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South (Angelika and Lino)
In 1991, the largest Mycenaean tholos tomb in the Cyclades was found on the hill of Angelika about 1.5km south of Chora. (120m after the Ornos junction of the ring-road round Chora, on the crown of the hill to right (west). Access is through the Hotel Tharroe of Mykonos, with their permission.) The corbelled dome of the circular chamber rises directly from the ground, i.e. the ‘dome’ does not stand on a cylinder. It has an impressive diameter of c 5.5m, and is entered by a 1.8m wide dromos, spanned by a single lintel block. The dromos is curiously oriented to the south, rather than the (more customary) east. The floor of the chamber where the body was placed is cut down as if with the rectangular continuation of the dromos, creating a raised stone socle around. An exquisite necklace with papyrus flowers and shells in solid gold, three rock crystal seal-stones, and a quantity of painted pottery were found in the grave, suggesting that it was the burial for someone of considerable importance. The tomb is dated to the later part of the 15th century bc.
Two Hellenistic constructions of particular interest lie close to one another a little further south on the south ern slopes of the island. The first is the Hellenistic ‘tower’ at Portes which marks the hill above Platis Gialos, and whose lintel is visible against the skyline to the east as the road descends to the beach (reached by taking the narrow concrete road east at the summit, just before the main road makes its final descent). Three monolithic granite blocks form the standing doorway, with the holes for the door fixtures visible. The overall dimensions are unusually small for a Hellenistic tower, however: the diameter is less than 4m. An altogether grander construction is to be seen on the hill of Lino, 300m to the east. (1.2km south of the junction of the Aghia Anna road with the Airport road. Shortly after a sharp, double-turn in the road, the base of the tower stands ahead—well camouflaged amongst the natural boulders—on a rocky eminence to the west of the road.) This is the base of a beautifully constructed, circular Hellenistic tower of the early 4th century, 11m in diameter and made of massive granite blocks, perfectly cut and interlocked. To the south are the remains of a rectangular structure of the same period, with the blocks once again cut so as to fit snugly against the natural out crops of rock. A complex of buildings such as this would suggest that it may have been a small garrison-post with barracks, although visibility would have been limited for its use as a watchtower.
Perhaps limited visibility was no bad thing: the south coast of Mykonos is indented with the series of beautiful sandy coves which have made it famous, several of which are, by tradition, nude beaches. The bays are framed by the same oddly sculpted rocks and boulders as those out of which the ancient towers in the hinterland behind seem to grow. Looking at the landscape, it is easy to comprehend the origins of the legend that ascribes the formation of the island of Mykonos to the heap of projectiles and boulders hurled by Hercules and the Olympian gods in the battle with the Giants, and under which the off spring of Gaia lie buried.
Around Mykonos Island. The South, Angelika & Lino.
Mykonos Island is part of the Cyclades Island group
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