|Location:||At the castle Messaria, near Megalo Chorio, Tilos.|
Museum at Megalo Chorio: all year daily 9-14, if closed get key from the warden.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1971||Pleiocene midget elephant bones discovered by Dr. Nick Symeonidis.|
|15-SEP-1997||the UNESCO conference Mediterranean 2000 inaugurated in the cave.|
Megalo Chorio is the capital of the small island Tilos, one of the smallest Islands of the Dodecanese. The castle Messaria is on the other side of the plains, and marks the location of the Harkadhio Cave.
The Harkadhio Cave is primarly of palaeontological interest. Many remains of Pleistocene anmimals were found here. Most interesting are the bones of dwarf elephants and Stone Age artifacts. The finds are now on display in the small museum at Megalo Chorio, located in the Town Hall.
The island was divided from the Greek mainland 10,000 years ago, with the rise of the sea level after the last Ice Age. Mastodons living on the island became endemic and developed to a smaller form. They were only 1.30m high. They are called the last elephants of Europe, as they are the youngest ever found elephant bones in Europe.