Location: Island of Yioura.
Entrance Orientation: W
Entrance Altitude: 150 m asl
Cave Formation: Horizontal
Main Research years:
Occupation Eras and Dates:
9th-7th millennium BC; EN II; MN; Late Aegean Neolithic Ib; EBA; LBA; Classical period; Hellenistic imperial period. 8600-8300BC; 7500-7420BC; 7265-7199BC; 6660-6530B;, 6220-6124BC; 5703-5630BC; 4800-4200BC; 3643-3540BC; 23-312AD.
Sampson, A. 2008. The cave of the cyclops: Mesolithic and Neolithic networks In the northern Aegean, Greece. Vol. 1. INSTAP Academic Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tomkins, K. 2009. Domesticity by Default. Ritual, Ritualization and Cave-Use in the Neolithic Aegean. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 28(2), 125-153.
Cave Description: The maximum dimensions for the main chamber are 50m x 40m. The cave is located to the north of Alonessos, northern Sporades.
Research Chronicles and Data: Within the stratigraphy of the cave there are 12 habitation strata, seven of which are from the Mesolithic. Huge organic residues have been covered by clay floors, mainly observed at the lower levels. Within the Upper Mesolithic period two floors and one hearth have been identified, seven floors are discerned in the published stratigraphy of trench C. In the remainder of the cave, there are several open hearths, as well as two basins and clay pipes constructed probably after imperial times.
Cave Uses: During the Mesolithic the cave was probably used as a seasonal dwelling for fishermen and bird hunters given its proximity to the water and its altitude. As well as this however it may also have been used for the further production of fish and birds as a storage place or perhaps for the smoking of the fish. In the Late Neolithic Ib period there is an important concentration of storage jars, and no evidence of these jars being in the cave in the earlier Neolithic phases. The cave was most probably used as a sanctuary in around the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. There is debatable evidence that the cave was used for goat penning, this is not excluded but not widely regarded as a definite possibility for this particular cave. The geologist present Dr. Karkanas believes so. Finally the deepest part of the cave was used for water collection, as we can tell from the basins and pipes built into the cave during imperial times. This cave has lots of liminality, as it is located on a barren rocky islet of Yioura, this may have been deliberate so that their distance from the diurnal sphere and encounters with them, were likely to have been infrequent and intentional.