The findings of the excavations organised from time to time in Amorgos proved that it was one of the major centres of the Cycladic civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. The existence of fortified citadels, cemeteries and various figurines found, testify the cultural development of the island. Its geographical position made it important on the pathway for the evolution of the elaboration of bronze and of the growth of navigation in the Aegean . Amorgos, the easternmost island of the Cyclades was on the ancient roads leading from Ionia to the Greek mainland. Between the 10th and the 8th century BC, during the Geometric period, Ionian settlers arrived on the island of Naxos and founded Arkesini. In the 7thcentury BC colonists from Miletus founded Aegiali on the northwest coast.
In the historical times, although some of the residents were Dorians and they were under the influence of Sparta, Anafi joined the Delian League, paying annually 1000 drachmas. After the Capture of Constantinople in 1204 by the Franks, it came to Marco Sanudo, who ceded it in 1207 to the Venetian Leonardo Foscolo. At that time the island was known by the corrupted name Namfio.
The archaeological findings certify the existence of a human settlement since the 4th millennium BC in the organized settlements of Strofilla in the west, and of Mikrogiali in the northeast of the island. The settlement of Plaka with its natural fortification dates back to the 3000-1600 BC. Fortified settlements of the Mycenaean period have been identified in Agios Nikolaos, Paleopolis and Korthi. During the Geometric period Andros was a bridge between the Greek mainland and the islands, with fortified settlements on the west coast of the island Zagora and Ipsili Aprovatos. From the Archaic years to the Hellenistic period, Paleopolis with its citadel and its main city became the political centre of the island. The findings show that life in Paleopolis continued until the 5thcentury AD. The Hermes of Andros, a copy of the Hermes of Praxiteles dating back to the Hellenistic period, was found there.
The findings of the archaeological research indicate that the oldest human settlement in Delos is located at the acropolis of Kythnos, where an early Cycladic fortified settlement of the 3rd millennium BC was found. Furthermore, it seems that a Minoan settlement was developed in the 13th – 14th century BC at the area of the sanctuary, according to the plaques made of ivory which were discovered there. The Mycenaeans’ arrival on the island around the late 15th millennium BC is connected to the consolidation of their domination in the Aegean. The myth of Delos’s Mycenaean king, Anios, who was considered to be the son of Apollo and the great grandchild of Dionysus, is reflected in that era. The narrations about the hospitality of Anchises of Troy who was saved by Aeneas’s son as well as the arrival of the Achaeans’ fleet on the island indicate the efforts of the mythical king to keep the island neutral to the conflicts of that time.
The archaeological findings indicate that the settlement in Ios dates back to the Early Cycladic period and because of its geographical location it had a significant growth during the 3rd millennium. It is known that during the period of the classical era it belonged to the Delian League and it paid initially one talent as a tribute to the Athenians. According to the indications that there are Ios did not participate in the alliance against the Athens known as «Common of the Islanders». It seems, however, that it participated when it was re-established in the Ptolemaic period. A commemorative plaque in honour of the wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Arsinoe reveals a possibility that Arsinoe was the name of the island at that time.
The archaeologists speak of early human settlement on the island of Kea in the bay of St. Nicholas, while Neolithic period settlements in cape Kefala have been identified. From the Bronze Age we have the organized and fortified village of Agia Irini. During historical times, Kea was considered an Ionic island and it was the only island in the Cyclades which, according to ancient geographers, had four autonomous and independent cities. During the Archaic period (7th-6th century BC) those were Ioulis, Karthea, Korrisia (or Korissos) and Piiessa. These four cities, the most important of which was Karthea, as numismatic evidence testifies, bore a great financial and moral growth. Aristotle, in fact, wrote a separate book about the state of the residents of Kea. The poets Simonides senior and his grandson Simonides Leoprepou in the mid-3rd century BC originated from here. Simonides the younger just before the Peloponnesian war and Bacchylides in the middle of the 5th century BC as well. There is a list of sophists and philosophers like Pythokleidis, Theramene, Agnonos and the peripatetic philosopher Ariston who originated from Kea. This is the place of origin of the ancient doctors Pantheidis, Medias and Erisistratos.
According to Dionysius Calliphon, Kimolos in antiquity had two harbours. The city is located on the southeast coast, opposite the island of St. Andreas (or Daskaleio) that was once connected to the coast, and today it is called Ellinika. Archaeological findings testify the existence of an ancient necropolis with tombs carved into the rock, and shards of jars dating to the Geometric and Archaic period (9th -6th century BC). In Bay Psatha there are the “wires” as the locals call them. They are ship sheds carved into the rocks, namely port facilities which were covered with a roof and served to guard the ship when retrieved from the sea.
The archaeologists confirm that on the northeast coast of Kythnos near Loutra (baths), there is the oldest human settlement in the Cyclades. This position dates back to the Late Mesolithic period (8500-6500 BC). Findings of the Early Cycladic period (3rd millennium BC) have been found in the location Skouries. An inscription on the pedestal of the statue of Zeus at Olympia testifies the participation of Kythnos in 480 BC in the naval Battle of Salamis, with a galley and a pentikontoros.
