The Bay of Grotta was the site of the Bronze Age city of Naxos , which archaeologists are slowly revealing in piecemeal fashion in the midst of today’s habitations. The shoreline has receded considerably and the foundations of much of the prehistoric city and the later struc tures built over it now lie under water in the bay. Aerial photography shows clearly where a long, roughly rectangular shelf of building and wall foundations extends 10–15m out to sea, and stretches for much of the length of the bay. At the neck of the causeway to ‘Palati­a’, to the east side, just before the first buildings of the town, can be seen a segment of uncovered ancient street (running at right angles to the axis of the causeway): this would have communicated between the ancient north and south shores.
   The area of Grotta represents an important cradle of Cycladic civilisation. Its history is complex, however: hence a word of general introduction to the finds dis played here.

Naxos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.

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