PAROS

The historical and archaeological importance of Paros is equivalent to its size and central location in the Cyclades. Its coastal geography provides many shelters and its inland is large enough to offer fields for cultivation and pasture. Moreover Paros was famous for its marble, probably the most famous in antiquity.


The occupation on the island begins in Early Cycladic period: many cemeteries which were excavated throughout the territory (Dryos, Avyssos, Galana Gremna, Kampos, Ag. Irini Plastiras), though very few traces of settlements have been found.
The acropolis of Paroikia (the medieval Kastro) was first settled at the end of the Early Bronze Age (EC III).


Very little is known from the Middle Bronze Age; it seems that most sites previously inhabited were abandoned. At the end of this period a community presumably settled at Koukounaries, in the bay of Naoussa. This site experienced some growth during the Mycenaean period and especially during the Late Helladic IIIC, when an imposing building was erected on the summit of the hill. Koukounaries was occupied throughout the Protogeometric and Geometric periods but appears to have been peacefully abandoned sometime during the seventh century BC. However, on the slopes of the hill a temple, probably dedicated to Athena, remained in use into the classical period.


During the Archaic period Paros flourished. The city developed at the site of modern Parokia. The important discoveries of the wealthy cemeteries imply that the community was already prosperous by the end of the eighth century. In the seventh century the rich colony on Thasos was founded, while in the sixth century Paros seems to have surpassed in importance its rival Naxos. An imposing wall protects the city and the temple to Athena was built around 525 BC at the top of the acropolis. Other early sanctuaries existed within the walls but their locations remain unknown. On the contrary many rural sanctuaries have been located. Among them, there are two in the southern vicinity, one dedicated to Apollo Pyhios established from the Archaic period and the other dedicated to Asklepios from the fourth century BC. Judging by the wealth of offerings the most important was the Delion located on the top of a hill North of the bay of Paroikia. In general, the discoveries from the cemeteries of the city show the wealth of Parian society from the Late Geometric period utill the Roman era.

The old synthesis of the monuments of Paros by D. Berranger, Recherches sur l’histoire et la prosopograhie de Paros à l’époque archaïque, Clermont Ferrand 1992 remains the main synthesis about the history and the archaeology of the island, as well as the numerous publications of the Munich Technical University team led by the late G. Gruben, and A.
Ohnesorg. The site of Koukounaries, excavated in the 1970's and 80's by D. Schilardi is on the way of being included in a restoration-enhancing project which will also facilitate the long awaited publication of the Late Geometric and Archaic temple of Athena.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berranger, D. 1992. Recherches sur l'histoire et la prosopographie de Paros à l'époque archaïque, Clermont-Ferrand.
Berranger, D. 2000. Paros II : prosopographie générale et étude historique du début de la période classique jusqu'à la fin de la période romaine, Clermont-Ferrand.
Empereur, J.-Y. & M. Picon. 1986. Des Ateliers d'amphores à Paros et à Naxos, BCH 110-1: 495-511.
Fastje, H. 1972. Der Rundbau von Paros, AA: 421-430.
Gruben, G. 1982. Der Burgtempel A von Paros. Naxos - Paros. Vierter vorläufiger Bericht, AA: 197-229.
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Koenigs, W. 1978. Dorische Hallenanlagen auf Paros, AA: 375-384.
Kourayos, G. 2004. Paros, Antiparos : history, monuments, museum, Athens.

Kourayos, G. 2015. Paros - Antiparos - Despotiko, from Prehistory to Modern Times, Paros.

Lord, L. E. 1956. The Island of Paros, Tuscaloosa, 37-43.
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Ohnesorg, A. H. G. 1994. Ein Heiligtum auf dem Kounadosberg von Paros, AA: 327-348.

Ohnesorg, A. H. G. 2005. Naxian and Parian architecture. General features and new discoveries, M. Yeroulanou & M. Stamatopoulou (eds), Architecture and Archaeology in the Cyclades. Papers in honour of J.J.Coulton, BAR Int. Series 1455, Oxford, 135-152.
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Schilardi, D. 2002. The Emergence of Paros the Capital, Pallas 58, 2002, 229-240.
Schnieringer, K. 1982. Der dorische Tempel bei Marmara auf Paros. Naxos - Paros. Vierter vorläufiger Bericht, AA: 265-270.
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Zapheiropoulou, P. 1997. Πάρος, AD 47 B: 541-546.
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Zapheiropoulou, P. 2002. Recent finds from Paros, in M. Stamatopoulou & M. Yeroulanou (eds), Excavating Classical Culture, BAR International Series 1031, Oxford, 281-284.

Zapheiropoulou, P. 2006. Paros, Vlachopoulos, A. G. (ed.). Archaeology: Aegean Islands, Αthens, 260-267.