island Andros
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Sightseeing & Monuments | Archaeological sites & Popular Technology

ANCIENT STROFILAS
The archaeological site of Strofilas is situated on the plateau of the same name on the cape of the Stavropeda region. A small part of the site has been excavated, in the place where the settlement was exceptionally condensed and stretches about 25 - 30 thousand square metres. Based on the evidence, it is the largest fortified settlement from the early Neolithic Age (4500 - 3000 BC) in all of the Aegean. The excavation continues and visitors are not allowed on to the site. The clihf settlement of Vriokastro, situated above Batsi, and the smaller settlement of Mikroyiali in the north of Andros, are both dated from the same era.


 

ANCIENT PLAKA
It is situated upon a small peninsular next to the beach of Plaka. It was an important settlement during the Bronze Age (2000 - 1500 BC) with well preserved structures. Only a small area of this site has been excavated and only recently.


ANCIENT ZAGORA
The peninsula of Zagora can reached with a 45 minute walk along the footpath which starts at Stavropeda. There is a signpost and the route is very beautiful. Ancient Zagora is the most large and closely studied area of excavation on Andros and its historic worth is substantial, being one of the first organised settlements of the "dark" transitory period (1050 - 1000 BC) to be discovered.



Life at the settlement of Zagora began in the 10th century BC and continued until
the end of the 8th century BC. At the narrow pass of peninsula, the settlement was protected by a strong wall, 110 m in length, 3 m in height and 2 m - 4.80 m in thickness. A large gate in the wall served as the entrance. nside the community was a sanctum founded in the 8th century BC and used until the classical times, even though the locality had been abandoned 3 centuries earlier. The houses were built from schist with dirt roofing. The usual composition was of an oblong chamber with a central fireplace, a separate storage area with stone props to support the clay urns, and a stable with a courtyard.


ANCIENT YPSILI

The settlement of Ipsili is found in the village of Aprovatou, on the central road between Batsi and Hora. Of the same period as Zagora, although the acropolis of Ipsili was inhabited until the Roman times. The fortified acropolis and sanctum were in the centre of the settlement, and were probably dedicated to the worship of the goddesses Dimitra and Persephone. The excavation of Ipsili is ongoing and is nearing completion. The site is being formed into a suitable visiting area.

 

 

 

 

THE POLIS (CITY) OF ANDROS
On the stunning slopes of Mount Petalo, where today you can find the picturesque village of Paleopolis, was the original ancient site of the "City of Andros", which flourished from the year 600 BC until early Christian years, 199 AD. However the first traces of civilisation date from the Mycenaen era, from which time were found two vases, which are kept in the museum in Andros town.


A very powerful city, it participated in the all the affairs of its time, using its great material and spiritual wealth, and most especially its nautical strength. It founded settlements such as Stayiera, the birth place of Aristoteli, in Halkidiki, manufactured in its own currency, and the city was adorned with temples, statues and a marble theatre and stadium. During the hellenistic times the city was fortified with a strong wall and in the same era the harbour wall was constructed which is still in evidence half submerged and is still used by the local fishermen. The ancient state spreads over a large area and until today has not been fully excavated. The excavation is confined to an area close to the harbour, which used to be a market place, and the discoveries, as well as many others which had been found previously, are housed in the museum in Andros town and also in the archaeological collection in Paliopolis.
To date, only a small part of the ancient civilization has been excavated near the old harbour, and the rest has remained in its natural state as we find it today, after so many centuries. A walk into the valley of Paleopolis today is a totally unforgettable experience - literally a walk in the footprints left by life over 26 centuries, with all its disasters and creations.

 

2THE TOWER OF AGHIOS PETROS
On the stunning slopes of Mount Petalo, where today you can find the picturesque village of Paleopolis, was the original ancient site of the "City of Andros", which flourished from the year 600 BC until early Christian years, 199 AD. However the first traces of civilisation date from the Mycenaen era, from which time were found two vases, which are kept in the museum in Andros town.


