despoina, a Doric prostylos, 65 ft. long and 321/2 ft.
broad, with six columns in front of the prodromos, which is n^fe it.
deep, stands on the plateau mentioned on p. 396. The colonnade was
of marble, the remainder of local stone, though the cella was prob¬
ably of sun-dried bricks and the roof covered with kiln-dried tiles.
In and in front of the prodromos stood votive offerings and inscrip¬
tions; and in the cella was found the pedestal and remains of a
group mentioned by Pausanias, consisting of statues of Despoina,
Demeter, Artemis, and Anytos the Titan, by the Messenian sculptor
Damophon (comp. pp. cxvii, 84). The temple dates from the latter
half of the 4th cent. B.C. In its S. wall, a little before the parapet
enclosing the site of the cult-image, is a side-door. Opposite this
the slope of the hill has been supported by a wall constructed in the
form of steps. From the N. side of the temple, and contemporary with
it, a double-aisled Colonnade (210 ft. long, 40 ft. broad) extended along
the mountain-slope as far as the ruined chapel of Hagios Athanasios.
Opposite the S. facade of this colonnade stood three Altars, for De¬
meter, Despoina, and Megale Meter. The N. 'facade formed part of
the peribolos-wall, which was continued farther to the W, — On
the plateau (Rachi tou Terzf) which extends above the temple-ter¬
race lie the custodian's house and the Museum. Among the contents
of the latter are the restored statues of Damophon (heads in plaster;
comp. p. 84) and a fine stone table, dedicated to Demeter and
Artemis, from the cella of the temple. On the N. slope of this
plateau, just a little above the temple-terrace, the much damaged
remains of the sacrificial site proper, called Megaron by Pausanias,
have been brought to light. These remains consist of a huge altar
approached by a flight of steps and surmounted by a girdle-wall
with Doric pilasters. To the S.W., on the highest point of the plateau,
are remains of other buildings and a well-house. The summit of the
plateau was occupied by the Town of Lykosoura. A considerable
part of its walls has been preserved, especially on the S. side,
where one of the gates may be recognized, but the ruins by no means
convey the impression of great antiquity. A mediaeval fortress has
been erected above the ancient one on the N. side. — At the foot
of the E. height, which now hears a Chapel of St. Elias, stood the
ancient little town of Akakesion.