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Treasury of findings on islet off Kythnos confirm habitation since 3000 BC

Archaeologists have unearthed a wealth of findings on the islet Vryokastraki off Kythnos confirming signs of habitation stretching from the Early Cycladic era around 3000 BC until the 7th and 8th century AD.

The excavation on the islet Vryokastraki off the island of Kythnos in the Aegean Sea, brought to light marble sculptures of adults. young girls and boys, and children, obsidian tools and pottery shards dated from the Early Cycladic era, the end of Bronze Age, Roman period as wells as form the early Byzantine era.

The findings provide the first definitive proof of a 3rd millennium BC Protocycladic settlement on Vryokastraki, the Cyclades Antiquities Ephorate of Cyclades and the University of Thessaly announced.

Vryokastraki islet was once connected to the island of Kythnos by a narrow isthmus.

Some of the stone-carved rooms may also date back to this time.

The findings include two towers and strong exterior walls, a number of rectangular rooms partly carved from rock that were used until late antiquity but also a early Christian basilica with later additions.

Inside a ‘water’ tank carved into natural rocks there were numerous finding such as marble sculptures and inscriptions.

Tank seen from bottom. The tank has a height of more than 7.50 m, while the maximum diameter of the bottom is 6.80 m.

The findings allowed the sanctuary to be identified with the Asclepiion and the sanctuary of Aphrodite on Kythnos.

Head of Aphrodite.

Sculpture of Aphtodite

Aphrodite sculpture inside the excavation site.

The latest excavation work was carried out over the summer, from June 24 until August 4.

There is evidence that the location was resettled in the 12th century BC after a period when it was abandoned, and then continuously inhabited from that time until the 7th or 8th century AD since all subsequent eras are represented by finds unearthed on the site. 

The city, which archaeologists believe was based on the islet, started to shrink in the early Byzantine period, 6th-7th century AD, and was finally abandoned.

Islet Vryokastraki  and the archaeological site of Vryokastro on Kythnos

The remaining inhabitants moving to the fortress now known as Orias Castle.

Pictures of findings are from the 2. century BC onward.

sources: amna, mixanitoyxronoy, Vryokastro excavation website

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