Makronissos Island now an area of archaeological interest

The prison island which features in Those Who are Loved has a new status as an area of archaeological interest.  Victoria is very hopeful that this will enable more people to visit Makronisos for themselves

Makronissos Island, used as a military prison island in the mid-20th century


The Greek Culture Ministry’s advisory body on the protection of antiquities, the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), ruled that the small, uninhabited island of Makronissos is an area of archaeological interest.

The proposal came from the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities which is conducting field expeditions on the island in the past few years and the decision came on July 2.

Makronissos, along with Gyaros in the northern Cyclades, served as the notorious prison site for leftists from the time of the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) until the restoration of democracy, after the collapse of the military dictatorship in 1974.

The island is located close to the eastern coast of Attica, facing the port of Lavrio.

The Culture Ministry said that, during its historic significance, the island has been protected since 1989, when it was declared as an area of historic importance, while the buildings in the detention camps became listed.

Archaeologists also discovered antiquities. The first man-made remains in Makronisos date back to the late 4th millennium BC, while the first settlement that has been discovered on the island dates from the Early Bronze Age and is located in Provatsa, on the west side of the island.

In 2015, after extensive expeditions by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, archaeologists discovered five ancient shipwrecks dating from the mid-Hellenistic to the Late Roman period.

“The declaration of the whole island as an archaeological site completes the long-term protection of Makronissos’ man-made objects by all the competent authorities of the Ministry of Culture,” it said in a press release.