The history of Andros dates back to prehistoric times. Settlements from the ancient period, especially from the Geometric period have been recovered, of which some interesting finds are on display in the archaeological museums of the island. From the Byzantine period some beautiful churches and monasteries are preserved. There are also ancient paths, walls, bridges, threshing floors and remains of wind and water mills, which give evidence of centuries of farming culture on the island. The beautiful dovecotes and large mansions date from the Venetian period. Since the 19th century Andros has played an important role in the Greek shipping tradition.