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To date, 22 buildings dating back to archaic and classical times (7th - 4th century BC) have been unearthed, while part of the archaic installation were the building complexes that have been located on the islet of Tsimentiri. 

The earliest period of activity at the Mantra site is placed in the Early Iron Age (9th-8th century BC). Beneath the archaic temple and the archaic building D were located two buildings and a multitude of finds that seem to have been part of a wider geometric installation, which succeeded in the 6th century BC. the cult installation of the sanctuary of Apollo.

The core of the sanctuary is the mosque with an area of about 2.5 acres. It is bordered by a walled enclosure with three gates, which encloses the temple, the ritual restaurant, Building D and the worship altars. 

Auxiliary facilities and buildings (storage rooms, living quarters, laboratories, restaurants, water tank, open spaces) extended to the south and northeast of the mosque. 

The excavation and study of the material is in progress, offering every year valuable information about the topography and history of the sanctuary. It is indisputable from the spatial planning, the architecture of the worship buildings and non-buildings, and the richness and the variety of the offerings that in the Despotiko operated a rich super-local religious center.  


According to archaeologists, man began his settlement in the Cycladic islands in the early Late Neolithic Period, which began about 5,300 years ago. The oldest known settlement in the Cyclades was found on the islet of Saliagos, which is 500 meters from the village of Antiparos and is 100 meters long (from north to south) and 50 meters wide (from east to west). However, since during the Neolithic Period the sea level was at least 6 meters lower than today, then Saliagos was a low isthmus peninsula that connected Paros with Antiparos.

The settlement of Saliagos, traces of which were first identified in 1961 by the curator of antiquities Nikolaos Zafeiropoulos and brought to light in 1964 by the English archaeologists John Evans and Colin Renfriou, covers the whole island and dates from at least the end of the 5th century BC. about. It consisted of rectangular houses with stone foundations, surrounded by a wall. The work of building a defensive wall requires a coordinated collective effort, which proves that in the Cyclades those processes had already begun that would later, during the Early Bronze Age, lead to the establishment of cities. The inhabitants of the settlement made their tools and the tips of their arrows from obsidian. In fact, it seems that the processing of obsidian was done to a much greater extent than would be justified by local needs, a fact that shows that the settlement of Saliagos was a center of processing and marketing of obsidian of Milos. Its inhabitants were also engaged in fishing, animal husbandry, cereals, pottery and basket weaving. Spoons of mussels, several pickaxes and bone tools, pottery and figurines were also found in Saliago. Of the vessels found in Saliago, most look like fruit bowls. They are made of dark clay and white linear decoration, open, with a straight outline, curved or angular, and have a flat base or, more often, a high leg. Among the figurines found in Saliago is the "Obese Lady of Saliago", the oldest marble figurine ever found in the Cyclades. Samples of these artifacts can be admired at the Museum of Paros. They testify that, although the Neolithic civilization of the Cyclades presents similarities with its contemporaries, especially that of the Peloponnese, it shows a special character in its art.

Unfortunately, very few other sites of the so-called Snake Culture have been rescued. Very little is known about both the society and the religious beliefs of these people and their origins.

Later, during the Early Bronze Age, the culture of the Cyclades acquired a much more intense island character. In the 3rd millennium BC. The great development of culture begins in Paros, Antiparos, but also in Despotiko. Tombs dating back to the period 3000-2500 BC. first discovered in Antiparos in 1883 by the English archaeologist Bent and the Swan brothers, who made excavations at the sites of Apantima, Soros and Petalides. Finds from these excavations are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Athens. Christos Tsountas also carried out excavations at Despotiko, where he discovered two Early Cycladic cemeteries at Livadi and Zoumbaria and identified the remains of a prehistoric settlement at Chiromyloi. He claimed that on these two islands, during the 3rd BC. millennium, the population lived in small settlements located relatively far from each other. Newer excavations were carried out on the island in 1959 by the Archaeological Service, under the director of antiquities Nikolaos Zafeiropoulos. The researches confirmed the size of the Early Cycladic settlements and, in addition, brought to light architectural relics of archaic and Roman times. At the site of Mandra, a Doric-style temple of the historical period was found from white marble, which was studied in 1980. Nevertheless, the existing data for the residence of the Despotic during the historical period are few. That is why the discovered parts of a kouros and the half-finished marble head of a small statuette of the third quarter of the 6th BC are of great importance. century which is already on display at the Museum of Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art in Athens.

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