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Gavdos has supported a permanent population since Neolithic times; nowadays, however, the island has very few people. The place has seen many uses in the different times it has inspired interest. In [[Ancient Greece]] Gavdos was the site of the mythical [[Ogygia]] where [[
Kalypso (mythology)|Kalypso]] held [[Odysseus]] prisoner. Archaeological evidence showed that the Roman empire was active on the island. During this time the flora of the island was overexploited, this started a process of erosion which continued to this very day.
Later, at the time of the [[Byzantine Empire]], the island had some 8,000 inhabitants ([]-[] AD) and supported 3 bishops and an archbishop. During the Turkish Empire's reign on the island, which lasted from [] up until [], Gavdos was known as Gondzo. During this period the population decreased considerably to only 500 inhabitants by []. Gavdos was also known to Saracens; one of the beaches is named Sarakiniko (of the Saracens), as it is believed that Saracens had a hideout there.
In the [[1930s|30's]] the island was used as a place of exile of communists; more than 250 people were exiled including leading figures of the
greek movement, such as [[Markos Vafiadis]]. Later on, the general phase of urbanization that started in other parts of Greece in the [[1960s|60's]], took place in the [[1950s|50's]] on Gavdos. During that period the islanders exchanged their land on Gavdos with ex-Turkish land on Crete, which had now become exchangeable via the state. Upon settling in Crete they created a community known as ''Gavdiotika''.