Strofilas in Andros, the oldest city in Europe
Strofilas in Andros is the most ancient city in Europe and dates back to 4,500 – 3,300 BC. It is the largest settlement of the Modern Neolithic Age that has been found in the Aegean. Stropilas was found almost intact in excavations redefining the data of the Cycladic prehistory.
Obviously, the position of Andros was a natural bridge between the islands of the Aegean Sea and mainland Greece. It seems that the island’s characteristics such as vegetation, waters and fertile land have favoured the population and housing development of the site. Strofilas reveals a social structure and organisation at an early age because the existence of the city presupposes a collective effort. It also puts our knowledge on new bases for the form and structure of settlements, the art and metallurgy of the Neolithic, Early Cycladic and Middle Cycladic era.
Stropilas and the important findings
Strofilas is the largest and best preserved, organized and extremely densely built settlement of the Neolithic Age of the Aegean islands. It presents early urban structures and its fortification is the oldest documented example of defensive architecture with gate and bastions. Its ruins uncover a unique in size settlement stretching over 30 acres.
Large buildings, arched and quadrilaterals walls, which are preserved up to 1 meter height were revealed. The largest part of the wall has been found about 100 meters in length, still standing up to 2 meters in height, with a thickness of 1.60 to 2 meters. The 1.5 meter wide gate is protected by a precursor-shaped bastion and is 2000 years older than the known early Cycladic fortifications.
Also important are findings such as clay pots, stone tools, arrows and spikes, jewelery, statuettes and bronze objects. Particularly valuable finds are the rock carvings that adorn the wall, the floor of the sanctuary and the rocks along the wall. Carvings with animals, fish, more than 60 ships and spirals. Strofilas in Andros is an exceptionally interesting archaeological site, unprecedented in size and preservation for its time.