The site of Skarkos is in a privileged position; situated on a hill in the middle of the west side of Ios, it is in proximity to the island’s most extensive arable lands and to one of the safest and largest sheltered harbours in the Cyclades.
It was located and excavated during the years 1984-1997. The excavations brought to light an important Early Bronze Age settlement (mid-3rd millennium BC) in an exceptionally good state of preservation (two-storey buildings, four-metre-high walls), and an overlying late Middle/early Late Bronze Age cemetery (mid-2nd millennium BC). The moveable finds from the excavation were sent to the archaeological museum in Chora for conservation, following which a number of these objects were put on display.
The site itself became accessible to the public after extensive works of conservation during 2002 – 2007. All construction and conservation work has been carried out exclusively in local stone and the traditional dry-stone walling characteristic of the Skarkos area.
The project was awarded the 2008 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Top Prize for Conservation, for the ‘outstanding quality of conservation work and above all the minimal and extremely sensitive character of the interventions, having no detrimental impact on a unique landscape’.
Excerpts from ”The Best in Heritage” where you can read more about the site, excavations and conservation.
Skarkos can be reached by car or on foot via a stone path from Chora, the very same that used to lead farmers to their fields. For opening hours, please check with your hotel or the Municipality office (useful numbers here).
Shared image credits (Konstantinos & Lia)
Ios, 27 June 2015