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Overlooking the deep blue
of Ikaria island.

Icaria, also spelled Ikaria (Greek: Ικαρία), is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles (19 km) southwest of Samos. It derived its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who fell into the sea nearby. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos.[2] The historic capitals of the island include Oenoe and Evdilos. Greeks from Icaria are usually Ikarian Greeks.




Ikaria has been inhabited since at least 7000 BC, when it was populated by the Neolithic pre-Hellenic people that Greeks called Pelasgians.

Around 750 BC, Greeks from Miletus colonized Ikaria, establishing a settlement in the area of present day Campos, which they called Oenoe for its wine.

Ikaria, in the 6th century BC, became part of Polycrates' sea empire, and, in the 5th century BC, the Ikarian cities of Oenoe and Thermae were members of the Athenian-dominated Delian League. In the 2nd century, the island was colonized by Samos.[3] At this time, the Tauropolion,[4] the temple of Artemis was built at Oenoe. Coins of the city represented Artemis and a bull.[5] There was another, smaller temenos that was sacred to Artemis Tauropolos,[6] at Nas, on the northwest coast of the island.[7] Nas had been a sacred spot to the pre-Greek inhabitants of the Aegean and an important island port in antiquity, the last stop before testing the dangerous seas around Ikaria. It was an appropriate place for sailors to make sacrifices to Artemis Tauropolos, who, among other functions, was a patron of seafarers; here, the goddess was represented in an archaic wooden xoanon.


The temple stood in good repair until the middle of the 19th century when the marble was pillaged, for their local church, by the Kato Raches villagers. In 1939, it was excavated by the Greek archeologist Leon Politis. During the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, many of the artifacts that were unearthed by Politis disappeared. Local custom states that there are still marble statues embedded in the sand off the coast.

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Additional Photos by Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4491 W: 20 N: 6799] (51886)
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