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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Koukounaries

Koukounaries, on the northern part of Paros and the inmost part of Naousa’s bay, is a rocky hill of gray granite 75m high. The excavations, which took place between 1975-1992 under the auspices of the Archaeological Society at Athens, unveiled facilities of the Neolithic period under the layers of the Early and Late Bronze era and the Historical years. They constitute a typical sample of insular Neolithic settlement concerning the location, the form of facility, the types of the pottery and tools, as well as the economy.

The naturally fortified hill offers protection and the ability to control the area to all directions. That settlement extended in numerous open and flat spaces of the hill, including the top, where the erection of the Mycenaean complex disrupted, or even destroyed, the oldest layers. On the other hand, on the open and flat spaces where the subsequent activity had agricultural or livestock nature, the Neolithic remains were preserved at such an extent so as to give a fuller picture of the form of the Neolithic settlement.

The houses on the open and flat spaces were arranged in artificial terraces that were supported by retaining walls. They have found pottery, obsidian, bones of domestic animals and a marble figurine representing a steatopygous female figure sitting with folded legs, perhaps made of Parian marble. It dates, along with the so-called “lady Saliagos”, back to the 5th millennium BC.

In the last Mycenaean period, after 1200 BC, an important settlement with a palace was founded on the hill of Koukounaries and it was protected by “Cyclopean” walls. It is said that the settlement was destroyed after a siege and an attack, and it was abandoned, while according to others the destruction was brought on by an earthquake which caused disastrous conflagration. A part of the settlement was shortly inhabited again in 1100 BC.

* Facts from a text by Stella Katsarou-Tzevelaki and Dimitris Schlilardi about the Neolithic period in the Cyclades/Koukounaries in Paros.

Info

To see the ruins of the Mycenaean acropolis, it is easier to ascend from the southern side of the hill.

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