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by Archaeology Newsroom

Imbros in antiquity

Throughout the centuries Imbros has born true witness to its history and Greek character, through none other than the remains of works of art, left behind by all those who had inhabited the island from the prehistoric period down to the present day. In spite of the deterioration of the natural environment in recent years, almost all Imbro’s settlements and primarily the composition of its population, its antiquities and monuments continue to speak for themselves. Building foundations, stone tools and pottery sherds prove the existence of prehistoric settlements on the south coast and the Megalos Potamos plain since the Neolithic period. These finds as well as relevant references in the Homeric poems confirm the ever important role Imbros played in sea travel to Thrace, the Hellespont and the Black Sea. The existence of a fortified settlement as well as other inhabited groups, cemeteries, sanctuaries. harbours, hydraulic and various other installations —on the fertile northern plain and in other locations of the island— dating from the classical, Hellenistic and Roman age verify all the information of ancient authors. The epigraphic evidence reveals that the Athenian immigrants brought to the island the political organization of the Attic demos and their religious traditions, although they embodied in the latter the local popular deities and rituals. Furthermore, the same sources manifest the contacts of Imbrians with other lands and also the settlement of families from the insular and mainland Greece on the island.They also make clear that in the second century AD the inhabitants of Imbros in spite of Roman rule, continued to retain the Athenian model of organization and to keep their ethnic names, as declarative of their origin. The century old name of the island, the pure Hellenic population element and the civilization of Imbros have been perpetuated throughout the Early Christian and Byzantine period and the Turkish occupation and have survived until today. Unfortunately, even the near future of the Hellenic character and civilization of the island seems most uncertain since its destruction is pursued. This harsh fact must motivate, as soon as possible, not only the Imbrians and the Greeks but also every intellectual and scientist all over the world and, most importantly, all those who decide on the destinies of lands and people of Earth , to come to the rescue of Imbros.