One of the first inhabited islands of the Cyclades is Milos. According to mythological tradition, the first inhabitant of the island was Milos, who came from a royal family, who was sent from Cyprus to the island of Milos by the goddess Aphrodite.
From the findings of the excavations, it was established that it was inhabited as early as the Neolithic Age (5.000 BC) and soon the island became rich thanks to the obsidian stone, a black and very hard volcanic rock that looks like glass and comes out only in Milos, useful for the manufacture of tools and weapons. During the Neolithic era it was already an important trading center of the Mediterranean. The inhabitants conducted an export trade exchanging obsidian for other species. Thus, the obsidian of Milos has been found in the Peloponnese, Crete, Cyprus, and even Egypt.
The most important prehistoric site of the island and one of the most important of the insular Aegean is Phylakopi, which has given its name to an entire archaeological period. It shows continuous habitation from the end of the 3rd millennium BC until the Mycenaean era (14th century BC), when a mega-shaped hegemonic building was founded, resembling the palaces of the mainland. This building includes many rooms, corridors and a central hearth. In the third settlement period, strong Minoan influences are evident, while in the fourth the Mycenaean ones. During the Mycenaean period (1400 - 1100 BC) a sanctuary was founded, which after excavation research, provided a lot of information about religion and Mycenaean culture in the insular Aegean area. Impressive is the imposing cyclopean wall of the settlement, made of volcanic stones.
After the descent of the Greek races from the North, Dorians settled in Milos around 1000 BC. At the same time, a new city begins to be built in the area of today's Klima. It is noteworthy for the classical period that the inhabitants of Milos refused to surrender their island to the Persians and fought alongside the rest of the Greeks in the naval battle of Salamis and the battle of Plataea. But they and their city were destroyed in 415 BC by the Athenians, when they tried to maintain their neutrality in the Peloponnesian War.
Until 311 BC Milos belonged to Macedonia and then to Egypt. The freedom and safety of the seas, thanks to the powerful fleet of the Ptolemies, gave the opportunity for a new economic prosperity of the island, which also contributed to the development of the arts. The famous statue of Aphrodite (Louvre museum) and the imposing Poseidon, 2.50 m high (National Archaeological Museum of Athens) are representative examples of this new heyday.
During the Hellenistic period, Milos was adorned with a marble theater, which continued to function during the Roman period - as can be seen from the repairs and remodeling done to it. In the 1st century AD, Christianity appeared on the island. The Catacombs are created, the largest in Greece and one of the most remarkable worldwide.
In 1207, like the rest of the islands of the Cyclades, it came under the rule of the Venetians and remained under Venetian rule until 1580, during which time the Turks dominated Milos and the Aegean islands in general. At that time, Milos became a stronghold for pirates, who found refuge in its famous caves. Milos was one of the islands of the Cyclades that pioneered the Greek revolution. In 1832 it was united with Greece.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou