SCY202 : Mitsero Kato Alonia

Grid reference: 511350/3878250
Cadastral plan:
SIA: SIA 5 (Mitsero village)

 

 
View of cleaned threshing floor, from the east.

The main area of threshing floors (alonia) lies on the spur sloping down towards the river immediately adjacent to the northern edge of Mitsero. (The other area, Pano Alonia, lay to the southwest, and has now disappeared under new houses). They were investigated in the 1997 season, and Andriani Kosta Loizou and other villagers kindly gave us information about them. A measured drawing of the three most northerly alonia was made in 1997, and in 1999 we cleaned up, measured and drew the aloni in the SW corner of the main part of Kato Alonia, built in the 1920s by Theodhoros Nikolaou Koufkiomitis (with permission from the builder's son-in-law Telis Stavrou). At the same time a sketch map of the whole of Kato Alonia was made.

The aloni immediately south of the slaughterhouse shows a good stretch of surface where the track crosses it (though unfortunately this is crumbling the edge). Scratch marks are visible on the cobbles, and several lithics, including doukani flints, were observed. The aloni 150 m to the southwest of this, near the whitewashed stone house, has some surface and perimeter showing, but no lithics are apparent.

In general, these alonia show a wide variety of treatment in terms of general shape and the arrangement of the paving stones: one has parallel strips across it every two metres; some are randomly laid; and several have radial arms coming out from a centre-piece. In one case this centre-piece consists of two semi-circular limestone slabs; in another it is a complete slag-cake, presumably from nearby Kouloupakhis. Their individual character is also clear from the boundaries between them. When they are built on a slope, the retaining wall of the one above is usually lined with upright slabs or slag-cakes; sometimes there are upright slabs between them even on the level, and in any case the edges are clearly indicated. This fits very well with the household-based mode of production, as opposed to the communal system known elsewhere or used in monasteries and estates.

Theodhoros Nikolaou Koufkiomitis's aloni was nearly circular, its diameter ranging from 14.6 m to 15.7 m. The centre was marked a  large round piece of limestone, with a similarly large river cobble beside it. From the limestone slab a series of some 30 lines of stones radiated out to the periphery (a few of them joining others or petering out). Some of these lines were made of substantial pieces, others of much smaller pieces. One line in the southeast had 11 consecutive slag cake fragments. There were several other pieces of slag used in the paving, including three entire slag cakes set carefully with stones in a ring round them. There were ten pieces of plaster used for the paving, of which five had sockets measuring 9 x 5 cm; one of these still had a wooden post. These did not make a coherent pattern, however, and were probably reused. On the west, which was built up over the steep slope to the river, there were remains of a double skinned wall. A soil sample taken from between the stones of the threshing floor was analysed by Patricia Anderson of the CNRS, Valbonne, but no phytoliths were found.