Places of Interest nearby
Location address: Greece, Sifnos
Number of texts: 7
If you get up here on the Acropolis of Aghios Andreas, you wonder why these early inhabitants of Sifnos did all the effort to build something like this so far away from a harbour, agriculture and water. All you needed to live had to be brought up here. Obviously, the big asset was protection. There is no source of water here, except the water they could collect falling from the sky in a cistern. Conduits were constructed outside the acropolis to channel excess rainwater outside the citadel. That makes you think about how unsafe these seas around Sifnos must have been to make such a big compromise on effort and comfort. The foundation of the powerfully fortified acropolis of Aghios Andreas is dated to the Mycenaean Age, in the 13th century BC. The impressive walls reveal a particularly flourishing society. Prehistoric habitation continued until at least the 12th century BC. It was again occupied in the 8th century BC (Geometric period), with a peak in the 7th-6th centuries BC). There is evidence of limited habitation during the 5th-2nd centuries BC (Classical and Hellenestic periods).
The Acropolis of Aghios Andreas was a major link in the island’s communication network with towers. Thucydides writes about the system of signalling using fire and smoke. There were 76 ancient towers dotted all over the island. They are all round and they have been built between 6th and the 3rd century B.C. after a violent invasion of fugitives from Samos. The towers were probably used not only as beacon and sign towers, but also as fortresses, guard towers and even storehouses. Later on, the network has been developed and the signals exchanging system has been spread all over the island. Did you know once a year the towers communication system is used again. Volunteers light up the towers bringing back to life the ancient monuments of Sifnos for one day. The event takes place on the Pentecost Sunday, in the afternoon, since 2006. Depending when Easter takes place, this is May or June.
The hill of Agios Andreas shows the remains of the fortified acropolis dating from the Mycenaean period (13 century B.C.). It was abondened about 100 years later. 2nd half of the 8th century B.C., seom new buildigns were erected. There was a double fortification wall.
Linked themes: Archeology
There is evidence of human activity on the top of this hill from at least the end of the Neolithic / beginning of the Early Bronze Age (late 4th millennnium BC).
The impressive outside wall of Aghios Andreas is beautifully lit during the night, and you can see it from a lot of southern parts of the island.
A drawing of how the old town on top of Aghios Andreas must have looked like.