Land cultivation and pastoral traditions have ancient roots on Skyros.
The indigenous breed of cattle was still maintained in 1958. The photographs were taken in the coastal area adjoining Kalamítza Bay, east of Linarià.
The ponies were kept in one herd during the winter inland from Linarià (pictures taken in 1976).
The eastern part of Skyros, owned by the I.M. Megisti Lavra on Agion Oros, was leased for extensive goat browsing: The crippled oak "trees" (Quercus coccifera) cannot grow up to any hight, because again and again all young shoots and leaves are nibbled off (pictures taken in 1976). The subsequent erosion is progressing from higher altitudes downwards, moving the soil towards flat depressions or the sea respectively. So the carrying capacity of the land for pasture (mostly for browsing oak) is getting less year by year. A barren skeleton of rock with some marginal plant growth remains. And the annnual EU subsidies shoot up like rockets. We pay for this ecological mis-management - for another human distaster. ...weiterlesen "Skyros – pastoral traditions"
From the white marble sculptures of the Skantzoura coast some scant indication of a trail leads inland through juniper woodlands and olive groves - up the main ridge of the island's gentle hills. It had taken me decades to finally venture up there and explore what appears like a vision of several lucid buildings against the skyline. ...weiterlesen "Skantzoura – the elusive monastery"
Strongylò was a little Garden Eden in the Aegean Sea - in the Skantzoura archipelago of the Northern Sporades.
Until it was devastated by people who had brought goats and rabbits to this vulnerable isle. ...weiterlesen "Strongylò Island – the living dead"
The island of Gioura was a royal possession and is now owned by the Greek State. It is the most efficiently protected area of the Marine Park Northern Sporades. One or two wardens stay there permanently, at least since the 1950s, several decades prior to the park's foundation. The wardens report to the Forestry Department on Skopelos.The reason for this strict protection is the belief that the endemic goat breed on Gioura represents a unique wild species. ...weiterlesen "Gioura, Northern Sporades – ancient goat breed"
Gioura Island presents a rugged mountain wilderness from sea-level to 800 meters altitude. Human habitation always must have been confined to some plain stretches of land with clay soil. Steep lime-stone ridges surround these earlier cultivated areas like natural fortifications.
One has to consider changes in sea-level of up to 85 meters below recent marks.
Excavations starting in 1992 in the so called Kyklops Cave, have revealed a very early occupation, at least dating back ten millenia, to the Mesolithic era. ...weiterlesen "Gioura – civilization over 10.000 years"