Early Christian Catacombs in Milos
The Catacombs are the underground cemetery of the first Christian centuries in Milos. They are located on a hillside, at the southwest of the village of Trypiti in the surrounding area of the ancient city, the ruins of which are extending to the coastal village of Klima.
In the area there are other smaller underground cemeteries in the type of Catacombs.
The catacombs were known locally as "Greek Cave". Even before the visit by the German archaeologist Ludwing Rossto in 1844, they had undergone extensive desecration. In 1878, they were visited by the French archaeologist Ch. Bayet and in 1907 by George Lampakis and in 1928 were investigated and studied systematically by Georgios Sotiriou.
The catacombs are a cluster of spacious halls and corridors (I-VIII), carved in the soft porous volcanic rock (toffos) and are connected by artificial corridors. The cluster is completed by a family burial chamber (cubiculum, IX). G. Sotiriou initially thought that those were three independent Catacombs, A, B and C consisted of halls and corridors. The total length of the galleries is about 200m while the width varies from 1-5m and the height of 1.6-2.5m.
In the walls are carved two types of tombs, the Arcosolia (arched) and the Loculi (horizontal tombs) and on the floor there are pit tombs.
All the tombs were covered by plates of unequal size. Some Arcosolia have still on their coloring decoration and fragments of inscriptions or chime for the deposition of grave goods and oil lamps and in some cases for the burial of infants.
The present entrance of the catacombs is in the room of Catacomb B (III). On the right side of the room is preserved the unique integer storey arcosolio and fragments of the important inscription of “Presvyteroi” written in red capital letters on a rectangular text frame (tabula ansata).
In the middle of the hall, there is an individual above-ground tomb in sarcophagus shape, known as the "Tomb of the witness". This tomb probably was used as an altar, and over this grave there was a ciborium and traces of capitals, which were identified by G. Sotiriou in 1928.
To the west of the Catacomb B is the second open to public room, Catacomb A (I). On the north side are carved arcosolia in pairs, which probably comes to family graves.
In the hallway 1 (II), which is not open to visitors, are the fragments of two, with big letters, inscriptions in rectangular frame (these of “Milonas” and “Thomas").
To the east of Catacomb B are a family burial chamber (cubiculum, IX) and the Catacomb C (VII and VIII), which are not open to public today. The cubiculum (IX) carries on its sides three arcosolia and a built tomb. The southern part of the Catacomb C has collapsed and the two corridors communicate to each other through an artificial corridor. In two arcosolia of Corridor 2 (VIII) is still preserved a segment of a representation with flowers and two birds, and the Christogram and the initials Ω and A.
The excavations that were carried out in the years 2007-2009 from the 2nd EBA, brought to light the southern part of the halls of Catacombs A and B, approximately 15m in length (X and XI respectively). Their roof had collapsed almost entirely, but their walls are retained with nine arcosolia and four loculi. The two halls are connected by a transverse corridor, which overturns the theory by Sotiriou that these are three independent Catacombs.
Over the southern surviving part of the Catacomb B, was revealed a new small cubiculum (XIII).
Apart from arcosolia, also two masonry tombs have been revealed, a marble sarcophagus and 33 pit graves. The most excavated tombs were looted or dissolved. They were covered with handsomely unequal plates and successive layers of plaster. The pit graves are either simple or with a second chamber, roofed by an arc of the type of arcosolia. Today, none of the pit is visible, because they are covered for protection.
Few tombs gave remarkable grave goods, such as pendants, one metal ring, glass perfume bottles and glass beads. Also found bronze and iron nails. Throughout the excavation were found lamps, while traces of burning, pottery of everyday use (cooking utensils, jugs, plates), and animal and fish bones, testify the presence of funeral suppers and other rituals in memory of the dead.
To the west of the hall of the Catacomb A, it was revealed a hall ("Bayet Hall”, XII), which is temporarily dammed for protection. The original entrance hall is located on the NW. The walls have nine arcosolia and two cubicula.
On the south, where the walls of the halls of the catacomb A and «Bayet» converge, unearthed a semicircular wall and a whole column without stripes in situ. From these things it is concluded that this is probably one of the original entrances to the Catacombs.
The finding and the offerings that have been excavated are dating the use of the cemetery from the mid 1st to the 6th century A.D.
Catacombs of Milos
Head officer: Zabeta Rapanaki, Antiquities officer
Information from the Form "The Catacombs of Milos”
For your stay in Milos, you can book a room in one of the hotels and Bed & Breakfast inns.
In Trypiti, close to the Ancient Roman Theater, as well as in many other areas of the island, there are hotels and accommodations of various categories and types (rooms to let, residences, Bed & Breakfast inns, studios, hostels, guesthouses and furnished apartments) that can satisfy every visitor's demands and needs for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.
You will find wonderful hotels, rooms and apartments to let of all categories and price ranges.
The road network in Milos is very good with the main roads paved while the unpaved roads are passable.
In Milos you can use the buses to go to the villages and beaches. Main destinations are Adamas, Triovasalo, Plaka, Tripiti, Pachaina, Filakopi, Pollonia, Zefiria, Paliochori, Chivadolimni, Provatas.
The main port of Milos is Adamas. Pollonia also has a port but is used mainly for a coastal link with Kimolos.
Daily trips by lying dolphin or catamaran from Piraeus. There are also daily excursions by boat or small ships are organized so as to be able to do the round of the Milos and go to the beaches. Also you can visit Kimolos from Pollonia.
There are daily flights from Athens. You can go to the aiport of Milos (in Adamas) only by taxi or by car.
For your convenience, you can use the route map on the field “Routes” with information about the mileage, the time you need and the route you will follow, selecting the points of interest.