For tens of million years the products of the volcanic action were the reason why Milos (just like Kimolos) was flourishing in history, even when other Aegean islands were going through periods of decline. In the pre-historic years it was the obsidian (or obsidianus, its name coming from the Latin obsidianus), a hard volcanic rock with glassy form and glossy black colour that constituted, mainly in the Neolithic era, a favourite raw material for tool manufacturing. Obsidian trade was through the town it had been developed in Fylakopi from 2000 to 1100 BC.
In the antiquity it was kaolin, gypsum, and sulfur.
In the Middle Ages it was the silver ores. And in more recent times it is kaolin, perlite, bentonite, pozzolan, sulfur, manganese etc.
Thus two volcanoes, those of Fyriplaka and Trachilas, inactive today, defined the physiognomy and the lack of Milos. Therefore, there are thermal springs, fumaroles, geothermal energy and mainly the rocks and the ores that tens of entrepreneurs brought here. The island’s economy was based on the mining and not on the tourism, as was the case in other Aegean islands. The quarries still employ many locals.
Tha largest proportion of ores comes from the big, official quarries of Fyriplaka, Agia Irini and Trachilas, though there are many more. Many places are in the process of restoration with tree plantings.
-Obsidian quarries of the island’s neolithic residents have been spotted on the locations of Nychia and Demenegaki and they constitute important geotopes.
– The UN and UNESCO Programme of Action about the Mediterranean have recorded Milos on the list of the “100 archaeological sites of the Mediterranean” as an important archaeological site, as well as a monument of nature.