Marathi, a beautiful, verdant picturesque village with whitewashed houses and three small churches, is located 4 km. along the Parikia - Lefkes road.
The ancient marble quarries are just east of the settlement. The famous Parian marble, revered for its contribution to architecture and sculpture of the Classical period, was extracted from these quarries, the main source of wealth for the island in all periods of history.
Parian marble is known for its purity and transparency. This unique transparency allows light to penetrate to a depth of 3.5 cm (versus 2.5 cm in Italian Carrara marble and 1.5 cm in Pentelis marble). Renowned sculptors like Feidias, Agorakritos, Praxitelis and Scopas worked with the marble of Paros.
Masterpieces of antiquity were created from the pure white marble, including: the Venus de Milo, Hermes of Praxitelis, Korai of the Acropolis, Nike of Delos, the Temple of Apollo and the treasure of Sifnos at Delphi, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Apollo on Delos.
It is estimated that 70% of the sculptures in the regions bordered by the Aegean are made of Parian marble. It was known as lychnitis because it was extracted from deep galleries with only the light of the "lychnon" (oil lamps). The corridors, galleries and inscriptions of ancient artists have survived through the years.
It is currently possible to visit two of the entrances. The extraction of the marble began in the early Cycladic era (3200 BC - 2000 BC). The quarries ceased operations in the late 19th century.