The town of Dorion in Messenia, the residence of the mythical singer Thamyris (Ilias 2.594), is usually identified with the prehistoric and early Mycenaean remains on the acropolis of Malthi, probably also a “provincial town” at the time without much appearance. Dorion had been abandoned in the time of Pausanias (4.33.7), but also a century earlier Strabo knew nothing more about Dorion than the information that Homer provides about Dorion. Since 1928, Swedish excavations have uncovered the remains of the prehistoric settlement, which may already have been designated Pausanias as the ruins of Dorion. The settlement history in 5 phases runs from the Neolithic period (phase 1 to 2500 BC), the protohelladic period (2500-2200 BC), the Middle Helladic period (phase 3 2200-2000 and phase 4 2000-1800 BC, the most important period for Malthi) up to the late Helladic or Mycenaean period (phase 5). In phase 4 the town is clearly prosperous, it is surrounded by a stone city wall, against which many heizen with straight walls have been built. A central building with quite large rooms, a room with a stone base for a column and some sort of sacred hearth or altar, on which numerous bone fragments and large amounts of ashes were found, may be interpreted as a sanctuary; the rooms to the south and west of it may have been the living quarters for the ruler of Malthi.
A visit to the (well-marked) remains without thorough preparation and / or ticket may lead to disappointment, because the remains are difficult to estimate from the ground. The foundations of the houses and the city wall have been preserved. A short distance from Malthi is a tholos tomb from the Mycenaean period of Malthi. It is the only tholos tomb in Messenia of which the ceiling is still original and has not been restored. Due to the danger of collapse it is closed for visitors. The map below (clickable for an enlargement) shows the remains of Dorion 3 and 4.