Cycladic Culture

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Related to Cycladic civilization: Minoan civilization, Cycladic culture
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cycladic Culture


an archaeological culture of the Bronze Age widespread in the third and second millennia B.C. on the Cycladic Islands. The first settlements of man on the islands date from the middle (Mavrospelya on Mikonos) and late Neolithic (Saliagos between Paros and Antiparos), that is, from the fifth and fourth millennia B.C. At that time, obsidian, which later became widespread in the eastern Mediterranean through exchange, began to be mined on the island of Melos. The Cycladic culture flourished in the early Bronze Age. Settlements sprang up fortified with walls and towers (Kastri on Siros). The dead were buried in stone burial chambers—cists—and later in domed tombs. Copper and silver ornaments, work tools, and weapons have been found. The pottery (amphorae, jugs, and pyxides, with incised, engraved, and stamped decoration) varies with the different chronological groups. The marble statuettes and statues depicting warriors, musicians, and women with children are remarkable.

The first city like settlements appeared at the end of the third millennium B.C. (Philacopi). In the second millennium B.C., the Minoan and Helladic cultures strongly influenced the Cycladic culture. The pottery (pithoi, jugs) is characteristically matte-painted. After 1400 B.C., late Mycenaean pottery became widespread, and the Cycladic culture lost its independence.


Childe, V. G. U istokov evropeiskoi tsivilizatsii. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from English.)
Schachermeyr, F. Die ältesten Kulturen Griechenlands. Stuttgart [1955].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.