On the ridge of the hill (called ‘Noulia’) to the northeast of Chorio is a line of more than 15 windmills in varying states of decay, which once produced the rough flour used for Symi’s famous breads and for the biscuits which were the staple of the island’s mariners while at sea. Beyond them, and just above, is an enigmatic ancient construction known as the -Pontikokastro—a circular drum of massive, roughly finished, ashlar masonry. Seventeen metres in diameter, and on average about 1.5m high, it has the masonry typical of the 5th century bc. A few metres to the west of it, is a slightly flattened rectangular stone area which may be related to it. In the Peloponnesian War (Book VIII, 42) Thucydides mentions that the Spartans and their allies, after their naval victory over the Athenians off Cnidos in 411 bc, ‘sailed with combined fleet to Syme and there set up a trophy, and anchored again at Cnidos’. A construction at this particular point makes no clear sense as a defensive or look-out post because its view is too restricted. More plausible is the idea that this massive, circular platform should be the base for a victory monument displaying the spoils of battle, such as that mentioned by Thucydides.

Symi Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.

Symi Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.

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