Skarkos, Prehistoric Settlement

Skarkos prospered because it lay at the junction of key trading routes that linked the Cyclades with mainland Greece, Crete, and Asia Minor. Early Bronze Age sailors used paddle boats with limited range. They had to stop at harbors such as Skarkos to get supplies and to trade. The people of Skarkos imported beverages, perfumed oils, or other liquids in pottery containers. They exported finished products such as obsidian tools. Skarkos was abandoned about 2,300 BC, possibly after an earthquake. Centuries later, people dug some graves into the hill, but the site was never resettled whichexplains why the remains are so well preserved. During 2003-2009, conservation work was carried out to preserve the site for the future and make it accessible to visitors. In 2008 the site received a European Union Prize for excellence in cultural heritage conservation.We invite you to visit the archaeological site of Skarkos and experience the ancient remains for yourself. As you explore Skarkos, imagine the sights and sounds of a busy harbor town, full of sailors, traders, artisans, and farmers.


— Text by Prof. John W.I. Lee, University of California at Santa Barbara