is the term used for the
civilization that developed in the region of the Cycladic Islands during the
Bronze Age (3200-1100 B.C). The acme of this civilisation was reached during the
first phase of the Bronze age (3rd millenium B.C.) and it is known as the Early
The beginning of a
permanent human activity in Cyclades dates at about 5th
millenium BC. There exists, however, and earlier but indirect
evidence of occupancy for example, samples of obsidian from the
Melos has been found in positions in Greek mainland (cave
Franchthi Argolida) that is dated at the 8th millenium B.C. In
the later neolithic period are dated a lot of discoveries from
the settlement that has been excavated in the small island
Saliagkos near Antiparos , while the ruins that were found in
the Kefala position of Kea belong to the early Bronze Age (3200
BC). At the same time with the early minoan civilization of
Crete and the early helladic civilization of Greek mainland, the 3rd
millenium was developed in Cyclades the Cycladic culture, as
favoured from the geographical position between Greece and the
East and from the soft climate. Ruins are found almost in all
the islands, even in the smallest ones. The elements tell us for
independent small communities with islander character, as the
arable land was minimal.
The precocious period
(Early Cycladic) is separated in three phases, that are named
symbolically by the mainer places of the origin of the
discoveries: Phase Grotta-Pelos (3200-2800 BC), phase
Keros-Syros (2800-2300 BC), Phylacopi I phase (2300-2000 BC).
During the first phase, houses were built on low hills to be
protected from flooding and enemies and were not protected by
walls; the residents were activating in fishing. In the second
phase, exterior invasions forced the residents to retreat
inside, in hills that were protected from walls, the houses were
built near one another and only small runways were left between
them (Kastri Syros, Naxos, Kynthos of Delos).
This movement implies loss of control of seas and the threat of
an external enemy, perhaps minoan Crete.
In the third phase, the influence Crete was strong; the
settlements were again seaside (Milos-Filakopi I, Paros, Amorgos,
Thera) and constituted centres of conduct of the Cretan trade.
The same happened in
the next period, which covered the first half of the 3rd
millennium and called Middle Cycladic period (2000-1550 BC).The
settlements - according to the findings from Melos (Filakopi
II), Paros (Paroikia), Kea (Agia Irini), Thera, Therasia, Delos,
Tinos, Syros, Sifnos and Amorgos was - all coastal ports and
were on trade between Crete and the rest of the Greece.
In the beginning of the next period (Late
Cycladic period) Cyclades were generally influenced by minoan sea domination.
With the destruction of minoan civilization - as a result of the explosion of
Thera's volcano(about 1520 BC) - appeared on the scene the Myceneans.