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                                             The prehistoric settlement at Phylakopi, Melos
Phylakopi the moving fishermen

The prehistoric settlement of Phylakopi, one of the most important of the Late Bronze Age in Greece and the most significant of Milos, was built on the peninsula of Plaka, a short distance from the port of Apollonia. Excavated in the 1970s by the British Archaeological School at Athens, led by Colin Renfrew. A big part of the ancient city now lies under the sea.

The history of the settlement is divided into three different construction phases. The first (2300-2000 BC) where the buildings occupied the position of an insignificant earlier settlement is characterized by homes

with two or more rooms. The walls were made of stone and internally coloured, and there are no traces of fortifications. The ceramics of this period was handmade with engraved decoration and rarely written.


The houses of the second phase (2000-1550 BC) were also made of stone, but better built with walls decorated and with frescoes inside. The use of lead and copper was frequent , while the ceramic was almost exclusively wheeled. The engraved decoration was replaced by naturalistic painting subjects. This city was surrounded by strong walls.

The third phase (1550-1100 BC) is mainly characterized by the gradual predominance of the Mycenaean pottery. The Mycenaean elements are highlighted by the existence of a palace style building. The settlement was surrounded by strong walls, but declined very quickly, probably due to an invasion. It should be noted that the facts show that Phylakopi should not be affected by the eruption of the volcano of Santorini around 1500 BC.

The importance of the coastal village of Phylakopi, one of the most important prehistoric settlements in Cyclades, is explained by the fact that this location, with almost continuous inhabitance throughout the Bronze Age (ie from the half of the 3rd millennium BC until the 12th century BC), and plenty of architectural and artistic findings, is an important basis for the verification of the creation, the growth and the development of the prehistoric culture in Cyclades. The findings from the excavations are now kept at the Archaeological Museum of Milos and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.





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