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The stone walls

A characteristic element of the island’s scenery, as it happens in Tinos, Andros, and Mykonos, is the dense rows of terraces which hold the soil and define the land plots, the so-called “xerolithies” (stone walls). With their geometrical arrangement adapted to the morphology of the place they constitute a great addition to the landscape, a manmade relief.


Sifnos is known all over Greece for the creations of its potters, and the art of pottery on the island is believed to have begun already in the early-Cycladic era. The soil has all the ingredients of a refractory material, while the burning material, such as the pistacia plants, was abundant and there were running waters. Thus, the potters set their workshops on the coastal villages making “mastelo” (earthen pot used in Easter to cook meat), “skepastaria” (utensil used to cook the traditional chick pea soup), “tsikali” (cooking utensil), crocks, jugs, jars, half-crocks.  The pottery flourished between the 18th and the early 20th century and the ceramics were traded not only in Greece, but they were also exported in countries of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Minerals and ore activity

In Sifnos there were always gold, iron, lead and silver ores, due to which the island greatly flourished during the antiquity. The abundant silver deposits in many areas contributed to the growth of  pottery. * The ore exploitation began in the prehistoric years, in the early Bronze age (3rd millennium BC) and it continued in the Archaic and Classical era (6th and 5th century BC) with the lead-silver and probably gold ore exploitation. Almost half of the lead-silver items of the early Cycladic era which have been discovered up to now have been constructed by ores of Sifnos! During the 19th and the 20th century, there had been some mining bu only involving the iron exploitation.
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My Aegean
Co-financed by Greece and the European Union - European Regional Development Fund