Strofilas in Andros

The largest ancient settlement on the island

The archeological site of Strofilas in Andros is the largest settlement of the Late Neolithic Age that was located in the Aegean during the excavations of the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. With the recent excavations in the Cyclades, the Cycladic prehistory is put on a completely new basis. Knowledge is finally gained about the form and structures of important settlements of the Late Neolithic, Early Cycladic, and Mesocycladic eras. In addition, information about the Neo-Cycladic and Neo-Cycladic came to light. The data for the Cyclades of historical times are also redefined.

Strofilas | Settlement of the Late Neolithic period

Strofilas, the “oldest city in Europe” dates back to 4,500 – 3,300 BC. and came to light almost intact. The ruins of the unique size and maintenance of a fortified and densely populated settlement extend at a distance of 25-30 acres in the center of the plateau, on the west coast of the island.

During the excavations, remains of large buildings, arches, and quadrilaterals were discovered, which are preserved up to 1 m high. The largest part of the wall was also found, which extends to a length of about 100 m. Is preserved at a height of up to 2 m. And has a thickness of 1.60-2 m.

Equally impressive are the movable finds among which clay vessels were discovered. Some of them are in fine condition. Other coarse utilizations such as e.g. pits and pots, stone tools, obsidian crafts, obsidian arrowheads and spears, jewelry, figurines, bronze objects, etc.

Percussive and carved rock paintings

A special find of the settlement is the extensive percussion or carved rock paintings that adorn the wall. In addition, they adorn the floor of the sanctuary, and parts of the rock. The wall has also naturalistic representations (animals, fish, and over 60 ships) and symbolic (spirals, ring-shaped themes in the shape of Neolithic figurines).

Strofilas’s rock paintings are embossed or percussive. They were located on the wall of the Neolithic settlement, etc. by the archaeologist, Christina Televantou. As a result, Strofilas stands out as a highly interesting archeological site – unprecedented in size and preservation for its time!

The ships are moored at a height of 0.5-1 m from the ground. 7 depictions of ships have been revealed: The 4 are together as a procession, the rest alone. The largest of these (approximately 20 cm long) is engraved in the stone of the gate of the strong wall (perhaps 4 m high – survives up to 2 m). It is the oldest to date sample of defense architecture, with a gate protected by bastions.

In addition, outside the wall have been found 17 drawings, which represent deer, felines, and a piglet. Inside the settlement, boats, a large fish, and many decorative themes have been discovered.

A bridge between the Aegean and Mainland Greece

The geographical location of Andros, a natural bridge between the island Aegean and mainland Greece, in combination with water, vegetation, and arable land, seems to have favored the concentration of population and the development of the settlement that was located. As can be seen from its ruins, it belongs to the cultural horizon of Kefalas Kea. Also, it belongs to Aegina and Attica of the Late Neolithic Period (4500 – 3300 BC). It presents “early urban structures”.

A project with a collective character that presupposes a similar social organization. Its fortification is the oldest documented example of defense architecture with a gate, 1.5 m wide. It is protected by precursor curved bastions “as it is 2000 years older than the known Early Cycladic fortifications in Kastri of Syros and Panormos” of N.


Zaganiari, Andros


37.780679011153, 24.855717122555