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submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 10.05.2013

Slide of the Kourvoulis Water Mill, Karavas

Kourvoulis is a "parachoukli" of one of the the Tzortzopoulos clans.

Shown at the Karavas Water Project presentation.

The Presentation was made by:

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)


The presentation was held at the University of Sydney at 7.15pm, Wednesday, March 20th 2013

At the Centre of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Board Room, in the Madsen Building  Level 4,
Room 480 (one storey up and directly behind the building’s main foyer on the Eastern Avenue pedestrian mall).

What follows is George Vardas's Report of the event.

Download a .pdf of George's Report, here:

KARAVAS WATER PROJECT ARTICLE TOTAL.pdf

Download Tim and Lita's summary of their presentation, here:

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf

"Traditional mills belong to the cultural memory of people because they are associated to a still recent past and appeal to the countryside roots of people". (1)

KARAVAS WATER PROJECT EXPLAINED

The watermills of Kythera are traditionally associated with the village of Milopotamos (literally, the village of the watermills). However, to the north of the island, the verdant terraced landscape of Karavas is also rich in water, deep green gorges, free-running springs, walking trails and abandoned stone-built watermills which the Karavas Water Project seeks to explore.

On 20 March 2013 the leaders of this project, Professor Timothy Gregory and his colleague and wife, Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, of Ohio State University gave an enthralling presentation to an audience of more than fifty (including a number of Karavites) at the Centre of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Board Room at Sydney University.
Lita started off by setting the scene for what it would have been like to live in the village of Karavas when the water mills were operating and how the social life often gravitated around those mills and the famous water springs, for which the village was renown, and vividly recalled the abundance of popular folk legends and stories associated with them.
Professor Gregory then proceeded to explain how the Karavas Water Project, by taking an environmental, topographic, archaeological and historical approach, seeks to examine the historical use of water resources in the northern part of Kythera throughout antiquity and up to the modern day.

According to the local historian and writer, Ioannis Cassimatis, the first watermills appeared in Kythera in the late eighteenth century. It is thought they were introduced from Crete where mills were built during the Ottoman and Venetian occupations. Traditionally, the mills, which were either single or two storey buildings, were built in the prevailing architectural style of the village.

Professor Gregory observed that Karavas stands out because of its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that resemble a sub-tropical rainforest in marked contrast to the barren, parched landscape of other parts of Greece. Indeed, the defining marker of Karavas is its watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos.

From 2011 Timothy and his team took to the island small groups of university students as volunteers to help clear overgrown vegetation from the springs and watermills and undertake research on the various water installations, including the channels, cisterns and mills, and their use. They also spoke to local residents and former residents about their memories of the mills and have begun recording those oral histories. The cleared walking trails have also helped enhance Karavas’ reputation as an eco-tourism destination.

By means of a powerpoint presentation, including photographs and drawings of what some of the areas in Karavas now look like, once they have been cleaned of the dense vegetation, Timothy took the audience on a virtual tour of some of the ten watermills in the gorges of Karavas, including the impressive Magganou mill and cistern, and the mills of Paliomylos, Kourvoulis, Portokalia and Keramari and their sophisticated water channels and storage areas. He also mentioned Loutro which may date back to the 18th and 19th centuries (according to travellers’ accounts) and the possibility of its being used for bathing in Roman times.

As the molinologist Stelios Mouzakis has observed:

“The watermills of Kythera … are constructions on a small scale of the anonymous traditional architecture of Kythera. They are impressive in their special characteristics, the harmony of their volumes, their simplicity, their picturesque appearance, the modesty of their local building materials, the solutions they manifest to various constructional difficulties, but mainly by their unpretentious, effortless incorporation into their surroundings.”(2)

Professor Gregory also discussed how the systems of irrigation were used for the perivolia and the communal arrangements made between farmers and mill operators to exploit and share the water. Tim even alluded to a reference to the watermills in Spiro Stathis’ remarkable Kytherian Review published in 1923. In his survey of industry on Kythera in the year 1923, Stathis reported on the number of operating watermills on the island. Apart from Mylopotamos, we learn that there were five functioning watermills in Karavas operated by Panagiotis Coroneos, Haris Vanges, T. Tzortzopoulos, P. Tzortzopoulos and Ioannis Venardos.

Sadly, according to Cassimatis, the last watermill on Kythera ceased to operate in the late 1940s as the advent of power on the island meant that the mills were no longer economical to operate.

Finally, it is noteworthy that Timothy and Lita Gregory have established the impressive Amir Ali research centre, incorporating a library and dormitory, in Karavas to promote further research and greater understanding of the Karavas watershed and the historic, archaeological and cultural traditions and structures associated with water use on the island.

