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Naxos has a rich cultural history. There are indications that in 4000 BC there already was already a well developed society on Naxos. During the Cycladic civilization in the 3d millennium BC, the famous marble statues and pottery were produced which were found in graves in the Grotta area of Naxos town and near Panermos.
The Cycladic statues and pottery can be seen in the Archeological Museum in the Kastro, as well as a collection of beautiful of Mycenaean pottery from the 2nd millennium BC.

  During the Mycenaean civilization Naxos became one of the most important ports in the Aegean, because of its strategic position. The ancient acropolis was on the hill which later, during medieval times, became occupied by the Venetian Kastro, and parts of the ancient Mycenaean city have been excavated in the Grotta area of Naxos town.
The Ionian civilization, from the 8th century BC, was again an important period of cultural and economic development on the island. Marble sculpture and architecture flourished.

Naxos had a dominant influence over the island of Delos, and contributed many sculptures, including the famous avenue of lions. The Sphinx at Delphi is another important example of Naxian craftsmanship. The large Kouri (statues of young gods or heroes) were exported, one of which can be seen in the Archeological museum in Athens.
The temples of Iria and of Demeter were constructed, and the temple of Apollo (which was never finished after the fall of the tyrant Lygdamis) on the islet of Palatia near Naxos town.

  During this this time the population on the island is thought to have been around 100.00 inhabitants. After the fall of Lygdamis, Naxos was twice attacked by the Persians.
The second attack in 490 BC caused massive devastation of the island, the enslavement of many of its inhabitants and a Persian occupation. Naxos never recovered its former brilliance or independent status.
At the battle of Salamis, Naxian ships joined the Athenian fleet and fought against the Persians.
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