Although not entirely undisputed, it is almost certain that the Homeric Pharae was there where now the Frankish castle of Kalamata is located, built by Godfrey I de Villehardouin in 1208. Conquered by the Slavs in 1293, it was recaptured by the Franks and changed several times of owner until the Turks blew up part of the castle in their war against the Venetians in 1685. Three kilometers from Kalamata is an important large building from about 2500 B.C. excavated, while an archaic sanctuary to Poseidon has been uncovered 650 meters from the sea, with bronze statues of horses and bulls. Strabo (8.360) also speaks of a shrine to Athena at the mouth of the Nedon. All important finds are in the archaeological museum, which also contains finds from Petalidi (Korone), a Mycenaean tholos tomb from Nikochoria and the Swedish excavations in Malthi.


Especially important is the little museum (photo’s above), from left to right: a Hellenistic mosaic, a bronze seahorse and a tombstone depicting a meal of the dead (on a reclining bed, with his wife on a chair next to him). Top right, a necklace from Malthi (1500-1200 B.C.). Photos below, the Frankish fortress of Kalamata, no longer open to view since the last earthquake due to danger of collapse.