A big thank you goes to Timothy and Lita for their passionate and ongoing interest in Kytherian archaeology, as well as to Wayne Mullen, Executive Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, for offering the venue at Sydney University for the lecture.

After the presentation, members of the audience were treated to coffee and biscuits put on by the Kytherian Association together with some exquisite chocolate offerings from Fardoulis Chocolates. It was enough to make anyone thirsty.

(1) J. C. Viegas & J. A. Miranda, “Rehabilitation of traditional mills” in C.A. Brebbia (ed.) Structural Studies, Repairs and Maintenance of Heritage Architecture VIII (2003) p.657

(2) S. Mouzakis, “Watermills of the Greek Islands of Kythera and Antikythera” International Molinology (2004, Vol. 69, no. 2) p. 4

George Vardas

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Timothy Gregory on 10.05.2013

The Karavas Water Project - A Presentation

Presented by:

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)


The presentation was held at the University of Sydney at 7.15pm, Wednesday, March 20th 2013

At the Centre of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Board Room, in the Madsen Building  Level 4,
Room 480 (one storey up and directly behind the building’s main foyer on the Eastern Avenue pedestrian mall).

What follows is George Vardas's Report of the event.

Download a .pdf of George's Report, here:

KARAVAS WATER PROJECT ARTICLE TOTAL.pdf

Download Tim and Lita's summary of their presentation, here:

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf

"Traditional mills belong to the cultural memory of people because they are associated to a still recent past and appeal to the countryside roots of people". (1)

KARAVAS WATER PROJECT EXPLAINED

The watermills of Kythera are traditionally associated with the village of Milopotamos (literally, the village of the watermills). However, to the north of the island, the verdant terraced landscape of Karavas is also rich in water, deep green gorges, free-running springs, walking trails and abandoned stone-built watermills which the Karavas Water Project seeks to explore.

On 20 March 2013 the leaders of this project, Professor Timothy Gregory and his colleague and wife, Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, of Ohio State University gave an enthralling presentation to an audience of more than fifty (including a number of Karavites) at the Centre of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Board Room at Sydney University.
Lita started off by setting the scene for what it would have been like to live in the village of Karavas when the water mills were operating and how the social life often gravitated around those mills and the famous water springs, for which the village was renown, and vividly recalled the abundance of popular folk legends and stories associated with them.
Professor Gregory then proceeded to explain how the Karavas Water Project, by taking an environmental, topographic, archaeological and historical approach, seeks to examine the historical use of water resources in the northern part of Kythera throughout antiquity and up to the modern day.

According to the local historian and writer, Ioannis Cassimatis, the first watermills appeared in Kythera in the late eighteenth century. It is thought they were introduced from Crete where mills were built during the Ottoman and Venetian occupations. Traditionally, the mills, which were either single or two storey buildings, were built in the prevailing architectural style of the village.

Professor Gregory observed that Karavas stands out because of its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that resemble a sub-tropical rainforest in marked contrast to the barren, parched landscape of other parts of Greece. Indeed, the defining marker of Karavas is its watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos.

From 2011 Timothy and his team took to the island small groups of university students as volunteers to help clear overgrown vegetation from the springs and watermills and undertake research on the various water installations, including the channels, cisterns and mills, and their use. They also spoke to local residents and former residents about their memories of the mills and have begun recording those oral histories. The cleared walking trails have also helped enhance Karavas’ reputation as an eco-tourism destination.

By means of a powerpoint presentation, including photographs and drawings of what some of the areas in Karavas now look like, once they have been cleaned of the dense vegetation, Timothy took the audience on a virtual tour of some of the ten watermills in the gorges of Karavas, including the impressive Magganou mill and cistern, and the mills of Paliomylos, Kourvoulis, Portokalia and Keramari and their sophisticated water channels and storage areas. He also mentioned Loutro which may date back to the 18th and 19th centuries (according to travellers’ accounts) and the possibility of its being used for bathing in Roman times.

As the molinologist Stelios Mouzakis has observed:

“The watermills of Kythera … are constructions on a small scale of the anonymous traditional architecture of Kythera. They are impressive in their special characteristics, the harmony of their volumes, their simplicity, their picturesque appearance, the modesty of their local building materials, the solutions they manifest to various constructional difficulties, but mainly by their unpretentious, effortless incorporation into their surroundings.”(2)

Professor Gregory also discussed how the systems of irrigation were used for the perivolia and the communal arrangements made between farmers and mill operators to exploit and share the water. Tim even alluded to a reference to the watermills in Spiro Stathis’ remarkable Kytherian Review published in 1923. In his survey of industry on Kythera in the year 1923, Stathis reported on the number of operating watermills on the island. Apart from Mylopotamos, we learn that there were five functioning watermills in Karavas operated by Panagiotis Coroneos, Haris Vanges, T. Tzortzopoulos, P. Tzortzopoulos and Ioannis Venardos.

