iSamos.gr participated in the visit organized by the Speleological Association of Samos (SAS) in the Ancient Mine of Mitilinioi village. The visit took place on Sunday, March 20, 2016.
The event was a great success (it was followed by more than 80 people). The weather conditions were ideal, while the landscapes of Samos were always in the forefront and in our presence, while vegetation was impressive. The organization of the visit was excellent and SAS deserves our congratulations for successfully organizing such activities! The whole tour was excellent and the safety means takes (such as helmets, flashlight, etc.) were the most appropriate ones.
A Short History of the Ancient Mines, Along with Many Photos Taken by iSamos.
The Caves of Mitilinoi (Ancient Mine)
In Mytilinioi, which is one of the largest villages of Samos, in an area called Koutsodontis, some 45 caves exist in the hill. According to the archaeologists, all caves are entrances of an ancient mine which is dated back to 3000 BC.
The caves begin at an altitude of 147 meters. The entrances are supported by hand-carved columns, thus testifying for the accuracy of the study, the digging, and the careful construction of each cave, in order to firmly hold the ground (mountain) above.
In one of the caves a hole leads to the interior of the hill where explorers have recorded eight levels or floors (total depth: 70 meters, length of each level: 1 km).
According to historical sources the mines produced nitro and sulfur. An assumption, that has not been confirmed yet, states that the mines produced an unknown material or substance, which was exported to Egypt and was used during the mummification process.
It is also known that during the Greek Was of Independence (1821) nitro was used for the making of gunpowder. Around the hill and all the way down to the foot of the hill some 45 mine entrances are numbered. The whole mine might have an extended and unique interior, in terms of overall length, number of branches, and architecture.
We believe that if we, all of us, show interest we can, with minimal effort, to arrange appropriately the outside, in order to make the mine accessible to visitors and, due time, perhaps under a program, to make the interior of the mine accessible to the public.
PHOTOS TAKEN BY ISAMOS.GR