Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cylcades Islands: Pearls in the southern Aegean Sea

One of the many prefectures or ‘junior’ administrative units of Greece, Cyclades are a group of some 220 islands in the Aegean Sea. The islands are usually peaks of a submerged mountain range, with only two of these islands are volcanic in nature.

Though, it is not proved as to which specific civilization inhabited these group of islands, but carbon dating of the various female idols chisled out of the island cliffs suggest that there were people living here during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze period. Certain excavated sites at Saliagos and Kephala on the island of Keos showed the residents were familiar with copper.

Cyclades’ climates is generally dry and mild, with a great deal of mixture in its native soil, ideally suitable for agricultural crops like fruits, wheat, olives and even tobacco.
Therefore, some of its major exports include wine, olive oils and tobacco in various forms.

Historians suggest that the early Cycladic culture usually evolved in three phases between 3300 BC and 2000BC. It was this time that the other dominating Minoan culture of the Aegean Sea was at its peak and maybe, their influenced phased out the island’s initial culture.

Recently, tourists, other than from Greece, have ‘discovered’ the unique charm of the Cyclades island, along with those of others in the vicinity.

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