Sadly, according to Cassimatis, the last watermill on Kythera ceased to operate in the late 1940s as the advent of power on the island meant that the mills were no longer economical to operate.

Finally, it is noteworthy that Timothy and Lita Gregory have established the impressive Amir Ali research centre, incorporating a library and dormitory, in Karavas to promote further research and greater understanding of the Karavas watershed and the historic, archaeological and cultural traditions and structures associated with water use on the island.

A big thank you goes to Timothy and Lita for their passionate and ongoing interest in Kytherian archaeology, as well as to Wayne Mullen, Executive Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, for offering the venue at Sydney University for the lecture.

After the presentation, members of the audience were treated to coffee and biscuits put on by the Kytherian Association together with some exquisite chocolate offerings from Fardoulis Chocolates. It was enough to make anyone thirsty.

(1) J. C. Viegas & J. A. Miranda, “Rehabilitation of traditional mills” in C.A. Brebbia (ed.) Structural Studies, Repairs and Maintenance of Heritage Architecture VIII (2003) p.657

(2) S. Mouzakis, “Watermills of the Greek Islands of Kythera and Antikythera” International Molinology (2004, Vol. 69, no. 2) p. 4

George Vardas

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Timothy Gregory on 10.05.2013

The “picnic area” at the Manganou spring, after being cleared in 2011

Environmental Archaeology and History in Northern Kythera: The Karavas Water Project

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf


The Karavas Water Project is an example of a new kind of history that seeks to learn from the past in order to maintain the beauty and the richness of small-scale eco-niches. The project is based on the recognition that the area of Karavas (in the northern part of Kythera) is known for its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that create an environment that more resembles a sub-tropical rain forest than it does the parched landscape of many parts of Greece. The project has as its goal the detailed exploration and recording of the main Karavas watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos. The research includes the basic mapping of the area and the identification of the many natural and humanly modified springs, as well as the water devices that were constructed to convey and store the water and to utilize water for a variety of purposes, including irrigation and power, most notably the water mills that still mark the sides of the watershed at various points.

The Keramari Mill below Diakopoulianika

A major consideration of the project is the broader realization that natural resources in particular areas often allow small or even isolated societies, over the centuries, to develop systems of production and exchange so that they can survive, frequently despite political, military, or even significant economic shifts. Indeed, many localities in Kythera, such as Karavas, were able to develop and prosper, change their means of subsistence, and survive – at least until modern times. Thus, the Kythera Water Project uses an environmental approach to examine the interactions between resources and production in order to understand better the systems of interaction that lay behind the prosperity and resilience of local society in the past, hopefully as a clue to imagine similar survival there, and in many other areas, into the future.

Chronologically, the project begins most naturally, with the “present,” meaning the location, condition, size, characteristics, and use of these elements as they are now. We then seek to push our research back into the past, using, first of all the characteristics of the humanly-made structures, their chronological elements and what we can say of their change over time. In addition, we make significant use of oral information, which many inhabitants of Karavas or Kytherians living elsewhere have provided, to help us understand the use of water and water power back into the more distant past. Beyond this, we have begun an examination of documents in the Kythera Historical Archive since these include contracts, wills, and agreements that not uncommonly mention places and even specific buildings that are of importance in our present study. Finally, although the project is not formally archaeological in nature, we realize that many of the resources that we have identified would also have been of use in the much more distant past and that, on some occasions, we can hypothesize how they might have been used in the past. Thus, it may not be an accident that one of the already known tombs of prehistoric date in the Karavas area is located very close to some of the more impressive cistern systems we explored. Although those cisterns, which are still being used, are modern in their present form, it is not impossible that they had also been used by individuals living in the prehistoric settlement that must have been located nearby.

Students clearing undergrowth at the Manganou Spring, Karavas

Our fieldwork over the past two years was carried out with the assistance of students from the Ohio State University (USA), who volunteered to help us clear many of the watercourses, springs, and watermills that had become nearly completely impassable, covered over with a thick covering of thorny vines and other unpleasant vegetation. Despite uncountable scrapes and punctures, torn clothes and ripped boots, and many falls into the cold Karavas water, these students opened many passageways and cleared several springs, allowing us to examine in detail some of the facilities that were built to move, store, and use water over the centuries. As a result, we are beginning to see how people in the past were able to preserve and maintain the natural resources on which their livelihood depended, in part as an important lesson for us today.

