Mykonos from antiquity until today


The history of Mykonos seems insignificant compared to the wealth of findings in the neighboring island of Delos and in the other islands of the Cyclades.

The granite mass of the island, which seems as if it was thrown in the fields of Mykonos countryside, was identified in the antiquity with the giants' battle between the Olympian Gods and the children of Gaia who were fighting for the power of the world and constitutes the uniqueness of the Mykonos landscape.

Another myth relates the name of Mykonos with the one of Aiantas Lokros who was punished by Poseidon for showing disrespect to the Gods in Troy.

The poorness of the land forced Mykonos people to search their luck in the sea.

Many kept themselves occupied in the island of Delos, which was one of the most important sacred places of Ionians.

Nikolaos Svoronos, the known numismatist from Mykonos had identified the most known occupations of antiquity, but today we have a more clear picture of the past especially after the last excavations.

People seem to settle down in Mykonos in the prehistoric times during the Middle and the Late Neolithic Period, as the surface findings in the region of Kalafatis and Panormos indicate.

Sampson in the eighties in Ftelia, which is in the northern region of the island near the village of Ano Mera, verified the existence of a Neolithic settlement that had been discovered by the archeologist and later Curator of the Acropolis Kostantinos Tsakos back in the seventies.

A Mycenaean tomb was discovered in "Aggelika" peak that is over the port and the mainland of the southwestern part of the island under a granite rock, an indication of some wealthy lords' burial of the 1500 B.C. The stone-built circled tomb that had a path in it, follows the known shape of the tombs of the Mycenaean period and had a large number of pottery with paintings of the known Mycenaean jewels made by local clay.

In the so-called Historic Period, the ancient people of Mykonos settled down in two regions.

Excavations in Chora have indicated the region where the cemetery of the 6th century B.C. The big ceramic jar which has figures on it and is exhibited in Mykonos Archaeological Museum was found by chance during the excavation of a well in 1959 in the yard of the weaver Viennoula from Mykonos and it is probably a child tomb of the archaic period.

The Museum is situated above the old port of Mykonos and it was built in the beginning of the 20th century to house the findings of the archeologist D. It is known, from Herodotus reference to the Peloponnesian war, that Rhenia was the cemetery of Delos people after the purification of Apollo's sacred in 426 B.C. The few findings from prehistoric tombs in the region of Aghios Ioannis Diakoftis in the south of the island and the pottery of the Archaic Period were the only findings of the island until the eighties and they are also exhibited in the Museum.

Dionysos and Dimitra sanctuaries have been discovered in the countryside in the south of Mykonos and a new sanctuary of Apollo was also found after an excavation in the northern side two years ago.

In the Roman times the island is connected directly to the port of Delos which developed into one of the most important trade harbors in the Mediterranean with flourishing economic and cosmopolitan character and probably looked quite alike modern Mykonos.

Mykonos vicinity with the sacred island of Apollo and the excavations of the French that were started in 1873 are some of the reasons for the island's development to a famous tourist resort worldwide.

The visitors back in the sixties were using the boats from Mykonos to visit the sacred of Apollo and the ruins of Delos.

Many artists and literary people, who were visiting Mykonos at that time, were charmed by the architecture of Chora and the hospitality of its people.

The architecture of the city of Delos rests in the secrets of this craft that has to do with the schist process as a material of construction and refers to the same Cycladic architecture as it is saved today in the city - the so called Chora - of Mykonos.

Have the same atmosphere with the narrow streets of Chora in Mykonos.

In the sixties the Archaeology seat was in Mykonos and thanks to N. Zafeiropoulos vision who was curator of the antiquities, the Ministry of Presidency that was then in charge of antiquities was persuaded to place the islands of the Cyclades under a special protection scheme.