THE ARCHAIOLOGIC ISLAND
Delos, World Heritage Site since 1990
P.I. Hatzidakis, archaeologist
Delos, a rocky islet, just 5 km. long and 1300 m wide, it was in ancient times a sacred island, because here Apollo and Artemis were born, two of the most important gods of the Greek pantheon. It is located in the heart of the Aegean, in the center of the Cyclades that form a circular dance around it - Kallimachos (3rd century BC) calls it "hearth of islands", ie an altar and center of the islands.
The older inhabitants of Delos built (around 2,500 BC) their elliptical huts at the top of Kynthos (113 m. Height), from where, in those turbulent and insecure times, they could easily supervise and control the small valley. and the sea all around. The Mycenaeans, who came around the end of the 15th century BC, having already established their dominance in the Aegean, felt safe enough to settle in the small valley by the sea. The Apollonian Sanctuary, established since the Homeric times, reached its greatest prosperity during the archaic (7th-6th century BC) and classical (5th-4th century BC) years. Greeks from all over the Greek world gathered on the island to worship the god of light Apollo and his twin sister Artemis, goddess of the moon.
From the end of the 5th c. BC, there were already few houses and farmhouses around the sanctuary. The city, now visited by visitors, developed within a few decades after 166 BC, when the Romans, who now regulated the fate of the Aegean, declared a failure for the port of Delos. Wealthy merchants, bankers and shipowners from every time they know what I am looking for, have dismantled, solvent, diet, sculpture and saboteurs, which exhibits the many multi-faceted sites, wall paintings, dietary levels and statues. The minimum very polymath carefully the maximum emporium totius orbis terrarum (Festus), that is the largest shopping center in the universe.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the 1st c. e.g. This small island, which is nothing more than a dot on the map of the Mediterranean, was inhabited by about 30,000 people, and in its ports it was possible to transport 750,000 tons of goods each year.
The wealth accumulated on the island and the friendly relations of Delia with Rome were the main cause of the catastrophe. Delos was destroyed and looted twice: in 88 BC. by the king of Pontus Mithridates, who was at war with the Romans, and in 69 BC. by the pirates of Athinodoros, ally of Mithridates. Since then, the island has fallen into decline and has gradually been abandoned.
Excavations, which began in 1872 and are still ongoing, have revealed the Sanctuary and much of the cosmopolitan Hellenistic city.
Π.Ι. Χατζηδάκης, αρχαιολόγος
Από το τέλος του 5ου αι. π.Χ., υπήρχαν ήδη λίγες κατοικίες και αγροικίες γύρω από το Ιερό. H πόλη, που σήμερα αντικρίζει ο επισκέπτης, αναπτύχθηκε μέσα σε λίγες δεκαετίες μετά το 166 π.Χ., όταν οι Ρωμαίοι, που ρύθμιζαν πλέον τις τύχες του Αιγαίου, κήρυξαν ατέλεια για το λιμάνι της Δήλου. Πλούσιοι έμποροι, τραπεζίτες και εφοπλιστές απ' όλο τον τότε γνωστό κόσμο εγκαταστάθηκαν στο νησί προσελκύοντας ένα μεγάλο πλήθος οικοδόμων, τεχνιτών, γλυπτών και ψηφωτών, που έκτισαν γι' αυτούς πολυτελείς κατοικίες, διακοσμημένες με τοιχογραφίες, ψηφιδωτά δάπεδα και αγάλματα. Το μικρό νησί πολύ σύντομα έγινε το maximum emporium totius orbis terrarum (Festus), δηλαδή το μεγαλύτερο εμπορικό κέντρο της οικουμένης.