Kea-Tzia Prehistoric settlement of Agia Irini

The area took its name from the chapel that dominates above the bay. The ruins of the settlement show traces of habitation from the Neolithic period (3300-3200 BC) to the end of the Bronze era (1200-1100 BC). According to excavations, the settlement was destroyed by natural causes and the houses were repaired with the use of older materials –thus the dating is difficult.

Among the findings there are clay and stone vessels and utensils, as well as many marble figurines in the classic Cycladic form. In the middle of the settlement’s heyday its fortification seems to have taken place and a church was built constituting a unique case of building of this style in the Cyclades at that specific time. The most important finding from the excavations of Agia Irini is a series of clay figurines with female forms that allegedly depict deities or priestesses – the korai.

You will see them in a specially designed space in the Archaeological Museum of Ioulis.

The systematic excavation of the site was conducted by the University of Cincinnati and professor J.L. Caskey during 1960-1981.

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