Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 May 2018

An extended Mesolithic settlement in Naxos

Adamantios Sampson Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 16.1 (2016): 269-271

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Over the last two decades of excavations and surveys, a Mesolithic cultural stage was discovered for the first time in the Aegean which until then had appeared in a few places in mainland Greece. The first Mesolithic site appeared at the Cyclops Cave in Youra of Northern Sporades in 1992 and then the Mesolithic settlement of Maroulas in Kythnos was excavated (1996-2005). The following excavation of the Mesolithic site of Kerame in Ikaria (2007-2008) showed that the Mesolithic culture of the Aegean extended to the eastern side of the Aegean too. The next few years, surveys in the central and southern Aegean yielded new Mesolithic sites such as the sites of Roos in Naxos and Areta in Chalki. So far, nearly all the sites are located next to the sea and seem to have been related to sea movements from island to island. Apparently, the obsidian sources of Melos must have been the main reference center for this period while secondary were the obsidian sources of Yali in Dodecanese. The site Roos in Naxos is particularly important because, besides presenting all the features of a typical Mesolithic site, it expands to an area of dozens of acres, much greater than those of Maroulas in Kythnos and Kerame in Ikaria. The stone industry includes Melian obsidian and flint from Stelida quarry of Naxos. The typology of artifacts refers to stone tools that have also been found in Ikaria, Kythnos, Chalki and the earliest layer X of Knossos. Some types of implements probably indicate that the site of Roos could be dated to a later Mesolithic stage than those of Kythnos and Ikaria.


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