Methana is an archaeologically interesting area!
Methana is an area that was inhabited early in the human history due to its land connection to the Peloponnesian mainland.
The first settlements have been dated to the Neolithic age (8000-4000 B.C.) by obsidian blades that have been found at some places on the peninsula, like at Sterna Gambrou cave.
Later there were settlements built on insulated hills like at the Paliocastro at Vathy or the acropolis Oga near Kypseli. These settlements were improved in the proto Helladic times (2800-1900 B.C.) and got fortifications in the Mycenaean period (ca. 1650-1100 B.C.). At 1627 B.C. all coastal settlements were destroyed by the tsunamis that hit the area after the Minoan eruption on Santorini island. This disaster changed also the prehistoric religion from more female gods to male gods (Aphrodite -> Poseidon). Traces of sanctuaries have been discovered on many places on the Methana peninsula, like for example at Chelona mountain summit, at the Throni plain, at the acropolis Paliocastro or near the chapel of Agios Konstantinos & Elenis near Methana. There in 1990 one of the most interesting Mycenaean sanctuaries has been discovered by the Greek archaeologist Eleni Konstolaki-Jiannopoulou. Numerous clay figurines , vases, and grave goods were discovered and are displayed at the archaeological museums of Poros and Piraeus. Probably there was an prehistoric sanctuary of the god Poseidon. Also a connection to the Thiafi bay with its healing alum salts is possible. It is possible that at this position the mythical, Homeric town of Hionas Ηιόνας was existing. It was told that town was sending also a war ship to the battle of Troy. Trading connections to the area of the Saronic gulf, Athens, Boeotian mainland (Orchomenos) and the Argolida peninsula can be expected. Methana itself was mainly a agricultural area with production of olive oil, vine and also healing alum was mined and shipped for healing uses. Fishing, animal husbandry and hunting was the most common business that time.
In Geometric times there have been built new temple or sanctuaries were improved. The fortifications of the prehistoric times were still used. There was a temple near Kounoupitsa and also an acropolis near Kypseli village. The fertile soil was used for agricultural success and the products were shipped to ancient Athens and to the area of the Saronic gulf.
In the classical times the area around the acropolis Paliocastro was a growing town with all infrastructure. As there have not been systematic excavations, we can not say, where all the buildings have been and which sanctuaries did exist there. Only the Roman wirter Pausanias told something about the Phoenician town and a statue of Hermes.
Around 270 B.C. the eruption of the lava dome near Kameni Chora village was described by ancient writers like Strabon and Ovid. The eruption caused strong earthquakes that destroyed parts of the ancient town of Methana and caused it sinking below the sea level. Also the ancient temple of Asclepios in the sanctuary of Troezen was destroyed. In Roman times the town was still existing and adapted to the new culture of the Romans. They were building thermal baths, After wars and plagues the most residents were wiped out. While the Turkish occupation the Turks needed people to cultivate the area to get taxes. So they were getting people from today´s Albania to Methana and many other areas in Greece. They were adapting the Greek mentality and got orthodox Christians. Later they played an important role in the freedom fight against Turkish occupation. That time all important villages were built in the mountains due to the acute danger of piracy. After the creation of the independent Greek state there were the first villages built at the sea shore. In the second world war there were German submarines in the area and also the sea blocking Germans caused the famine of Athens & Piraeus with about 600.000 fatalities. After the second world war Methana got support by the Marshall plan and for example the thermal baths of Agios Nicolaos were built. The thermal springs of Methana got famous for the most Athenians and foreigners. Until 1990 Methana was a favourite Spa for the Greeks. There was no modernization of the baths and no concept for tourism and so Methana lost its success and got forgotten even by the most Greeks. In the last 5 years the professional societies and some private persons started to promote Methana as a tourist destination for sustainable tourism. The economic crisis after 201o has also a big and negative impact in local economy.