Tuesday, August 04, 2020
Kriopigi is located on the Kassandra peninsula at a distance of 90 km from Thessaloniki. It is built amphitheatrically on the slope of a pine-covered hill with a wonderful view of the bay of Kassandra (Toroneos Gulf). The area has been inhabited since ancient times and today’s Kriopigi is located between the ancient cities of Neapolis and Aigae.
The old name of the village until the 20th century was Pazarakia. It was a small settlement of ten to fifteen houses. And from this small society came four captains who starred in the struggle of the Kassandrians against the Ottomans. The captain Anastasis Himeftos, the captain-Manolas, the captain-Kritos and the first witness of the fight, the captain-Hapsas (Stamos Kapsas). Stamos Kapsas was born in Pazarakia (Kriopigi) at Halkidiki the end of the 18th century. He moved at a young age to Sykia, Halkidiki, in search of work. He soon broke with the local Ottoman lords and started stealing. It thus became famous in the villages of Sithonia, Holomontas and Hasikochoria (Polygyros area). Rigas Georgiou was also an important fighter.
Today’s grandparents of the village, not very distant descendants of these fighters, believe that the old name Pazarakia is due to the fact that Ottomans haggled there for the sale of the captive women and children.
In 1953 the Ministry of Interior sent a circular through the Prefecture of Halkidiki and asked the Commonwealths whose villages had foreign names to propose new and Greek.
The then community council met and proposed the names: Chrysopigi, Kryoneri, Pefkochori. At the last moment, the president of the Community, Angelos Sousouras, added Kriopigi. And finally the Ministry approved this name. Since then the village is called Kriopigi (20/9/1955).
And indeed even today there is this natural source of cold water. It is the community fountain of the village built in 1937. There was before the old fountain, which, they say, was much nicer.
The excellent climate, the combination of verdant mountain and crystal clear sea (honored with many blue flags) together with the high level of hospitality services, make Kriopigi the most remarkable resort of the area. The hotel units with a capacity of more than a thousand rooms, as well as the organized camping of E.OT. and the three hundred furnished apartments and rooms of the area offer comfortable and pleasant accommodation and the possibility of various activities (water sports, excursions, tennis, horse riding, etc.).
In Kriopigi is the Pedagogical Center for Research and Training, which is an offer sponsored by the couple Dr. Erhart and Sofia Ziegler (Dr Erhart Ziegler is the son of Karl Ziegler who, along with Giulio Natta, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 for his discovery of a catalyst that made it possible to produce superior plastics). This center is a meeting point throughout the year for educators from all over the world, who come here to collaborate and attend the seminars and conferences it organizes.
The visitor can enjoy at the place of production the high quality natural products of the area, which are honey, fruit, wine, olives, olive oil and visit the fountain, from which the village took its name, which has existed for decades.
In the area there are all the necessary services, restaurants, taverns, supermarkets, fish taverns, cosmopolitan clubs, bars, folk art shops, etc., which promise you a heavenly vacation.
Kriopigi 6,000,000 years ago
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
The important location of the fossilized bones was discovered by chance, in 1998, from information provided by a worker who worked on the plot of Mr. Stelios Tsikoutas, on the outskirts of the village. Utilizing this information, the paleontologist Evangelia Tsoukalas, associate professor at the Department of Geology of Aristotelio Univercity of Thessaloniki, visited the area and after realizing the great scientific interest, immediately informed the then president of the Community, contacted the then Mayor Kas and Prefect of Halkidiki who were interested, encouraged and encouraged the excavation. Thus, 13 systematic paleontological excavations were completed, which, by 2010, brought to light more than 10,000 fossils.
This is one of the most important discoveries concerning Paleontology in the area of Kassandra with a variety of fauna composition and an abundance of fossilized animal bones that are estimated to have lived 6,000,000 years ago.
In the vast savannah, in addition to the horses (prehistoric small horses with three toes, as opposed to today that have one toe), lived antelope gazelle mastodons (prehistoric elephants with tusks on the upper and lower jaws) and giraffes. The carnivores were mainly hyenas large felines, including cuttings but also smaller ones that belong to the family of myrtle and small mammals such as crawling hares, etc.
