A group of fifty archaeologists from Australia came to the Greek island of Andros, which is the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, in order to seek an answer for the mystery of why a bustling early Iron Age city was abandoned.
Τhe settlement of Zagora, on the Aegean island of Andros, where the Aussie archaeologists work, dates back to almost three thousand years ago, from around 900 BCE to 700 BCE.
As powerhousemuseum.com informs us, “the people of Zagora left around 700 BCE. We’re not sure why, but it may have been that the water supply dried up and could no longer support them. The area was not resettled – which means that the buildings were left as they had been lived in. Zagora is like a snapshot in time.”
They Australian archaeologists are now conducting excavations and research in Zagora, once a thriving city with farming and industry on Andros that was inexplicably abandoned.
Lesley Beaumont from Sydney University’s Department of Archaeology and one of the dig’s co-directors explained to sbs.com.au, why it is important to take a more intense interest in the early Iron Age period of Greece: “What we have come to realize, is that all those developments, the emergence of the Greek city-states of Sparta and Athens, the rise of democracy, all have to root in the Geometric period, the early Iron Age and if we want to understand those later periods it is absolutely crucial that we understand what is happening in this earlier epoch.”
“The site of Zagora is so big, that when we came back last year we thought that people have only been living in pockets around the site. However, we were amazed to find that, by the second half of the 8th century BC, the whole of the site was covered with buildings, pathways and activity. Zagora was a very densely settled, very thriving community; we know that they were trading a lot with their neighbors in the surrounding islands and the mainland of Greece; we know that they were engaged in industry, there was metal working taking place on the site; we also know that they were restoring huge amounts of agricultural products for the winter in pots that were the height of a human…”