Dr. Christina A. Televantou (Director of the excavations at Strofilas, Andros), "Strofilas on Andros. Expanding the horizons of the Aegean Neolithic"
Strofilas, a unique large fortified settlement on Andros, Cyclades, that flourished during the Final Neolithic (4500-3200 B.C.), furnishes important new information expanding the horizons of the Aegean Neolithic.
Major architectural achievements comprise a number of communal projects, such as its fortification wall, a sanctuary, an open-air area destined for cult practice, and the Megaron. Extensive and dense rock-art representations are also the works of a collective character, on the basis of a central-communal planning, with symbolic, geometric and pictorial motifs as well as with larger narrative scenes (e.g. flotilla of ships, human figures in hunting scenes, jackals hunting deer). More than 120 depictions of ships, executed in public space and representing the community’s prevailing symbol, attest to the settlement’s chief maritime character and suggest intense maritime activities (shipbuilding/seafaring/trade/fishing), which, under community control, most probably constituted Strofilas' main source of wealth that sustained a powerful settlement.
There is also an abundance of high-quality finds (e.g. pottery, stone and bone implements, figurines, jewelry) and the use of advanced technology is attested (e.g. metalwork, stonework).
The overall evidence indicates that Strofilas was a thriving proto-urban settlement of maritime character that undoubtedly played an important role within a wider network of smaller and/or similar-sized settlements during the Late Neolithic period, expanding the horizons of the Cycladic and, generally, Aegean prehistory and iconography. It demonstrates that during this period an advanced culture took shape in the Aegean, with large organized maritime societies and similar settlements with “early proto-urban” features that pre-suppose the existence of a model for a hierarchical society, which laid the way into the subsequent cultural developments of the Aegean Middle and Late Bronze Age.