Phylakopi, Melos, Greece

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An extensive Bronze Age settlement on the northern coast of the Cycladic island of Melos in the southern Aegean, Greece. The site has been excavated on several occasions since the late 19th century ad, most recently by Colin Renfrew in 1974–7. Three successive phases were represented: Phylakopi I–III, of early, middle, and late Cycladic date respectively. The first phase relates to the Grotta–Pelos Culture, the first town being Phylokopi II built around 2000 bc, with a substantial perimeter wall. The town was destroyed in the 18th century bc, but was rebuilt and flourished again in its third phase down to the mid 14th century bc. The later phase had close ties with Minoan Crete and later with Mycenaean Greece. The administrative centre and cult centre have been identified. The shrines excavated in 1974–7 had a complicated history starting towards the end of the third city (about 1360 bc), and thus extending the life of the site as a cult centre. It is also notable that the shrines contained both male and female figurines.


C. Renfrew, 1985, The archaeology of cult: the sanctuary at Phylakopi. London: British School at Athens and Thames & Hudson

Subjects: Archaeology.

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