A very powerful city, it participated in the all the affairs of its time, using its great material and spiritual wealth, and most especially its nautical strength. It founded settlements such as Stayiera, the birth place of Aristoteli, in Halkidiki, manufactured in its own currency, and the city was adorned with temples, statues and a marble theatre and stadium. During the hellenistic times the city was fortified with a strong wall and in the same era the harbour wall was constructed which is still in evidence half submerged and is still used by the local fishermen. The ancient state spreads over a large area and until today has not been fully excavated. The excavation is confined to an area close to the harbour, which used to be a market place, and the discoveries, as well as many others which had been found previously, are housed in the museum in Andros town and also in the archaeological collection in Paliopolis.
To date, only a small part of the ancient civilization has been excavated near the old harbour, and the rest has remained in its natural state as we find it today, after so many centuries. A walk into the valley of Paleopolis today is a totally unforgettable experience - literally a walk in the footprints left by life over 26 centuries, with all its disasters and creations.

 

 


Popular Technology

 

THE HORIZONTIAL WATERMILL
The horizontal watermill of Andros is the same of the eastern type which was common in all of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, adapted for use in Andros. One of its peculiarities was that it required there to be a ditch, an open reservoir for the storage of a sufficient quantity of water which was needed for its continuous operation, since the flow of most streams was not always constant. The water was guided into the ditch with a channel which began at a higher part of stream with a natural flow. From there it fell into the vertical canal whose height exceeded 6 metres and where, adjacent to its bottom, at the base of the mill, the horizontal wing was situated . When the water hit on to the wing flaps, which had about a 30 degree vertical inclination, it turned them in a revolving motion. With a vertical axis that crossed the ceiling where the wing was situated, the movement was transmitted to the upper floor where the millstones were found and it turned them. The speed of rotation was determined by the miller who, with a lever could open and close - more or less - the final hole which drove the water from the canal on to the wing. Usually on the same level with the millstones, the storage areas and the miller's house were found. The entire mill was a strong, stone building which could withstand the continual pressure from the water. In rare circumstances the canal was constructed of wood.


Watermills were found in all of Andros, on practically each stream, and most were found in the gorges of Dipotamata and Frousei.

 

THE HORIZONTIAL WINDMILL OF ANDROS

The horizontal windmill, also called tavlomylos is, according to recent historical information, the creation of Thanasis Chrisostratis from Piskopio in Korthion at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century. His great knowledge of windmills, as well as watermills, probably helped him. Until the 1940s the tavlomylos was continually being developed with continuous experimentation. It is said that before Chrisostratis put any of his innovations into operation, he tested them on models made from wood. There were drawings which were never put into use, for example, two wheels and two millstones in one mill. The

industrial age did not allow the tavlomylos to develop and toexpand.Today it is a monument of popular technology in Andros.
The tavlomylos is a cylindrical building, lower and larger in diameter than the common windmill. It has three floors, the loft, the main mill and the cellar. The loft is characteristic of the tavlomylos. It is a round space with five doors each facing in the direction of one of the main winds that blow on to the island. The mistral (northwest wind) the two north winds, the northeast wind and the east wind. It had another big opening for the air to go out on the opposite side. The mill was only half protected from the air on the side of the entrance door. Outside and around the walls of the loft there were heavy split stones so that people could move around and to open or close the doors.



In the loft is found the main mechanism of the mill the wings . Originally these wings were made from planks of wood (tavles) or metallic plates, but later were replaced with cotton cloth, which were retained by heavy chains. The air entering from the door, which was open, turned the wing around on its vertical axis. The axis led to the cellar where, thanks to a lantern there became an increase in the number of turns which with another vertical axis, worked the grinding mechanism in the main mill, which was found immediately above. In the main mill were found the millstones, the feeding system and the flour containers. Here the sacks of grain were stored and here the miller worked and slept.
The photographs are from two partially restored tavlomylos, which are found near Ormos Korthiou on the road for Hora.

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