A short ‘’tour’’ of the Dyros caves
The lake-cave Alepotrypa was discovered almost accidentally by Mr. and Mrs. Petrocheilos in 1958. It is situated 200m to the East of the important natural sea-cave Vlyhada. Later, the couple Petrocheilos kept on occupying themselves with caves, being the most experienced and respected speleologists of the time in Greece.
Archaeological excavations started in 1958 by the Greek Speleological Society. Both the Neolithic cave of Alepotrypa and the Museum that houses the findings from the excavations are equally important for the visitor.
The cave area is about 6,500m2 and comprises many different chambers and passages naturally ornated with stalactites. The main value of the cave is that many objects, tools, bones and skulls of pre-historic man were discovered in there. Tools made of stone, bone and silver, a great variety of ceramics, scriptures on the walls, both from Palaeolithic and Neolithic Age were found. A great part of the cave is an underground lake.
The cave of Alepotrypa is a natural museum of the pre-historic man. Residence rooms, pottery workrooms, worship places, among admirable natural structures, reminding us a Big Organ, the Virgin with the Holy Infant, an Eagle... Beyond the lake, the cave is devided in two stages. At the end of the underground march, you can admire a stalagmite shaped as a statue of General De Gaule (!!!) and another like a Broken Trireme.
The numerus articles of the Neolithic Museum of Dyros are comming from the cave of Alepotrypa, describing us the life, the activities and the high intelligence level of the community that lived here during the 5th and 4th millennium BC.
Man was particularly attracted in the cave by the clear drinkable water offered by the lake.
Tools made of volcanic material testimony that navigating was already developed. Occupations, skilled production work, daily activities and habits, burial manners, religious attitudes, artistic capacity and spiritual inquiring are all traced on the findings brought to light by excavations.
The cave was functioning as a complete town; it was at the same time shelter, habitat, workroom, storehouse, cemetery and worship place, bringing in mind the possible "dome-covered lunar cities" of the future!!!
Agriculture, cattle-farming and merchant navigation were the main characteristics of the cave society. Silver treatment was of high level
The Neolithic cave community was developed during the Late and Final Neolithic Age, between 4800 and 3200 BC.
A strong earthquake gave a sudden end to the life of the community: The entrance was blocked. People closed in died of starvation, after consumming the stock, while the closed out, having no tools and water, migrated away, on foot or on board.
This tragic accident is that brought to us an alive picture of the life in the Neolithic cave community.A new site about Alepotrypa cave:
The latest discoveries !!!
(but only in Greek... Sorry!)
The second cave, Vlyhada, is an underground flowing river, with a navigable by boat length of 3km, separated in two parallel main channels. A total area of about 18,000m2 have been explored. Systematic exploration was started in 1950.
The origin of Vlyhada cave was of course an underground river, but the stalagmites of the cave were created later, during thousands of centuries, when the ground of the cave was dry, for some reasons. A sinking of the area of about 6m brought in the water again, creating the superb result we enjoy today. That is why stalagmites spring up from the water!