Pilot site #1: Delos Island

Magnificent panoramic view of the Temple of Apollo on the island of Delos, near Mykonos, beautiful Cycladic island in the heart of the Aegean Sea.


Type of heritage: 
Cultural Heritage

Owners of the site: 
Hellenic state

Managers of the site 
Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades

Coordinator for the ARGUS project: 
Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades

37°23'36.0"N 25°16'16.0"E


Aerial view of the ancient theater of Delos and the theater district pilot of the ARGUS project

The archaeological site of Delos expands on a small rocky island (just 3.4 km2) with important monuments in a protected cultural heritage landscape, inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1990. It is an important site in Greek mythology, as it was considered the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and a witness of the Greek heritage throughout the centuries.

Threats of the Delos site

Sea and wind erosion, key causes of damage to antiquities, have intensified over the last decade. Soil erosion is facilitated by the dry conditions, livestock and strong winds during summer and by the few flash floods during winter. Although Delos is semi-arid, more irregular and intense rainfalls have been observed in the last decade. The sea-level on the west coast, where the main site is located, has risen considerably compared to the Hellenistic period (+1.5m) and destructive invasions of water penetrate building foundations. Water reservoirs of Hellenistic houses were coated with mortars that are often preserved, and the upper exposed sides were decorated with mosaics, which are threatened by increased salt-weathering due to temperature and humidity fluctuations and extremes. Moreover, the proximity of the island to Mykonos, a mass tourism destination, creates maritime pollution.

The Lions of Delos in the pilot site of the ARGUS project

Main objectives to be reached with the ARGUS interventions

Flowers and ancient archaelogical remains at the island of Delos in Greece
  • To examine the climate parameters and the geomorphological characteristics of Delos;
  • to collect multimodal data on the structural and chemical condition of the architectural elements and the level of degradation of mosaics and frescos;
  • to estimate air and maritime pollution threats;
  • to assess the coastal and soil erosion impact;
  • to assess seismic threats;
  • to create risk-assessments maps and evaluate multimodal data fusion and ARGUS DSS.