Wine, oil, and knowledge in the Cyclades

Wine, oil, and knowledge in the Cyclades

The Hellenistic Cheimarrou tower with Late Antique oileries on Naxos
The so-called Lino tower with later chapel on Mykonos
Palaiopyrgos tower in the Naousa region of Paros
Modern vineyards still thriving in the steeply terraced landscape of Naxos

Since 2019, this project has completed targeted surveys across Cycladic islands to better understand where, how, by who, and in what networks wine and oil were produced from the Hellenistic through to Late Antique and Byzantine eras. This region, at the crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean basin, produced significant quantities of these products (evidenced by amphorae stretching across the Mediterranean and kiln sites on Cycladic islands) but ancient production facilities are little known and poorly understood.

Led by Dr Emlyn Dodd at the University of London’s Institute of Classical Studies, in collaboration with the BSR, British School at Athens and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, this project uses traditional and cutting-edge techniques to holistically analyse these facilities, including surface survey, geophysical prospection, drone photogrammetry, lithic petrography, and organic residue analysis. Read more in preliminary publications in Mediterranean Archaeology: ‘Wine and olive oil across the ancient Cyclades’ and ‘Wine, oil and knowledge networks across the Graeco-Roman Cyclades: new data from Paros and Naxos in 2021’.

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