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Kimolos

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. Athenaeus on the other side has given us the information that the residents of Kimolos had “fossil refrigerators”, where in clay pots they used to keep water cold on hot summer days. The “ischades” of Kimolos (dried figs) were famous in antiquity, and of course the “Kimolia Ghi” (chalk land) that was useful in medicine at the time.

In historical times we have many testimonies about the island because its fate was tied to that of Milos. We know that the island paid tax to the Athenians equivalent to 1000 attic drachmas. It seems that at the time when Kimolos was independent, there was a dispute with Milos regarding the occupation of the neighbouring island of Polyaigos.

After the Fourth Crusade, in 1207, the island became part of the Duchy of Naxos lord of which was Marco Sanudo. In 1537 the island met the Ottoman conquest of Barbarossa and later came in the hands of Angioletto Gozzadini who was paying tribute to the Sultan for possession of the island.

Pirates frequented Argiantiera as Kimolos was called in the Middle Ages and that’s why the Turkish fleet was avoiding it. In 1638 pirates looted and burned the island. Witnesses report that in 1655 there were only 200 inhabitants left. At that time the local tradition refers the settlement of 12 families from Sifnos on the island. During the twenty five-year Turkish- Venetian war (1644-1669) Kimolos was a real base of pirates and residents had no choice but to coexist with them. They obtained a great naval experience and they were popular as navigators just as those who came from Milos. At that time the island was ruled by a Christian Voivode and people paid 1000 piastres as a tribute to Kapudan Pasha. In 1678 there was a Greek consul of the Netherlands in Kimolos and from 1727 there was a French Consul as well. During the Russian -Turkish War (1770-1774) Kimolos passed under the authority of the Russian fleet. It is said that the efforts made ​​by the Russians then to exploit the mines of barite on the island failed.

 

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