Cyclops Cave (Yioura)

Also called the Cave of the Cyclops, off the coast of Thessaly in Greece is the location of a uninhabited islet of Youra, in the Northern Sporades. Its archaeological site has evidence of human occupation through the mesolithic and late neolithic periods. Later material, such as roman lamps were discovered there.

Led by Adamantios Sampson, beginning in 1992 and continuing into 1996, a team completed a digging project. The more general purpose was to clarify the prehistoric occupation sequence in the area. There was emphasis on the pre-pottery sequences from the Late Pleistocene, mesolithic, and neolithic periods. Ceramic fragments of painted pottery dated to 6000 BC and 5500 BC were found. Other evidence of human occupation, included remains of sheep and goats were found there. Excavation of layers from the Mesolithic period dated ash and charcoal, an abundance of animal, bird, and fish bones, shells, scales, and even a human skull. In this layer were also tools such as millstones and grinders, fish-hooks made from bone and other bone tools. They also found a small number of tools made from obsidian and siliceous rocks.

Bibliography: Sampson, Adamantios (1998). “The Neolithic and Mesolithic Occupation of the Cave of Cyclope, Youra, Alonnessos, Greece”. The Annual of the British School at Athens. 93: 1–22. doi:10.1017/S0068245400003361. JSTOR30103781. S2CID129108607.

Patrick Quinn, Peter Day, Vassilis Kilikoglou, Edward Faber, Stella Katsarou-Tzeveleki, Adamantios Sampson, “Keeping an eye on your pots: the provenance of Neolithic ceramics from the Cave of the Cyclops, Youra, Greece” Journal of Archaeological Science 37:5:1042-1052 (2010) doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.005

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