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by Archaeology Newsroom

Samothrace

The island of Samothrace facing the delta of Euros River, displays a central mountain range and a peripheral zone of human settlement and activity that is mainly accumulated on its southweastern part. There, the proto-urban settlement of the island is located, the result of the introduction of the Mediterranean multi-culture to the area. A composite society in Samothrace appears again, after the colonization of the island by the Greeks and the foundation / institution of the city-state on the northwestern coast, next to a pro-hellenic sanctuary of mystic cult. The sanctuary and the cult of the Great Gods, as well as the entire island, reached a high point in the Hellenistic and Roman period. However, from the 3rd century on a gradual decay began which led to desolation by the 6th century. The random inhabitation of the town continues up to the 15th century, when the entire population is settled exclusively in Chora, in the interior of the island. This characteristic social phenomenon, exhibiting a unique multifunctional central settlement, would be preserved in Samothrace until the beginning of the 20th century, when a gradual decentralization began to take place. Archaeological research on the island started in the past century and has, until now,concentrated mainly on the sanctuary of the Great Gods. The excavation undertaken by the 19th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Mikro Vouni, as well as the diachronic archaeological survey of Samothrace, open new perspectives in the study of human behavior in the field of insular biogeography.