Cleaning the watercourse just below the Keramari spring

In addition, the gorges around Karavas are a beautiful retreat, where visitors can enjoy the wonders of nature, the coldness of the clear water, and the works of human activity for centuries on end. We hope that visitors and local people will do their best to keep the streams and paths of the Karavas area clean and open, so all will be able to enjoy them.

A waterfall near the Portokalia spring

You can contact us at : Tim Gregory</a> and / or <a href="mailto:gregory.257@osu.edu">Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, or 07360-33565.

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Timothy Gregory on 10.05.2013

A waterfall near the Portokalia spring

Environmental Archaeology and History in Northern Kythera: The Karavas Water Project

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf


The Karavas Water Project is an example of a new kind of history that seeks to learn from the past in order to maintain the beauty and the richness of small-scale eco-niches. The project is based on the recognition that the area of Karavas (in the northern part of Kythera) is known for its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that create an environment that more resembles a sub-tropical rain forest than it does the parched landscape of many parts of Greece. The project has as its goal the detailed exploration and recording of the main Karavas watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos. The research includes the basic mapping of the area and the identification of the many natural and humanly modified springs, as well as the water devices that were constructed to convey and store the water and to utilize water for a variety of purposes, including irrigation and power, most notably the water mills that still mark the sides of the watershed at various points.

The Keramari Mill below Diakopoulianika

A major consideration of the project is the broader realization that natural resources in particular areas often allow small or even isolated societies, over the centuries, to develop systems of production and exchange so that they can survive, frequently despite political, military, or even significant economic shifts. Indeed, many localities in Kythera, such as Karavas, were able to develop and prosper, change their means of subsistence, and survive – at least until modern times. Thus, the Kythera Water Project uses an environmental approach to examine the interactions between resources and production in order to understand better the systems of interaction that lay behind the prosperity and resilience of local society in the past, hopefully as a clue to imagine similar survival there, and in many other areas, into the future.

The “picnic area” at the Manganou spring, after being cleared in 2011

Chronologically, the project begins most naturally, with the “present,” meaning the location, condition, size, characteristics, and use of these elements as they are now. We then seek to push our research back into the past, using, first of all the characteristics of the humanly-made structures, their chronological elements and what we can say of their change over time. In addition, we make significant use of oral information, which many inhabitants of Karavas or Kytherians living elsewhere have provided, to help us understand the use of water and water power back into the more distant past. Beyond this, we have begun an examination of documents in the Kythera Historical Archive since these include contracts, wills, and agreements that not uncommonly mention places and even specific buildings that are of importance in our present study. Finally, although the project is not formally archaeological in nature, we realize that many of the resources that we have identified would also have been of use in the much more distant past and that, on some occasions, we can hypothesize how they might have been used in the past. Thus, it may not be an accident that one of the already known tombs of prehistoric date in the Karavas area is located very close to some of the more impressive cistern systems we explored. Although those cisterns, which are still being used, are modern in their present form, it is not impossible that they had also been used by individuals living in the prehistoric settlement that must have been located nearby.

Students clearing undergrowth at the Manganou Spring, Karavas

Our fieldwork over the past two years was carried out with the assistance of students from the Ohio State University (USA), who volunteered to help us clear many of the watercourses, springs, and watermills that had become nearly completely impassable, covered over with a thick covering of thorny vines and other unpleasant vegetation. Despite uncountable scrapes and punctures, torn clothes and ripped boots, and many falls into the cold Karavas water, these students opened many passageways and cleared several springs, allowing us to examine in detail some of the facilities that were built to move, store, and use water over the centuries. As a result, we are beginning to see how people in the past were able to preserve and maintain the natural resources on which their livelihood depended, in part as an important lesson for us today.

Cleaning the watercourse just below the Keramari spring

In addition, the gorges around Karavas are a beautiful retreat, where visitors can enjoy the wonders of nature, the coldness of the clear water, and the works of human activity for centuries on end. We hope that visitors and local people will do their best to keep the streams and paths of the Karavas area clean and open, so all will be able to enjoy them.

You can contact us at : Tim Gregory</a> and / or <a href="mailto:gregory.257@osu.edu">Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, or 07360-33565.

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Timothy Gregory on 10.05.2013

Cleaning the watercourse just below the Keramari spring

Environmental Archaeology and History in Northern Kythera: The Karavas Water Project

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf


The Karavas Water Project is an example of a new kind of history that seeks to learn from the past in order to maintain the beauty and the richness of small-scale eco-niches. The project is based on the recognition that the area of Karavas (in the northern part of Kythera) is known for its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that create an environment that more resembles a sub-tropical rain forest than it does the parched landscape of many parts of Greece. The project has as its goal the detailed exploration and recording of the main Karavas watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos. The research includes the basic mapping of the area and the identification of the many natural and humanly modified springs, as well as the water devices that were constructed to convey and store the water and to utilize water for a variety of purposes, including irrigation and power, most notably the water mills that still mark the sides of the watershed at various points.

