Fear of the light: Mapping modern cave use strategies in Kythera Island Caves

Konstantinos P. Trimmis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to present the modern uses of caves on Kythera Island, Greece as they have been recorded by the Cerigo Speleological Project. Twenty-seven caves have been recorded during the program, all of which have evidence of human uses that are divided into two large categories, that is, cave-churches and barn-caves. By analyzing, through the use of advanced mapping and GIS methods, how people shaped and organized space and the different practices of people in the caves, the ways in which people interacted with the environment of the cave and its characteristics have been highlighted. While observing the decision-making process involved in the ways of using the caves today, a discussion is generated as to how valid the two theories are concerning the use of the caves in the Neolithic Aegean and in the eastern Mediterranean area in general. The first theory suggests that people chose caves with different micro-environmental characteristics appropriate for each different use whereas the second theory claims that people did not settle in caves permanently but occasionally or seasonally, depending directly on the economic activities of the neighboring settlements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Barn caves
  • Cave use
  • Church caves
  • GIS
  • Kythera
  • Paperless mapping
  • Speleology

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