It is characteristic that the Latins who lived here had their own bishop. When there was a need to build the church of the Capuchin monks the King of France and the multinational pirates contributed with 1000 scudi. Milos participated in the Struggle of 1821 and in 1830 it became together with the rest of Cyclades a province of the newly formed Greek Kingdom.
The archaeological data certify human settlement on the island of Mykonos which dates to the late Neolithic period (5th millennium BC) at Ftelia. Also, a vaulted Mycenaean tomb at Aghelika of the 14th to 13th century BC is one of the few that have been discovered in the Cyclades. The ancient town of Mykonos was founded by the Ionians in the 11th century BC and it coincides with the location of the modern Chora.
The growth and strength of Naxos during the ancient times is reflected in the monuments of art. The large male and female statues, such as Artemis, the offering of Nikandri atDelos (650 BC) and the kouri found in Thera (last quarter of the 7th century BC). Another fine example of island Ionic order is the “Oikos of the Naxians” at Delos.
Paros was taken by the Samians in the 6th century BC, a period in which the great natural philosopher Pherecydes pupil of Pittacus, who became a teacher of Pythagoras, when he was in Samos, was born. The local tradition, actually shows on the eastern side of the island where the cave in which the philosopher is said to have lived. There is another site that is linked to Pherekydes in the location Alithini between Ermoupolis and Ano Syros. During the Persian wars, Syros was conquered by the Persians, but in 478 BC it was part of the Delian League paying taxes to the Athenians.
According to the archaeologists, the unfortified ancient city of Thera was founded in the 8th century BC by Dorians from Laconia and probably of Boeotia on the hill of Mesa Vouno. The town also survived through the Hellenistic period (3rd-2nd century BC). Thera still remained robust since, as testified by Herodotus, King Grinosin the mid-7th century BC organized the colonization of Cyrene, in Libya, by the population of Thera. This city flourished and it was the place of origin of the poet Callimachos.
The human presence on the island of Serifos dates back to the 3rd millennium BC, during the Early Cycladic period. There are findings of human habitation during the Mycenaean period. Until the 7th century the island had a monarchical regime and its inhabitants seemed to be Aeolians from Thessaly. Ionians led by Eteoclus arrived to Serifos as well. The residents participated in the Delian League and followed the democratic regime. During the Persian wars, they initially supported the Persians with thirteen triremes, but eventually they sided in 480 BC with the Athenians in the naval Battle of Salamis, sending along with Kythnos and Sifnos a pentikontoros. They also participated in the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC on the side of Athens.
Archaeologists date the first settlements in coastal areas of Sifnos in the second half of the 3rdmillenniumBC.The citadelof St. Andrew, south of Apollonia, is an excellent example of Mycenaean fortification in the Cyclades, dating from1300-1100BC.The fortifications of the town seem to have been renovated during the Geometric period, the Classical andHellenistic period. The ancient town of Sifnos was built on the hill of Kastros and it seems to have been inhabited during the Bronze Age (3200-1100 BC).
Ionians were settled in Sikinos, as testified by the inscriptions found, while the various archaeological findings certify continuous human settlement from the Mycenaean period up to the present day. Sikinos was a member of the Delian League and the tax it paid did not exceed one thousand attic drachmas. It was an organized state and Solon often mentioned it as an example to the Athenians. On the island Pythian Apollo, Hermes Agoraios and Dionysus Savazios were worshiped.
In 776 BC, Tinos was under the dominance of Eretria, which was strong at the time. Athens controlled the island of Tinos in 650 BC and in 505 BC went under the dominance of the tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras. During the Persian wars itsurrendered to the Persians. But on the eve of the naval battle of Salamis, a Tinian trireme the leader of which was Panetios Sosimeneos, defected and revealed to the Greeks the plans of the Persian fleet. Therefore, after the end of the wars, the name of Tinos was written on the tripod dedicated by the Greeks to Delphi. The island participated in the battle of Chaeronea in 479 BC. In 478 BC it participated in the Delian League and paid a tax which was initially of three talents, that a little later rose to 10. Tinian infantrymen participated in the second campaign of the Athenians to Sicily (413 BC). After the battle of Chaeronea, the island came under the dominance of the Macedonians in 314 BC and it became a member of the Commonof the Islanders.
Leleges, Kares , Phoenicians, Dorians and Ionians reached Folegandros at times. Several inscriptions found support the assumption that the inhabitants were probably of Doric origin. In the 5th century BC the island participated in the alliance founded by the Athenians after the end of the Persian wars. In an inscription it is noted that Folegandros as a vassal island in 425 BC paid taxes to the Athenians. As the sources testify on the island Artemis Selasforos and Apollo Prostatirios were worshiped. After the victory of Philip over the Athenians at Chaeronea in 338 BC, Folegandros with the other Cycladic islands was under the dominance of the Macedonians and the Ptolemies later, the successors of Alexander the Great. During the Roman period it became a place of exile. After the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and the distribution of the Byzantine Empire by the Franks, it was under the rule of the Venetians as art of the Duchy of Naxos, head of which was Marco Sanudo, nephew of the Doge of Venice Enrico Dandolo. In 1269 the Frank knight Likarios took command of the Byzantine fleet and recaptured some islands of the Cyclades, including Folegandros.