Ancient Cassope, the capital of Cassopaea, was founded before the middle of the 4th century BC in order to protect the fertile valley which stretches to the south, from the exploitation of the Eleian colonists. The city flourished in the 3rd century B.C., when the large public buildings were erected and the private houses rebuilt. In the same period it even had its own mint but its prosperity came to an end in 168-167 B.C., when it was destroyed by the Romans.

The first excavations on the site were carried out between 1952 and 1955 by the Athens Archaeological Society, under the direction of S. Dakaris. A second campain, conducted by the University of Ioannina in collaboration with the German Archaeological Institute, started in 1977-78 and lasted until 1983.

The ruins of the ancient city on the slopes of Mount Zalongo preserve intact the image of an ancient greek city in the 4th-2th centuries BC, with the fortifications walls, the Large theatre and the Agora with the public buildings as Katagogeion, North Stoa, Prytaneion and the Small theatre (Odeion). The private residences in rectangural building blocks are according to the Hippodamian system, the urban planning system used par excellence by ancient Greeks.


Dakaris S.I., Cassopaia and the Elean Colonies, Ancient Greek Cities 4, Αθήναι 1972.

Hoepfner W.. Schwandner E. L., Dakaris S., Gravani K., Tsingas Ath., “Kassope. Bericht uber die Ausgrabungen einer spatklassischen Streifen-Stadt in Nordwestgriechenland, Wohnen in der klassischen Polis I: W.  Hoepfner,  E. L. Schwandner,  Haus und Stadt im klassischen Griechenland, Munchen 1986.

Δάκαρης Σ.Ι., Κασσώπη. Νεότερες ανασκαφές 1977-1983, Ιωάννινα 1989.

Κοντογιάννη Θ., Κασσώπη. Συνοπτικός αρχαιολογικός οδηγός, Ιωάννινα 2006.