Thasos

Statistics
Prefecture: Kavala prefecture
Provinces: none, (Thasos)
Location:
Latitude:
Longitude:

40.7115/40 °42'39" N
24.775/24 °46'34" E
Population: (2001)
13765
Elevation:
 -lowest:
 -centre:
 -highest:

Thracian Sea
5 m (centre)
Ypsario (1,045 m)
Postal code: 640 04
Area/distance code: 11-(00)30-Greece dialing code 25930-2
Municipal code: 3506
Car designation: KB
3-letter abbreviation: THA Thasos
Website: www.thassos.gr

Thasos (Greek: ) or Thassos is the name of an island in the north of the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Thrace and the plain of the river Nestos (during the Ottoman times Kara-Su).

History

The island was colonized at an early date by Phoenicians, attracted probably by its gold mines; they founded a temple to the god Melqart, whom the Greeks identified as "Tyrian Heracles", and whose cult was merged with Heracles in the course of the island's Hellenization;[1] the temple still existed in the time of Herodotus.[2] An eponymous Thasos, son of Phoenix- or of Agenor, as Pausanias reported- is said to have been the leader of the Phoenicians, and to have given his name to the island.
The island was colonized at an early date by Phoenicians, attracted probably by its gold mines; they founded a temple of Heracles, which still existed in the time of Herodotus. Thasus, son of Phoenix, is said to have been the leader of the Phoenicians, and to have given his name to the island.

In either 720 BC or 708 BC Thasos received a Greek colony from Paros. In a war which the Parian colonists waged with the Saians, a Thracian tribe, the poet Archilochus threw away his shield. The Greeks extended their power to the mainland, where they owned gold mines which were even more valuable than those on the island. From these sources the Thasians drew great wealth, their annual revenues amounting to 200 or even 300 talents. Herodotus, who visited Thasos, says that the best mines on the island were those which had been opened by the Phoenicians on the east side of the island facing Samothrace.

The place was important during the Ionian Revolt against Persia. After the capture of Miletus (494 BC) Histiaeus, the Ionian leader, laid siege to Thasos. The attack failed, but, warned by the danger, the Thasians employed their revenues to build war ships and strengthen their fortifications. This excited the suspicions of the Persians, and Darius compelled them to surrender their ships and pull down their walls. After the defeat of Xerxes the Thasians joined the Delian confederacy; but afterwards, on account of a difference about the mines and marts on the mainland, they revolted.

The Athenians defeated them by sea, and, after a siege that lasted more than two years, took the capital, Thasos, probably in 463 BC, and compelled the Thasians to destroy their walls, surrender their ships, pay an indemnity and an annual contribution (in 449 BC this was 21 talents, from 445 BC about 30 talents), and resign their possessions on the mainland. In 411 BC, at the time of the oligarchical revolution at Athens, Thasos again revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor; but in 407 BC the partisans of Lacedaemon were expelled, and the Athenians under Thrasybulus were admitted.

Thasos, Theater

Sculptures from Thasos

Thasos, Gold Stater, (Krinides) 357 BC Heracles and Tripod (THASION EPEIRO)

After the Battle of Aegospotami (405 BC), Thasos again fell into the hands of the Lacedaemonians under Lysander who formed a decarchy there; but the Athenians must have recovered it, for it formed one of the subjects of dispute between them and Philip II of Macedonia. In the embroilment between Philip III of Macedonia and the Romans, Thasos submitted to Philip, but received its freedom at the hands of the Romans after the battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC), and it was still a "free" state in the time of Pliny.

Thasos (Source)

After a period of Latin occupation, it was captured by the Turks in 1462; it was given by the Sultan Mahmud II to Mehemet Ali of Egypt. In 1914 during the Balkan Wars, Thasos became part of Greece. Thasos, the capital, stood on the north side of the island, and had two harbours, one of which was closed. Archilochus described Thasos as "an ass's backbone crowned with wild wood," and the description still suits the mountainous island with its forests of fir. The highest mountain, Ipsario or Ypsario, is 1045 m (3428 ft) high. Besides its gold mines, the wine, nuts and marble of Thasos were well known in antiquity.

Today, Thasos is a part of the Kavala prefecture and is the southernmost and the easternmost points in the prefecture. Thasos serves ferry routes to and from Kavala and a port at the eastern portion of the prefecture.

Information

The main agricultural production on the island are honey and olive oil as well as wine, sheep, goat herdinf and fishing. Other industries includes lumber and tourism. Mining industry including lead, zinc and marble especially in the Panagia area where one of the mountain near the Thracian Sea has a large marble quarry. A marble quarry in the south has been mined during the ancient times.

Geological Setting

Thasos island is located in the northern Aegean sea approximately 7 km from the mainland and 20 km south - east of Kavala. The Island is formed mainly by gneisses, schists and marbles of the Rhodope Massif. Marble sequences, corresponding to the Falacron Marbles intercalated by schists and gneisses, are up to 500m thick and are separated from the underlying gneisses by a transition zone about 300 m thick termed the T - zone consisting of alternances of dolomitic and calcitic marbles intercalated by schists and gneisses.

The rocks have undergone several periods of regional metamorphism, to at least upper amphibolite facies, and there was a subsequent phase of retrograde metamorphism. At least three periods of regional deformation have identified, the most important being large scale isoclinal folding with axes aligned north - west. The T - zone is deformed and is interpreted by some authors as a regional thrust of pre - major folding age. There are two major high angle fault systems aligned north - west and north - east respectively. A large low - angle thrust cuts the gneiss, schist and marble sequence at the south - west corner of the island.(Overthrusting of Serbomacedonian Massif onto Rodope Massif ?).

The Late Miocene oil - producing Nestos - Prinos basin is located between Thassos island and the mainland. The floor of the basin is around 1,500 m deep off the Thassos coast (South Kavala ridge; Proedrou, 1988) and up to 4.000 - 5.000 m in the axial sector between Thassos and the mainland. The basin is filled with Late Miocene - Pliocene sediments, including ubiquitously repeated evaporite layers of rock salt and anhydrite - dolomite which alternate with sandstones, conglomerates, black shales, and uraniferous coal measures (Proedrou, 1979, 1988; Taupitz, 1985). Stratigraphically equivalent rocks on the mainland are clastic sediments with coal beds, marine to brackish fluvial units and travertines

Mining history of Thasos

Mining activities for base and precious metals started in the 7th century B.C. with the Phoenicians, followed in the 4th century by the Greeks and then the Romans. The mining was both open - pit and underground, and concentrated on the numerous karst hosted calamine deposits for lead and silver although there was also minor exploitation of gold and copper. Worth mentioning is the discovery of a paleolithic addit located at Tzines iron mine, whose age has being estimated at approximately 15.000 years old, (Kovkouli et. al. 1988) for the exploitation of limonitic ochre.

More recently, mining companies such as Speidel (1905-1912) and Vielle Montagne (1925 - 1930) exploited the Zn-Pb (calamine) ores which had reported grades over 12% Zn+Pb. In 1905 a metallurgical plant was erected at Limenaria for the calcination of the calamines in vertical and Oxland furnaces to produce ZnO. Later (1926) the calcination plant was rebuilt by Vieille Montagne with Waelz system rotary furnaces. Iron ore mining became important during the years 1954-1964. Several mining companies (Krupp and Apostolopoulos A.E., Chondrodimos S.A.) exploited the iron ore deposits of the island. It is estimated that total mineral production during the period 1905-1964 was about 2 million tonnes of calamine (12% Zn+Pb) and 3 million tonnes of iron ore (44% Fe). After 1964 there is no mining activity on the island.

A new exploration effort was initiated in 1976 by IGME aimed at locating hidden primary base metal mineralization. Core drilling resulted in the discovery at the Marlou prospect, in 1979, of a stratabound primary Zn - Pb deposit at 200 m depth. The marble quarrying had a parallel history with the mining activity until the Byzantine period. In the present, starting about forty years ago, the marble quarrying is the only activity concerning the mineral wealth of Thasos.

Historical population

Year Population Municipal population
1981 2312 -
1991 2600
2001 3130 13765

Other

Thasos has a few schools, a lyceum, a gymnasia, a church and a square (plateia).

Persons

Phidippides, Polygnotos Vagis

Polygnotos Vagis (14.1.1892 Potamia Thasos, 15.4.1965 New York) http://utopia.duth.gr/~museum/Biogr.html

First Crude Oil since 1981 from Thasos

References

  • Antje and Günther Schwab: Thassos - Samothraki, 1999, ISBN 3-932410-30-0.

Satyr and Nymph Coins from Thasos

Division of the Thasos municipality , population 13765 (2001)

  • Thasos / Δ.δ. Θάσου [ 3.140 ]
    • Thasos / η Θάσος [ 3.130 ]
    • Glyfada / η Γλυφάδα [ 7 ]
    • Makryammos / η Μακρυάμμος [ 3 ]
  • Theologos / Δ.δ. Θεολόγου [ 1.748 ]
    • Theologos / ο Θεολόγος [ 731 ]
    • Aliki / η Αλυκή [ 39 ]
    • Astris / η Αστρίς [ 129 ]
    • Thimonia / η Θυμωνιά [ 13 ]
    • Koinyra (island) / η Κοίνυρα (νησίδα) [ 4 ]
    • Koinyra / τα Κοίνυρα [ 104 ]
    • Moni Archangelou / η Μονή Αρχαγγέλου [ 40 ]
    • Palaichorion / το Παλαιοχώριον [ 0 ]
    • Potos / ο Ποτός [ 688 ]
  • Kallirachi / Δ.δ. Καλλιράχης [ 1.282 ]
    • Kallirachi / η Καλλιράχη [ 651 ]
    • Skala Kallirachi / η Σκάλα Καλλιράχης [ 631 ]
  • Limenaria / Δ.δ. Λιμεναρίων [ 2.452 ]
  • Maries / Δ.δ. Μαριών [ 559 ]
  • Panagia / Δ.δ. Παναγίας [ 849 ]
    • Panagia / η Παναγία [ 820 ]
    • Chrysi Ammoudia / η Χρυσή Αμμουδιά [ 29 ]
  • Potamia / Δ.δ. Ποταμιάς [ 1.262 ]
  • Prinos / Δ.δ. Πρίνου [ 1.361 ]
    • Megalos Prinos / ο Μεγάλος Πρίνος (τ. ο Πρίνος) [ 30 ]
    • Iera Moni Agiou Panteleimonos / η Ιερά Μονή Αγίου Παντελεήμονος [ 3 ]
    • Mikros Prinos / ο Μικρός Πρίνος [ 21 ]
    • Ormos Prinou / ο Όρμος Πρίνου [ 122 ]
    • Prinos / ο Πρίνος (τ. οι Καλύβες) [ 1.185 ]
  • Rachonion / Δ.δ. Ραχωνίου [ 720 ]
    • Rachonion / το Ραχώνιον [ 365 ]
    • Agios Georgios / ο Άγιος Γεώργιος(Δ.δ. Ραχωνίου) [ 149 ]
    • Skala Rachoniou / η Σκάλα Ραχωνίου [ 206 ]
  • Sotir / Δ.δ. Σωτήρος [ 392 ]

Google Earth

Links

Notes

  1. ^ "The Thasians, who are Phoenicians by descent, and sailed from Tyre, and from Phoenicia generally, together with Thasos, the son of Agenor, in search of Europa, dedicated at Olympia a Herakles, the pedestal as well as the image being of bronze. The height of the image is ten cubits, and he holds a club in his right hand and a bow in his left. They told me in Thasos that they used to worship the same Heracles as the Tyrians, but that afterwards, when they were included among the Greeks, they adopted the worship of Heracles the son of Amphitryon." (Pausanias, 5.25.12.
  2. ^ "In the wish to get the best information that I could on these matters, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, hearing there was a temple of Heracles at that place, very highly venerated. I visited the temple, and found it richly adorned with a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of smaragdos, shining with great brilliancy at night. In a conversation which I held with the priests, I inquired how long their temple had been built, and found by their answer that they, too, differed from the Hellenes. They said that the temple was built at the same time that the city was founded, and that the foundation of the city took place 2,300 years ago. In Tyre I remarked another temple where the same god was worshipped as the Thasian Heracles. So I went on to Thasos, where I found a temple of Heracles which had been built by the Phoenicians who colonised that island when they sailed in search of Europa. Even this was five generations earlier than the time when Heracles, son of Amphitryon, was born in Hellas. These researches show plainly that there is an ancient god Heracles; and my own opinion is that those Hellenes act most wisely who build and maintain two temples of Heracles, in the one of which the Heracles worshipped is known by the name of Olympian, and has sacrifice offered to him as an immortal, while in the other the honours paid are such as are due to a hero." (Histories 2.44.
  3. ^ Hugh Johnson, Vintage: The Story of Wine pg 39. Simon and Schuster 1989

References

  • N. Epitropou et al.: "The discovery of primary stratabound Pb – Zn mineralization at Thassos Island", L’ Industria Mineraria n. 4, 1982.
  • N. Epitropou, D. Konstantinides, D. Bitzios: "The Mariou Pb – Zn Mineralization of the Thassos Island Greece.", Mineral deposits of the Alps and of Alpine Epoch in Europe ed. by H. J. Echneibert, Spring – Verlag Berlin Heilderberg, 1983.
  • N. Epitropou et al.: "Le mineralizzazioni carsiche a Pb – Zn dell’ isola di Thassos, Grecia.", Mem. Soc. Geol. H. 22, 1981, pp. 139-143.
  • Omenetto P., Epitropou N., Konstantinides D.: "The base metal sulphides of W. Thassos Island in the Geological Metallogenic Frame work of Rhodope and Surrounding Regions.", International Earth Sciences Congress on AEGEAN Regions, 1-6 October 1990, Izmir -Turkey.
  • Epitropou N., Omenetto P., Constantinides D., "Μineralizations a Pb – Zn comparables au type ' Missisipi Valley'. L'example de l'ile de Thassos ( Macedoine, Grece du Nord)", MVT WORKSHOP, Paris, France, 1993.

Municipalities of the Kavala Prefecture

Chrysoupoli | Eleftheres | Eleftheroupoli | Filippoi | Kavala | Keramoti | Oreino | Orfani | Pangaio | Piereis | Thasos

Greek Islands

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