Middle Palaeolithic finds (100,000 – 33,000 ago) on the island of Samothraki, Greece

In this article we present the, so far, oficially announced findings of the Palaeolithic period from the island of Samothraki (North Aegean).


From the official page of the Ministry of Culture, among others, we read:

“The valley of Petrota is the western part of Peraia of Samothraki. A building complex from Roman times that probably replaced the older Hellenistic era, but also a small prehistoric settlement and the ruins of a medieval tower, complete the image of the settlement’s development in the area, while giving the mark of its continuous inhabitation as well as its strategic and political interest which it always had. At a distance of 4 km north is the modern settlement of Petrota. The impressive rock that protects it from the north is visible from a long distance. The site also had a long history of interest, as archaeological research identified traces of prehistoric habitation at its top and a Byzantine fortification at its base. Approximately 3 km north, one can see the impressive top, known as “Vrachos”.

It is there that an ancient chert quarry, already operating in the Middle Palaeolithic (100,000 – 33,000) and Neolithic (7,000-2,800) Age was ascertained, but also enclosure ruins of the late Late Bronze Age (1600 – 1100 BC) and ruins of handy and for worship buildings which, according to the surface indications, are dated around the early Iron Age (c. 1100-900 BC), the classical (490 – 330 BC) and the Hellenistic (330-30 BC) periods.”

(Source: http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/gh351.jsp?obj_id=2389)

We have managed to find only one scientific publication with reference to the findings of the Middle Palaeolithic period, of which we cite the ‘Abstract‘:

The chert source of the Petrota, in Western Thrace was, had been exploited in the Middle Palaeolithic as well as the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Products of this exploitation are now scattered widely around the source. Their diaspora was systematically investigated between 1998 and 2010. The present study concerns only the question of the dating of the Middle Paleolithic into the position. The best, even though not entirely satisfactory, clue to this dating is the presence of worked, at both sides, leaf-shaped spikes. The examination of the bibliography on the timing of such spikes in Europe, from Thuringia to the Crimea, shows that they first appeared about 200,000 years ago and were still being manufactured 45,000 years ago. Following various observations, it is suggested that the leaf-shaped spikes of Petrota and, by extension, the Middle Palaeolithic in the position belong to an advanced stage of this long period, dating probably between about 100,000 and 45 / 40,000 years ago.



Nothing equivalent was found about the mentioned prehistoric (of what age really?) settlements.


Unfortunately, none of the Middle Palaeolithic Age finds -up to now, at least- can be seen by the interested visitor in the Museums of Samothraki, Thrace and Greece in general.

(Note: The photos you see in this article are all from the area of Peraia in Samothraki)

Research-Translation for NovoScriptorium: Philaretus Homerides

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