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Cycladic Civilization

The first Aegean civilization, the Cycladic Civilization was developed between 3200 and 2000 BC in a small group of Aegean islands that took the name Cyclades, from the Greek "cyclos" (circle) because the islands form a circle around Delos, regarded as the jewel in the crown of the archipelago.

Archaeological excavations revealed that the inhabitants of the Cycladic Civilization lived in square stone houses close to the coast. Agriculture, farming and fishing were the primary activities of residents.

Sophisticated knowledge and techniques for shipbuilding and navigation made it possible for this civilization to explore the Aegean Sea and to extend its trade to other Hellenic areas, even as far away as Asia Minor. Around 2000 b.c. the development of the Minoan culture on Crete gradually supplanted the Cycladic civilization and gradually brought about its decline. Around 479 b.c. the Cyclades entered the confederation of Delos under the governance of Athens. In 363 b.c. the Macedonians conquered these islands and were then overtaken by the Roman expansion.

In the twelfth century, the Cyclades formed part of the Venetian empire, before being annexed by the Turkish Ottoman rule. It was only in 1829 that the islands returned to Greek rule.

Serifos: The Name

Serifos has kept its name since antiquity, with only one small period of exception. During the rule of the Ottoman Empire, it was called "Serfos," a name still used by certain Greeks.

The origin of the word and its origins are unclear. Some historians say the word Serifos is from the word for cicadas, due to the huge number that visit the island. There song is indeed heard throughout the summer.

According to some lexicographers, the name means "stony ground" and is derived by the words "sterifos" which means barren and sterile. This explanation is disputed by some who bind it to the myth of Perseus who petrified inhabitants with the head of a jellyfish. The most accepted etymology is that of ancient Greek origin, "grou serifos" which, according to the Diogenien dictionary, means "old kid."


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