Milos (in Greek, Μήλος, older spelling Μῆλος Melos), is a volcanic Greek island in the Aegean Sea, just north of the Sea of Crete. Milos is the southwesternmost island in the Cyclades group.
The island is famous for the statue of Aphrodite (the "Venus de Milo", now in the Louvre), and also for statues of the Greek god Asclepius (now in the British Museum) and the Poseidon and an archaic Apollo in Athens. The Municipality of Milos also includes the uninhabited offshore islands of Antimilos and Akradies. The combined land area is 160.147 km² and the 2001 census population was 4,977 inhabitants.
Obsidian from Milos was a commodity as early as 13,000 years ago. Milos natural glass used for razor sharp "stone tools" was transported well before farming began and later: "There is no early farming village in the Near East that doesn't get obsidian". The material was transported for thousands of miles.
The position of Milos, between mainland Greece and Crete, and its possession of obsidian, made it an important centre of early Aegean civilization. Milos lost its arms-making importance when bronze became the preferred material for the manufacture of weapons.
At the Bronze Age site of Phylakopi (Greek Φυλακωπή), the chief settlement, on the north-east coast, excavations by the British School of Archeology revealed a town wall and a Minoan palace with some important and very interesting wall paintings. "The famous fresco of the flying fish found in the ruins of the principal house or palace at Phylakopi, with its delicate coloring and graphic observation of nature in the graceful movement of the fish, seems to be the work of a Cretan artist, who probably was summoned to Milos for the purpose." Part of the site has been washed away by the sea.
The antiquities found were of three main periods, all preceding the Mycenaean age of Greece. Much pottery was found, including examples of a peculiar style, with decorative designs, mostly floral, and also considerable deposits of obsidian. There are some traditions of a Phoenician occupation of Milos.
"Antonio Vassilacchi was a Greek Artist born on Milos in 1556".
In historical times, the island was occupied by Dorians from Laconia. In the 6th century BC, it again produced a remarkable series of vases, of large size, with mythological subjects and orientalizing ornamentation, and also a series of terra-cotta reliefs (Melian Reliefs).
Milos is the southwesternmost island in the Cyclades, 120 km (75 mi) due east from the coast of Laconia. From east to west it measures about 23 km (14 mi), from north to south 13 km (8.1 mi), and its area is estimated at 151 km² (58.3 mi²). The greater portion is rugged and hilly, culminating in Mount Profitis Elias 748 m (2,454 ft) in the west. Like the rest of the cluster, the island is of volcanic origin, with tuff, trachyte and obsidian among its ordinary rocks. The natural harbour is the hollow of the principal crater, which, with a depth diminishing from 70 to 30 fathoms (130–55 m), strikes in from the northwest so as to separate the island into two fairly equal portions (see photo), with an isthmus not more than 18 km (11 mi) broad. In one of the caves on the south coast, the heat from the volcano is still great, and on the eastern shore of the harbour, there are hot sulphurous springs.
Η Μήλος είναι ηφαιστειακό νησί του Αιγαίου Πελάγους. Κατοικείται από τους προϊστορικούς χρόνους και έχει δώσει σημαντικό μεταλλευτικό πλούτο: οψιδιανό στους προϊστορικούς χρόνους, καολίνη και ποζολανών στους ιστορικούς χρόνους μέχρι τώρα και πρόσφατα μπεντονίτη, περλίτη. Έχει σχήμα πετάλου και υπάρχουν πολλές παραλίες που καθιστούν τη Μήλο τουριστικό πόλο.
Η Μήλος βρίσκεται στην νοτιοδυτική άκρη των Κυκλάδων και είναι το 5ο σε μέγεθος νησί των κυκλαδων, 120 χλμ (75 μίλια) ανατολικά των ακτών της Λακωνίας. Από Ανατολικά προς Δυτικά έχει πλάτος 23 χλμ, από Βορρά σε Νότο 13 χλμ, και η επιφάνειά της εκτιμάται στα 151 τ.χλμ. Έχει σχήμα πετάλου, σχηματίζοντας μεγάλο κόλπο. Το ψηλότερο βουνό είναι ο Προφήτης Ηλίας (748 μ.) και ακολουθεί το Χονδρό Βουνό (636 μ.) στο δυτικό μέρος του νησιού.
Στη Μήλο υπάγονται οι νησίδες Ακράθιο, οι Ανάνες, η Αντίμηλος(Ερημόμηλος), οι Ακραδιές, το Παξιμάδι, το Πηλονήσι (Πολύαιγος) και το Πρασονήσι. Τα πιο μεγάλα κοντινά νησιά είναι η Κίμωλος 1,6 χλμ βορειοανατολικά, η Αντίμηλος 20 χλμ βορειοδυτικά και Πολύαιγος, 2 χλμ δυτικά.
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