The Cyclades are a group of islands in the southern Aegean situated between Greece and Turkey. The name was coined in the Archaic period as the islands form an approximate circle (kyklos) around the central and most sacred island (at that time) of Delos. The islands had a distinctive culture in the early and middle Bronze Age and regained regional importance... [continue reading]
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A panorama of the archaeological site of Delos, one of the most important religious sanctuaries in the Greek world and a major trading centre in the 1st and 2nd century CE Roman world.
Silver drachm from Delos, Cyclades, late 6th century BCE. O: Lyre (R: incuse square).
A large storage pithoi decorated with dolphins and lilies, 17th century BCE, Akrotiri. (Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Santorini).
published on 07 October 2012
Early Cycladic 'violin' figurines in marble, 3200-2800 BCE. The figurines represent a squatting female figure but their exact significance is not known. Most probably they represent a female fertility deity. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens).
Introduction Genocide is often viewed as a particular feature of our own current age. This perception largely stems from the terrible events which took place during World War Two in the 20th century CE in the parts of Europe occupied by the Nazis. However, there are certain occasions in the ancient world which could also be possibly considered... [continue reading]
A gold ibex figurine from Akrotiri on Thera (Santorini), 17th century BCE. The figurine was discovered in 1999 CE in mint condition having been originally placed inside a wooden box within a clay chest. It is hollow and was made using the lost-wax technique. The legs, neck and tail were soldered on and finishing touches were added using a small hammer, indentations... [continue reading]
The Minoan civilization flourished in the middle Bronze Age on the Mediterranean island of Crete from ca. 2000 BCE until ca. 1500 BCE and, with their unique art and architecture, the Minoans made a significant contribution to the development of Western European civilization as it is known today. The archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans was first alerted... [continue reading]
The Mycenaean civilization flourished in the late Bronze Age, from the 15th to the 13th century BCE and extended its influence not only throughout the Peloponnese in Greece but also across the Aegean, in particular, on Crete and the Cycladic islands. The Mycenaeans were influenced by the earlier Minoan civilization (2000-1450 BCE) which... [continue reading]
Naxos, with an area of 430 km², is the largest island in the Cyclades archipelago. The island enjoyed its most prosperous periods in the early Bronze Age and again in the Archaic and Classical periods. Naxos in Mythology In certain versions of Greek mythology, no less a figure than Zeus himself was brought up on the island and he was worshipped... [continue reading]
The Papyrus Fresco from the Room of the Ladies from the house of the same name, Akrotiri, Thera. Papyrus is not indigineous to Thera and therefore suggests that the Cycladic artists were borrowing iconography from elsewhere, perhaps Egypt or Minoan Crete. 17th century BCE. (Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Santorini).