The fear of the light. Mapping modern cave use strategies in Kythera Island caves.
- Publisher: Maney Publishing and Left Coast Press
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 programme, all of which have evidence of human uses that are divided into two large categories, that is, cave-churches and barn-caves. By analyzing how people shaped and organised space and the different ways and practices of people in the caves through the use of advanced mapping and GIS methods, 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.