Markiani in Amorgos is the first rural settlement of the Early Cycladic period to be excavated systematically and published comprehensively. Most of our knowledge of the Cycladic islands of Greece in the third millennium BC comes from the well-known Cycladic cemeteries, with their fine decorated pottery, marble vessels and striking marble figurines. Early Cycladic remains also underlie the proto-urban trading centres of the Aegean Bronze Age, such as Phylakopi on Melos or Ayia Irini on Kea. Now, for the first time, we glimpse the life of a country farming community with its rural crafts, including spinning and probably weaving and metallurgy. The stratified culture sequence, with its radiocarbon chronology, documents clearly a thousand years of peasant life in this rather isolated island community. The site, overlooking the sea on the south coast of Amorgos, was already fortified towards the beginning of the Bronze Age. The abundant finds contrast strikingly with the elite products recovered from the Cycladic cemeteries. The abundant pottery is local and undecorated.
There is a full repertoire of tools and artefacts of stone and bone, and the metal finds include a lead seal, an indication (with the clay sealings) of some organisation in production and exchange already in this modest community. Written by an internationally recognised team of Greek and British scholars, and with its clear documentation and abundant drawings and photographs, this volume establishes a new direction in the study of Cycladic prehistory. It should become an indispensable work of reference for every archaeological library.show more