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(Greece). Largest of the group of Aegean Islands known to antiquity as the Cyclades (see Delos), and an important centre for the so-called Cycladic culture of the Aegean Early Bronze Age (late 4th to 2nd millennium bc). Mycenaean, Protogeometric and Geometric periods are also well represented. In the period of classical Greece Naxos has a relatively insignificant political history, and is better known for its wines. Naxos marble was a favoured source especially for the sculpture of monumental figures, and the island also conveniently supplied the emery with which to polish the marble. The Cycladic period has left numerous graves, and examples of the characteristic Cycladic idols, but relatively sparse and difficult occupation evidence, some of it probably now submerged. An isolated marble door-frame on the Palatia hill overlooking the modem harbour, is the cella door of a 6th-century bc temple, while near Sangri lies the site of a square temple. For the ancient quarries there is no lack of evidence, particularly for the practice of cutting large statues in situ. There are several unfinished figures,notably a colossal archaic statue, male and with beard — possibly a representation of Dionysius, who, tradition has it, was bom on In the 8th century Naxos is said to have combined forces with Chaicis in a colonizing initiative to Sicily, where the colony of the same name was founded. Naxos (Sicily). The settlement of Naxos at Capo Schiso, near Taormina, Sicily, is generally reckoned, following Thucydides, to be the first Greek colony in Sicily, founded by Chal-cidians from Euboea in 735 bc. Participation by the Aegean island of Naxos may be a later reconstruction from the similarity of name. Sicilian Naxos itself went on to found daughter colonies at Catana and Leontini. There is evidence in the area for Neolithic huts and Bronze Age settlement. The city seems to have been reconstructed around 460 bc after a serious attack by Hippokrates of Gela earlier in the 5th century. At the close of the 5th century the city was again destroyed, this time by Dionysius of Syracuse, in reprisal for assistance to Athens in her attack upon his city. The minting of coins afterwards shows some continuing occupation, but the scale was probably modest. Excavations, an area of which is now opened to the public, show sections of perimeter walling, a town plan going back to the archaic period, and a sanctuary area assigned to Aphrodite. Pottery is often distinctive in style, with Euboean and Cycladic reminiscences, and a potters’ quarter (vicinity of Colle Salluzzo) reveals kilns, depositories, and antefix moulds. Naxos coins (6th-5th centuries bc) carry a bearded Dionysus with ivy, vine and grape decoration, while later examples have his companion in revelry, Silenus, who is popular also on the local terracotta antefixes.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied