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|Since the Early Neolithic Era an important island civilization has been developing throughout the area of the north Aegean, to which Chios and Psara belong. Settlers were attracted from the earliest times by the favorable ecological conditions, and occupation has continued up to now.|
Evidence of the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (6000-2000 BC), a period of 4000 years during which Chios passed through the developmental stages of the cultural and economic structures of prehistory, is derived from traces at several places on Chios, the systematic excavations at Emporio and Aghio Galas, as well as the rich Chios tradition.
|Just who were the first inhabitants is still an open question. There are three versions, the first one relates the first inhabitants with Pelasgians, from whom many toponyms have survived up to now, such as Pelinaion, Kronos, Dotion, Larisson, et al. According to the second version the first settler was Oinopion, son of Dionysos or Theseus and Ariadne, who came from Crete. The island was named Chios after his daughter’s name, nymph Chion. A third version, cited by historian Isidoros, says the name Chios comes by the Phoenicians and means mastic in the Syrian language.|
|Most probably the final band of colonists before the Ionians were Abantes from Euboia. Tradition refers to a king Amphiklos who came to Chios in response to a delphic oracle and, four generations later, King Hector, who expelled the former inhabitants of the island. The destruction of the Mycenaean settlement at Emporio coincides with beginning of Ionia colonization, which events are probably reflected in the domination of the racial elements with which the history of Ionian Chios commences.|