Indications on the composition of the insular communities of the Bronze Age are drawn from the settlement and funerary architecture as well as from the mobile finds and particularly from their distribution in the settlements and cemeteries.

The existence of a political-administrative power which coordinates the communal works (fortifications, communal storerooms, "Bouleuterion") and sees to the observation of the unwritten laws for the harmonic function of the community, but also the existence of a wealthy class of merchant-craftsmen (metal workers) is apparent in the early urban centres of the north Aegean already from the Early Bronze Age. The seals, signs of the control of goods' distribution, the infrequently imported artifacts from the Aegean and Asia Minor, the valuable for that period bronze tools and weapons (Thermi, Poliochni) and the jewellery of exceptional art (Poliochni) are "prestige goods" or objects of "social prestige" which certify the economic and social peculiarity of their possessors. The existence of poor and rich in the Cyclades is betrayed by the quality of the grave-goods in the Early Cycladic graves. Graves with diadems, necklaces, bracelets and vases (bowl, tea spoon) made of gold and other materials coexist in cemeteries with graves that may include only one marble figurine!

The unequal distribution of wealth and by extension the social multiformity characterizes the early urban centres of the Middle Bronze Age as well. This is apparent from the seals and artifacts of Minoan, south Helladic and Asia Minor origin from Mikro Vouni on Samothrace, Koukonisi of Lemnos, Agia Irini on Keos, Phylakopi on Melos and Akrotiri on Thera.

Evidence of a cosmopolitan society of the Late Cycladic I period is revealed at Akrotiri under the volcanic tephra: the rich houses of the merchants -monuments of the Aegean architecture-, the cult areas (lustral basin), and the wall-painting decorations on which types of the Late Cycladic society in the natural environment, in everyday and athletic activities, religious rituals and in pacific or war operations (Miniature fresco) are depicted. From the Late Cycladic III period differentiations occur in the administrative power, but also in the practice of cult and burial customs, suggesting the social-political scheme of Mycenaean Greece with which the islands are brought in contact during this period. The megara and sanctuaries at Agia Irini and Phylakopi, the cult figurines, the vaulted tombs with rich grave goods of local or Mycenaean kings in the Cyclades and the Dodecanese reveal the composition of the Late Bronze Age communities.

Poliochni. The gold jewellery from the "treasure"
of the Yellow period. Early Bronze Age.
Syros, Chalandriani. Reconstruction of a silver diadem. Early Cycladic II.
Akrotiri, Thera, West House.
Fresco with priestess.