The Oldest Settlement of the Cyclades

Traces of the National Treasure of Greece

The island of Saliangos is one of the surrounding islands of Antiparos with priceless historical value. Known to lovers of history, Saliangos is a mysterious island home to the oldest known settlement of the islands of the Cyclades. According to archaeologists, the first man who settled on the islands of the Cyclades dates back to the Late Neolithic period on the island of Saliangos that used to be a low peninsula isthmus connecting the islands of Paros with Antiparos. Traces of the settlement of Saliangos were first identified from the Greek curator named Nikolas Zafiropoulos in 1961 and were brought to light from the British archaeologists named Colin Renfrew and John Evans in 1964. The settlement consisted from rectangular houses with stone foundations surrounded from the defensive wall. The inhabitants of the settlement used to manufacture their tools from obsidian and it is believed that Saliangos was a processing center of the obsidian of the island of Milos. It has also been proved that the inhabitants of Saliangos used to also be engaged with fishing, farming, and pottery making. Other impressive handcrafts that were found on the site include spoons made out of shells, pots, bone tools and pottery figurines. The most important finding that was found in Saliangos is the Obese Lady of Saliangos, the oldest marble figurine that have been found in the Cyclades up until now. Findings from the site are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Paros. Unfortunately, the few remains of the culture of Saliangos are not enough for archaeologists to discover the society and the religious beliefs of the inhabitants of the island. However, it is certain that the culture of Saliangos existed and flourished many centuries ago bequeathing us with a unique archaeological site, a part of the national treasure of the country.