Mykonos is famous for its archaeological discoveries, which have aroused the interest of many researchers, as well as tourists. There is a somewhat unknown part of Mykonos that many may not know, but many would like to know. This is the prehistoric settlement of Ftelia, the “Tria Pigadia” (Three Wells), the Mycenaean vaulted tomb, the ancient towers in Lino and Portes, the Hill of Palaiokastro and the Castle of Chora.
Ftelia – Neolithic settlement
Excavations have brought to light an ancient settlement of 7 thousand years, between the beaches of Ftelia and Panormos. It is one of the many parts of the island where prehistoric buildings have been located by archaeologists. It was a fairly large city of the time (circa 5000 BC), with an area of about 6-7 thousand square metres. There, settlements, pottery, idols, weapons, clay objects and vessels have been found.
In the center of Chora there are three wells, which since 1722, when they were built, until the 1950’s, supplied water to Mykonos. The area has been named Tria Pigadia, from the characteristic point of Chora, and legend has it that if you drink water from there, you will stay on the island forever. There are also several ancient wells in Mykonos, which are still used today, such as the well of “Giannaros”; an underground reservoir built of granite. There is, in fact, access to the water through a ladder that helps in the descent. Another well, the “Pouados”, is located under the rim of the Tourlou – Korfos ring road, at Tagou.
Mycenaean vaulted tomb
In the area of Angelika, just outside of Chora, a vaulted tomb of the Mycenaean period was discovered a few years ago, and specifically from the end of the 15th century BC. The tomb which is circular, 5.80 metres in diameter, is dug into the ground and with an internal wall clad in stone at a height of 4 metres. The dome, which has collapsed, had a protective embankment, while inside there is a built-in surface on the floor for the deposition of the dead. The objects that were found inside the tomb, such as clay pots and gold jewelry, are on display at the Archaeological Museum of the island.
In various parts of the island there are the ruins of ancient – square or circular – towers. One of these is the tower in the area of Lino, southeast of Chora, built on the rocks and with a diameter of 10 metres. At Portes, at a spot with a unique view, there are three granite stones, which were once the door of another tower. Both places are worth a visit, and they take you back to a time so old, that you are truly impressed.
Hill of Palaiokastro
The Hill of Palaiokastro is located near Ano Mera, and is an important archaeological site. Initially there is the women’s monastery, an attraction worth visiting. Parts of an ancient wall have been found at the site, as well as the ruins of the Castle of Ghizi, which now houses the monastery. On the hill there are also foundations of buildings, remains of burial fires and samples of pottery of the Geometric, Archaic and Hellenistic periods.
The Castle of Mykonos was inhabited until the 17th century and had three or four defensive turrets. Today, however, only a small part of the turrets is preserved, in Panagia Paraportiani and next to Panagia Pryani. “Castle” is essentially called the northern side of the oldest part of the settlement of Chora. Mykonos experienced economic development shortly before the Greek Revolution and it was then that the Castle was abandoned and the settlement spread. Today, the alleys of the Castle are one of the most picturesque of Chora and are constantly flooded with visitors.