The culmination is the findings from a prehistoric, ape Pentelicus (Mesopithecus pentelicus) that were scientifically exploited in 2008, with the publication in one of the largest scientific journals of Paleoanthropology, the "Journal of Human Evolution". This fact has given the palaeontological position of Kriopigi international interest, since the primates are closer to human evolution. The full skull with the lower jaw is one of the best preserved in the world, of its kind.
The fossil bed is located in an intersection and is 25 meters long and up to 4 meters high. The bones of the animals were found in suitable conditions of humidity and temperature, as a result of which the organic matter was replaced, molecule by molecule, by inorganic matter and thus preserved. With great care, with the help of small tools, the fossils are discovered and preserved, the coordinates of each find are measured from the reference point, photographic documentation and then transferred to the laboratory for more detailed processing and recording in the log and archive of the excavation.
The study of the fossils follows, the identification of the species of animals that constitute the palaeontas so that conclusions can finally be drawn about the palaeoenvironment and the palaeoclimate of the area. The 6,000,000-year-old landscape in Kriopigi seems to have been different from today: an open savannah environment, while the climate was generally warm and ranged from wet to dry.
The fossil finds, as a treasure trove of natural heritage and a source of wealth for an area, must be preserved in their place and protected to be a pole of attraction for both scientists and tourists who visit the area every year.
The emergence of Paleontology and the fossils of Kriopigi and the wider area, which are evidence of the life of the past in Kassandra, is necessary for the preservation of the natural heritage, because with the knowledge of the past, we value the present and predict the future in terms of environment, climate change and evolution. The primary goal of the paleontological team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is to utilize this information, and after their scientific study, the fossils to emerge with the creation of a paleontological exhibition in Kriopigi (as part-core of a Municipal Museum of Natural History).
Since 1998, after the start of the systematic paleontological research and excavations in Kriopigi, proposals are constantly made to the local government to create this paleontological exhibition in Kriopigi that will highlight the fossils, ie the richness of the natural history of the area. The main deterrent was the lack of available space that fulfills the basic conditions for safe display and promotion of fossils.
As for the promotion of Kassandra, with the alternative proposal based on Paleontology, the location of Kriopigi is already mentioned on the internet, in many publications, newspapers and magazines.
The highlight of the international screening was the visit, in September 2009, and the filming of the excavation, in a 1 hour BBC scientific documentary on the myths and legends of Ancient Pallini and Flegra (Kassandra). These are considered the "mother earth" of the giants and cyclops of ancient Greek mythology associated with paleontology and the giant fossilized bones of the proboscis, as claimed by the British Professor of History at the University of Oxford Dr. Robin Lane Fox, who co-authored story about Alexander the Great in the film of the same name by director Oliver Stone.
Following the international interest in Kassandra Paleontology, excavations were carried out in 2010, following a proposal from the University of Vienna for the participation of a 15-member group of Austrian students and scientists led by Associate Professor Dr. Doris Nagel, of the Institute of Paleontology in Vienna. The mission was a great success, with an exchange of scientific views and acquaintance with the area of great paleontological interest. The new finds include fossils of a giant land tortoise with a diameter of 1.80 cm - 2 meters.
Mathias Halzasek, a professor at the University of Graz in Austria, described the phenomenon in Kriopigi as unique, due to the many animal fossils that are so well preserved in one area.
The Department of Geology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and specifically the paleontology laboratory in recent years has been established in Halkidiki. Hundreds of finds in excavations throughout the prefecture reinforce the view that in the wider Macedonia and generally in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Upper Neolithic period, ie 5.5 to 11 million years ago, there was an "open" environment, ie we had no forest but a form of savannah. where the temperature, according to research was 3 to 7 degrees higher, a fact that favored the animals, whose fossils are now brought to light by research.
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
Brochure text & editing:
Evangelos Vlachos - Geologist
Evangelia Tsoukala Geologist - Biologist, Dr. Paleontology and Associate Professor of Paleontology at the Department of Geology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has an important teaching, writing and research work.
The main object of her research is Vertebrate Paleontology with exceptional discoveries that define and define the modern landscape of Paleontology.
SOURCES - BIBLIOGRAPHY
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
Periodical Publication of the Cultural Association Thessaloniki's Kassandrians
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TRANSLATION FROM GREEK:
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Tuesday, August 04, 2020
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