The Prehistoric site of Skarkos, Ios Island

Skarkos prospered because it lay at the junction of key trading routes that linked the Cyclades with mainland Greece, Crete, and Asia Minor. Early Bronze Age sailors used paddled boats with limited range. They had to stop at harbors such as Skarkos to get supplies and totrade. The people of Skarkos imported beverages, perfumed oils, or other liquids in pottery containers. They exported finished products such as obsidian tools. Skarkos was abandoned about 2300 BC, possibly after an earthquake. Centuries later, people dug some graves into the hill, but the site was never resetttled. That explains why the remains are so well preserved.  During 2003-2009, conservation work was carried out to preserve the site for the future and make it accessible to visitors. In 2008 the site received a European Union Prize for excellence in cultural heritage conservation.