HISTORY OF CHIOS- NAGOS



CHIOS ISLAND SETTLEMENT FROM NEOLITHIC PERIOD UNTIL THE END OF BRONZE PERIOD (6,000-12TH CENT. B.C.)

Most of the prehistoric settlements that have been discovered in Chios are established on hills that offer most of the preconditions for settlement (water, fertile ground, and proximity to the sea).

Neolithic Age (7000-3200 BCE).

The settlement in St. Galas seems to be one of the earliest in the Aegean sea during the Middle Neolithic Period. 

Early Bronze Age  (3200-2300 BCE) .

Substantial increase of settlements throughout the entire island of Chios. 

Middle Bronze Age (2300/2200-1600 BCE).

During this period settlements are established in the areas of Anemomylos, Bolissos, Fana and Nagos.

Late Bronze Age  (1600-1100 BCE) .

Five settlements are found in Chios, one of which is in Nagos.   One settlement is also found in the neighboring island of Psara.


From the Geometric Period to the End of Antiquity

 Historical Context-Settlements

 Geometric Period (11-8th century BCE).

During this period kingdoms are established as the main political system, with Amfiktos and Hektor being the two kings of Chios.  Settlemtents are found in Chora, Fana and Emporio. 

End of 8th – end of 7th century BCE.

Hektor becomes king of the island. Changing the political system to aristocracy.

 During the 6th century BCE.

Chios experiences dramatic economic and commercial development.  In the area of Nagos, a temple is established which continues to exist during the classical Roman period and the early Byzantine period. (330-610 AC)

Peloponnesian War Period (431-404 BC)

 Chios remains an ally of Athens. 

Macedonian Period (359-334 BC),

During this period Chios becomes an ally of King Phillip.

Period of Alexander the Great.  (356-323 BC)

A Macedonians quadron is established in the island.  

Hellenistic Period (323-30 BC),

Chios falls under the reign of Antigonos and then of Lysimachos, the Ptolemais of Egypt, and then under the reign of the kingdom of Pergamos.   

Roman Period ( 30-324 BC),

Chios is conquered by the Romans who free the island from paying duties

                                                                 

TEMPLES

One of the four big temples errected during the ancient period is located in the area of Nagos.  The Nagos temple is errected on the top of a hill.  It is close to the sea and by a small plateau which is run though by a seasonal river, all conditions ideal for settlement.  In this way, the temple was not errected in an isolated area, but rather it is certain that is associated with a large settlement located about 1km northeast of the temple.

It is therefore not surprising that the area of Nagos was settled continuously from the early Bronze period (3200-2300 BCE), up  to the late antiquity (Roman period).  During the latter period, a Roman altar is also errected.  

The temple was known to European travellers since medieval times. Buondelmonti (1422 ACE ) and Pococke (1739 ACE) refer to ruins which were visible at that time.  However, with the passage of time, the temple was gradually stripped and from the middle ages on, the building materials were transferred to the village of Kardamyla. 

An excavation occured in 1921 by D. Evangelides  but it was rather limited and for this reason it left unanswered many questions such as, which god was the temple devoted to. According to historian Zolotas, the temple was possibly devoted to Aesculapius, Dionysos, or Apollo.   

The temple was build on a porus substratum of 14,25 meters which was recovered and upon which the foundation of a wall was discovered which was 3,80 meters wide.  The wall was build out of large masonry.  From the D. Evangelides the 15,50 meters of southern wall were discovered.  By contrast, during the 18th century ACE, Pococke discovered a wall of 16,50 meters in length.  Upon this wall,  a small church of Virgin Mary was built during the post Byzantine period. The only remains of the northern wall are those of its founation which was errected from large boulders.  According to the excavations, the outer walls of the temple, which were all equal in size, were made of blue-brown marble (this type of marble exists in the area of Marmaro, which takes its name from the same).  The inner walls were made of limestone. 

Published evidence indicate that the temple was probably of Ionian style, with a narthex   and nave being approximatelly 23 meters wide.  The construction is dated arround the 5th century BCE, but the fragments of archaic marble statues recovered indicate that the location served as a temple from the mid  6th century BCE.   The errection of the temple during the 5th century as well as the functining of the area as a sacred location since the 6th century BCE is consistent with the general findings available, during the this period large temples are also errected in Daskalopetra( the temple of Kyveli), in Emporeio (Temple of Athena), and in Fana. 


MYLONA MARY

Archaeologist



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