The Keramari Mill below Diakopoulianika

A major consideration of the project is the broader realization that natural resources in particular areas often allow small or even isolated societies, over the centuries, to develop systems of production and exchange so that they can survive, frequently despite political, military, or even significant economic shifts. Indeed, many localities in Kythera, such as Karavas, were able to develop and prosper, change their means of subsistence, and survive – at least until modern times. Thus, the Kythera Water Project uses an environmental approach to examine the interactions between resources and production in order to understand better the systems of interaction that lay behind the prosperity and resilience of local society in the past, hopefully as a clue to imagine similar survival there, and in many other areas, into the future.

The “picnic area” at the Manganou spring, after being cleared in 2011

Chronologically, the project begins most naturally, with the “present,” meaning the location, condition, size, characteristics, and use of these elements as they are now. We then seek to push our research back into the past, using, first of all the characteristics of the humanly-made structures, their chronological elements and what we can say of their change over time. In addition, we make significant use of oral information, which many inhabitants of Karavas or Kytherians living elsewhere have provided, to help us understand the use of water and water power back into the more distant past. Beyond this, we have begun an examination of documents in the Kythera Historical Archive since these include contracts, wills, and agreements that not uncommonly mention places and even specific buildings that are of importance in our present study. Finally, although the project is not formally archaeological in nature, we realize that many of the resources that we have identified would also have been of use in the much more distant past and that, on some occasions, we can hypothesize how they might have been used in the past. Thus, it may not be an accident that one of the already known tombs of prehistoric date in the Karavas area is located very close to some of the more impressive cistern systems we explored. Although those cisterns, which are still being used, are modern in their present form, it is not impossible that they had also been used by individuals living in the prehistoric settlement that must have been located nearby.

Students clearing undergrowth at the Manganou Spring, Karavas

Our fieldwork over the past two years was carried out with the assistance of students from the Ohio State University (USA), who volunteered to help us clear many of the watercourses, springs, and watermills that had become nearly completely impassable, covered over with a thick covering of thorny vines and other unpleasant vegetation. Despite uncountable scrapes and punctures, torn clothes and ripped boots, and many falls into the cold Karavas water, these students opened many passageways and cleared several springs, allowing us to examine in detail some of the facilities that were built to move, store, and use water over the centuries. As a result, we are beginning to see how people in the past were able to preserve and maintain the natural resources on which their livelihood depended, in part as an important lesson for us today.

In addition, the gorges around Karavas are a beautiful retreat, where visitors can enjoy the wonders of nature, the coldness of the clear water, and the works of human activity for centuries on end. We hope that visitors and local people will do their best to keep the streams and paths of the Karavas area clean and open, so all will be able to enjoy them.

A waterfall near the Portokalia spring

You can contact us at : Tim Gregory</a> and / or <a href="mailto:gregory.257@osu.edu">Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, or 07360-33565.

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Timothy Gregory on 10.05.2013

Students clearing undergrowth at the Manganou Spring, Karavas

Environmental Archaeology and History in Northern Kythera: The Karavas Water Project

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf


The Karavas Water Project is an example of a new kind of history that seeks to learn from the past in order to maintain the beauty and the richness of small-scale eco-niches. The project is based on the recognition that the area of Karavas (in the northern part of Kythera) is known for its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that create an environment that more resembles a sub-tropical rain forest than it does the parched landscape of many parts of Greece. The project has as its goal the detailed exploration and recording of the main Karavas watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos. The research includes the basic mapping of the area and the identification of the many natural and humanly modified springs, as well as the water devices that were constructed to convey and store the water and to utilize water for a variety of purposes, including irrigation and power, most notably the water mills that still mark the sides of the watershed at various points.

The Keramari Mill below Diakopoulianika

A major consideration of the project is the broader realization that natural resources in particular areas often allow small or even isolated societies, over the centuries, to develop systems of production and exchange so that they can survive, frequently despite political, military, or even significant economic shifts. Indeed, many localities in Kythera, such as Karavas, were able to develop and prosper, change their means of subsistence, and survive – at least until modern times. Thus, the Kythera Water Project uses an environmental approach to examine the interactions between resources and production in order to understand better the systems of interaction that lay behind the prosperity and resilience of local society in the past, hopefully as a clue to imagine similar survival there, and in many other areas, into the future.

