Cyclades

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Cyclades
Νομός Κυκλάδων
Former prefecture
Location of Cyclades in Greece
Location of Cyclades in Greece
Location of municipalities within Cyclades Prefecture
Location of municipalities within Cyclades Prefecture
Country Greece
Periphery South Aegean
Established 1833
Disestablished 2010
Capital Ermoupoli
Subdivisions
Area
 • Total 2,572 km2 (993 sq mi)
Area rank 23rdh
Population (2005)
 • Total 119,549
 • Rank 29th
 • Density 46/km2 (120/sq mi)
 • Density rank 34th
Postal codes 84x xx
Area codes 228x0
ISO 3166 code GR-82

The Cyclades (/ˈsɪklədz/; Greek: Κυκλάδες, [cikˈlaðes]) is a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups which constitute the Aegean archipelago. The name refers to the islands around (κυκλάς), the sacred island of Delos. The Cyclades is where the native Greek breed of cat (the Aegean cat) originated.

History[edit]

Harp player, example of Cycladic art, at the National Archeological Museum, Athens

The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age ("Minoan") culture arose in Crete, to the south: these figures have been looted from burials to satisfy a thriving Cycladic antiquities market since the early 20th century.

A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer wheat and wild-type barley, sheep and goats, pigs, and tuna that were apparently speared from small boats (Rutter). Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala (on Keos) with signs of copper-working, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities (Rutter), and when the highly organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.

Archaeology[edit]

Ancient theatre, Delos

The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged, then picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose. The context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been mostly destroyed and their meaning may never be completely understood. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Asia Minor c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 33002000 BCE, when it was increasingly swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is called Helladic culture.

In recent decades the Cyclades islands have become popular with European and other tourists, and as a result there have been problems with erosion, pollution, and water shortages.

Geography[edit]

Cyclades Islands encircle the sacred island of Delos
Hermoupolis, capital of the Cyclades. Syros island
Mykonos town
Traditional dress (Vraka) of Aegean islands

The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgós, Anáfē, Ándros, Antíparos, Dēlos, Eschátē, Íos, Kéa, Kímōlos, Kýthnos, Mēlos, Mýkonos, Náxos, Páros, Folégandros, Sérifos, Sífnos, Síkinos, Sýros, Tēnos, and Thēra or Santoríni. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited.

Ermoupolis, on Syros, is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture.

The islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands, Milos and Santorini (Thera). The climate is generally dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not very fertile; agricultural produce includes wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and mainly do not receive wintry weather.

The Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete.[1]

Administration[edit]

The Cyclades Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, and its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region:

Municipalities and communities[edit]

The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well.

Municipality YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code
Amorgos 3101 840 08 22850-2
Andros (town) 3103 845 00 22820-2
Ano Syros 3105 841 00 22810-8
Drymalia 3107 Chalkeio Naxou 843 02 22850
Ermoupoli 3109 841 00 22810-2
Exomvourgo 3108 Kampos 842 00 22850-5
Ios 3112 840 01 22860-9
Kea 3113 Ioulis 840 02 22880-2
Korthio 3115 Ormos Korthiou 845 02 22820-6
Kythnos 3117 840 06 22810-3
Milos 3118 848 00 22870-2
Mykonos 3119 846 00 22890-2
Naxos 3120 843 00 22850-2
Paros 3123 844 00 22840-2
Poseidonia 3124 841 00 22810-4
Santorini 3111 847 00 22860-2
Serifos 3125 840 02 22810-5
Sifnos 3127 840 03 22840-3
Tinos 3129 842 00 22830-2
Ydrousa 3130 Gavrio 845 01 22820-7
Community YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code
Anafi 3102 840 09 22860-6
Antiparos 3104 840 07 22840-6
Donousa 3106 843 00 22850-5
Folegandros 3131 840 11 22860
Irakleia 3110 843 00 22870-7
Kimolos 3114 840 04 22870-5
Koufonisi 3116 843 00 22870-7
Oia 3121 847 02 22860-7
Panormos 3122 842 01 22830-3
Schoinoussa 3128 843 00 22870-7
Sikinos 3126 840 10 22860-5

Provinces[edit]

  • Province of Amorgos: Amorgos
  • Province of Andros: Andros
  • Province of Kea: Ioulis
  • Province of Milos: Milos
  • Province of Naxos: Naxos
  • Province of Paros: Paroikia
  • Province of Syros: Ermoupoli
  • Province of Tinos: Tinos
  • Province of Thera: Thera

Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece.

Sailing in the Cyclades[edit]

The Cyclades, like the other Aegean island groups, are exposed to the north/northeast, putting them in the path of the Meltemi wind that can reach Force 7 and above. The Meltemi tends to start in late June and will come and go until September.

Cuisine[edit]

Local specialities of the Cyclades include:

Communications[edit]

Telephone[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saundry, Hogan & Baum. 2011

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°00′N 25°10′E / 37.000°N 25.167°E / 37.000; 25.167