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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Minerals and ore activity

In Sifnos there were always gold, iron, lead and silver ores, due to which the island greatly flourished during the antiquity. The abundant silver deposits in many areas contributed to the growth of  pottery.

* The ore exploitation began in the prehistoric years, in the early Bronze age (3rd millennium BC) and it continued in the Archaic and Classical era (6th and 5th century BC) with the lead-silver and probably gold ore exploitation. Almost half of the lead-silver items of the early Cycladic era which have been discovered up to now have been constructed by ores of Sifnos! During the 19th and the 20th century, there had been some mining bu only involving the iron exploitation.

The ore activity in the prehistoric and the Classical era focused in the areas of Xyroxylo, Agios Sylvestros, Agios Sostis. The scientists assume that the casting was taking place near the mines and that there were furnaces of galleries. Gold deposists have been discovered in the areas of Agios Ioannis, Apokofto and Aspropyrgos –in fact this ore activity is mentioned by Herodotus as well.

Rail and air lines were created for the iron exploitation in the 19th and the 20th century and the ruins of these facilities constitute one of the most interesting geotechnological monuments of the islands in the Aegean (similar case as the one taking place in Serifos).

* Source: Atlas of the geological monuments of the Aegean/Edition of the Ministry of the Aegean, 2002, www.ypai.gr

 

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