The “picnic area” at the Manganou spring, after being cleared in 2011

Chronologically, the project begins most naturally, with the “present,” meaning the location, condition, size, characteristics, and use of these elements as they are now. We then seek to push our research back into the past, using, first of all the characteristics of the humanly-made structures, their chronological elements and what we can say of their change over time. In addition, we make significant use of oral information, which many inhabitants of Karavas or Kytherians living elsewhere have provided, to help us understand the use of water and water power back into the more distant past. Beyond this, we have begun an examination of documents in the Kythera Historical Archive since these include contracts, wills, and agreements that not uncommonly mention places and even specific buildings that are of importance in our present study. Finally, although the project is not formally archaeological in nature, we realize that many of the resources that we have identified would also have been of use in the much more distant past and that, on some occasions, we can hypothesize how they might have been used in the past. Thus, it may not be an accident that one of the already known tombs of prehistoric date in the Karavas area is located very close to some of the more impressive cistern systems we explored. Although those cisterns, which are still being used, are modern in their present form, it is not impossible that they had also been used by individuals living in the prehistoric settlement that must have been located nearby.

Cleaning the watercourse just below the Keramari spring

Our fieldwork over the past two years was carried out with the assistance of students from the Ohio State University (USA), who volunteered to help us clear many of the watercourses, springs, and watermills that had become nearly completely impassable, covered over with a thick covering of thorny vines and other unpleasant vegetation. Despite uncountable scrapes and punctures, torn clothes and ripped boots, and many falls into the cold Karavas water, these students opened many passageways and cleared several springs, allowing us to examine in detail some of the facilities that were built to move, store, and use water over the centuries. As a result, we are beginning to see how people in the past were able to preserve and maintain the natural resources on which their livelihood depended, in part as an important lesson for us today.

The Keramari Mill below Diakopoulianika

In addition, the gorges around Karavas are a beautiful retreat, where visitors can enjoy the wonders of nature, the coldness of the clear water, and the works of human activity for centuries on end. We hope that visitors and local people will do their best to keep the streams and paths of the Karavas area clean and open, so all will be able to enjoy them.

A waterfall near the Portokalia spring

You can contact us at : Tim Gregory</a> and / or <a href="mailto:gregory.257@osu.edu">Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, or 07360-33565.

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Timothy Gregory on 10.05.2013

The Keramari Mill below Diakopoulianika

Environmental Archaeology and History in Northern Kythera: The Karavas Water Project

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf


The Karavas Water Project is an example of a new kind of history that seeks to learn from the past in order to maintain the beauty and the richness of small-scale eco-niches. The project is based on the recognition that the area of Karavas (in the northern part of Kythera) is known for its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that create an environment that more resembles a sub-tropical rain forest than it does the parched landscape of many parts of Greece. The project has as its goal the detailed exploration and recording of the main Karavas watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos. The research includes the basic mapping of the area and the identification of the many natural and humanly modified springs, as well as the water devices that were constructed to convey and store the water and to utilize water for a variety of purposes, including irrigation and power, most notably the water mills that still mark the sides of the watershed at various points.

The “picnic area” at the Manganou spring, after being cleared in 2011

A major consideration of the project is the broader realization that natural resources in particular areas often allow small or even isolated societies, over the centuries, to develop systems of production and exchange so that they can survive, frequently despite political, military, or even significant economic shifts. Indeed, many localities in Kythera, such as Karavas, were able to develop and prosper, change their means of subsistence, and survive – at least until modern times. Thus, the Kythera Water Project uses an environmental approach to examine the interactions between resources and production in order to understand better the systems of interaction that lay behind the prosperity and resilience of local society in the past, hopefully as a clue to imagine similar survival there, and in many other areas, into the future.

Chronologically, the project begins most naturally, with the “present,” meaning the location, condition, size, characteristics, and use of these elements as they are now. We then seek to push our research back into the past, using, first of all the characteristics of the humanly-made structures, their chronological elements and what we can say of their change over time. In addition, we make significant use of oral information, which many inhabitants of Karavas or Kytherians living elsewhere have provided, to help us understand the use of water and water power back into the more distant past. Beyond this, we have begun an examination of documents in the Kythera Historical Archive since these include contracts, wills, and agreements that not uncommonly mention places and even specific buildings that are of importance in our present study. Finally, although the project is not formally archaeological in nature, we realize that many of the resources that we have identified would also have been of use in the much more distant past and that, on some occasions, we can hypothesize how they might have been used in the past. Thus, it may not be an accident that one of the already known tombs of prehistoric date in the Karavas area is located very close to some of the more impressive cistern systems we explored. Although those cisterns, which are still being used, are modern in their present form, it is not impossible that they had also been used by individuals living in the prehistoric settlement that must have been located nearby.

Students clearing undergrowth at the Manganou Spring, Karavas

Our fieldwork over the past two years was carried out with the assistance of students from the Ohio State University (USA), who volunteered to help us clear many of the watercourses, springs, and watermills that had become nearly completely impassable, covered over with a thick covering of thorny vines and other unpleasant vegetation. Despite uncountable scrapes and punctures, torn clothes and ripped boots, and many falls into the cold Karavas water, these students opened many passageways and cleared several springs, allowing us to examine in detail some of the facilities that were built to move, store, and use water over the centuries. As a result, we are beginning to see how people in the past were able to preserve and maintain the natural resources on which their livelihood depended, in part as an important lesson for us today.

Cleaning the watercourse just below the Keramari spring

In addition, the gorges around Karavas are a beautiful retreat, where visitors can enjoy the wonders of nature, the coldness of the clear water, and the works of human activity for centuries on end. We hope that visitors and local people will do their best to keep the streams and paths of the Karavas area clean and open, so all will be able to enjoy them.

A waterfall near the Portokalia spring

You can contact us at : Tim Gregory</a> and / or <a href="mailto:gregory.257@osu.edu">Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, or 07360-33565.

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 20.04.2013

'' plenty of seats at the platia''

a late april winters bleak morning at potamos platia, some of the locals sit at the platia rugged up to keep warm ....

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 17.04.2013

''it just another day ''

office with a great view , goat shepard enjoys another day at work looking after his goats and enjoying the view of mainland greece... does he want an assistant ?

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 17.04.2013

APRIL WINDS

rough seas at the popular summer beach neo kosmos agia pelagia... if you swim in those conditions you'll end up in americanos cafe across the road !!!!

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 17.04.2013

'' high seas ''

late april high sirocco winds give neo kosmos beach at agia pelagia niagara falls like conditions , many of us swim at that beach in july august , waves cross the road ,bit differant than the summer !!!!

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submitted by Kytherian Ecology on 07.03.2013

Restoring Fire damaged Kapsali

For Greek text please see below.

©2013 R.C.TECH | 6 Chatzioannou str. | Athens, Greece | 115 24

Download a .pdf of this call for funds here:

Kapsali Initiative.pdf

Dear Friends,

The fire that broke out last August close to Chora’s main square, following the fire that burned the area around Agia Elessa a month earlier, set in motion the formation of the Kapsali Initiative which had existed earlier as a thought and was initiated by Dr. Panagiotis Vardas.

The first action was to proceed with the pruning and clearing of the pine tree forest area in Kapsali along with the removal of remnant vegetation, so as to minimize the risk of fire. The conservation of this small forest, covering an area of about 52 stremmata, is of great importance for the island.

The works, performed by Michalis Kalligeros and his crew, are already underway at fast pace and so the landscape is steadily being transformed to a healthy and viable green park, now easily accessed by visitors and locals.

The total cost for the project has been estimated at around 22.000€. The works are being supervised voluntarily by a small committee, in which Vassilis Douridas participates on behalf of R.C.TECH.
The Kapsali Initiative needs the help of friends that will support it financially. So far the amount of 9.375€ has been collected through the following donations by various individuals wanting to help:
Μ.Κ.: 300€, Π.B.: 1.000€, Γ. Ζ.: 1.000€, Ν.Μ.: 2.500€, Ν.Σ.: 500€, Β.Ξ.: 1.000€, Ι.Κ.: 500€, Γ.Φ.: 100€, Π.Α.: 500€, E.K.: 100€, Γ.Δ.: 500€, Β.Δ.: 500€, M.K.: 875€

The amount remaining can be raised only through additional contributions. To become active supporters of the Iniative’s work in Kapsali you can use the following bank account which has been opened in the National

Bank of Greece:
ΙΒΑΝ: GR 4801 1038 0000 0038 0296 03628
Name: Κυθηραϊκός Σύνδεσμος (Kythiraikos Syndesmos)


Our aim is to raise the needed amount before Easter time since works of this kind are typically not allowed later than that due to the approaching summer season. You can find updated photos and videos of the project here, throughout the duration of the works.

Thanking you in advance for your support,

Friends of the Kapsali Initiative.

Αγαπητοί Φίλοι,

Η φωτιά του περασμένου Αυγούστου, που εκδηλώθηκε σε απόσταση αναπνοής από την πλατεία της Χώρας, ως συνέχεια της πυρκαγιάς που κατέκαψε την περιοχή της Αγίας Ελέσσας ένα μήνα νωρίτερα, ενεργοποίησε την Πρωτοβουλία για το Καψάλι, που υπήρχε νωρίτερα ως σκέψη και ξεκίνησε από τον ιατρό Παναγιώτη Βάρδα.

Ως πρώτη ενέργεια υιοθετήθηκε ο καθαρισμός και η εξυγίανση (κλαδέματα, απομάκρυνση ξερής φυτικής ύλης κ.α.) του πευκοδάσους στο Καψάλι, ώστε να προστατευθεί από τον κίνδυνο της φωτιάς. Πρόκειται για έκταση περίπου 52 στρεμμάτων χωρίς την περιοχή του camping (ενδεικτικά αναφέρεται ότι η έκταση του Εθνικού Κήπου στην Αθήνα είναι 75 στρέμματα), η προστασία της οποίας αναδεικνύεται πλέον ως άμεση ανάγκη.

Το έργο του καθαρισμού και της εξυγίανσης, εκτελείται ήδη με γοργό ρυθμό από τον Μιχάλη Καλλίγερο και το συνεργείο του και έτσι η πευκόφυτη έκταση έχει πλέον πάρει την εικόνα ενός υγιούς και βιώσιμου δασικού παρκου, προσβάσιμου εύκολα από τους επισκέπτες και τους κατοίκους του νησιού.

Η συνολική δαπάνη του έργου προβλέπεται να ανέλθει στις 22.000€ περίπου. Οι εργασίες παρακολουθούνται αφιλοκερδώς από μικρή επιτροπή, στην οποία μετέχει εκ μέρους της R.C.TECH ο Βασίλης Δουρίδας.

Η Πρωτοβουλία για το Καψάλι χρειάζεται ενεργούς φίλους που θα την υποστηρίξουν οικονομικά. Μέχρι σήμερα έχουν συγκεντρωθεί 9.375€ μέσα από τις ακόλουθες συνεισφορές φίλων της Πρωτοβουλίας:
Μ.Κ.: 300€, Π.B.: 1.000€, Γ. Ζ.: 1.000€, Ν.Μ.: 2.500€, Ν.Σ.: 500€, Β.Ξ.: 1.000€, Ι.Κ.: 500€, Γ.Φ.: 100€, Π.Α.: 500€, E.K.: 100€, Γ.Δ.: 500€, Β.Δ.: 500€, M.K.: 875€
Το ποσό που υπολείπεται μπορεί να συγκεντρωθεί μόνο μέσα από τις προσφορές σας. Για να γίνετε ενεργοί υποστηρικτές της Πρωτοβουλίας και του έργου της στο Καψάλι μπορείτε να χρησιμοποιήσετε τον λογαριασμό που διατηρείται στην Εθνική Τράπεζα με τα παρακάτω στοιχεία:
ΙΒΑΝ: GR 4801 1038 0000 0038 0296 03628
Κυθηραϊκός Σύνδεσμος


Στόχος μας είναι να συγκεντρωθεί το απαιτούμενο ποσό πριν το Πάσχα διότι αργότερα δεν επιτρέπονται εργασίες αυτού του είδους. Ενημερωμένο φωτογραφικό υλικό και video του έργου μπορείτε να βρίσκετε καθ' όλη τη διάρκεια των εργασιών εδώ.
Σας ευχαριστούμε εκ των προτέρων,

Οι ενεργοί φίλοι της Πρωτοβουλίας για το Καψάλι.

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 06.11.2012

'' majestic panayia despina ''

on the way to karava late in the afternoon maybe to get water from the the vrisi at karava , you will see PANAYIA DESPINA that overlooks mainland greece and keeps a eye on all the traffic in the shipping channel ...

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 30.10.2012

''speakers corner''

top end of potamos at selinas cafeneo the problems of the island , greece and the world are discussed and solved by the wise men of the area !!! although not many ears to hear their solutions on a quiet october afternoon....

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submitted by Heather De Marco on 26.10.2012

Agia Pelagia

Oh....to be back on the beach at Agia Pelagia

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submitted by Heather De Marco on 26.10.2012

Cats in Hora

Cats

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submitted by Heather De Marco on 26.10.2012

Diakofti

Blue and bluer

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submitted by Heather De Marco on 26.10.2012

Looking for family

Near Logothetianika

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 19.10.2012

ARONIADIKA...

great village to walk around and see some wonderful old homes ,aronadika was a well populated village in days gone by , a large village with lovely homes , photo taken from the main road on a perfect october day ....

Photos > Modern Landscapes

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 17.10.2012

'' great riding skills ''

great skill and dare by the bike rider making his way up through potamos , on the phone ,one hand on the bike and no helement ... and managed to pass a car as well ....