While thousands of olive trees today seem to point to olive cultivation as themain agricultural activity, our informants told us that many of these trees were planted just 50-80 years ago.
The only material indicators of recentolive processing, in any case, were crates, pruned branches, and a few woodenladders. The discovery of a premodern olive pressbed (
near the church, however, suggests that olives were processed in the valleycenturies before our informants’ memories.
In contrast, there was much evidence for sustained productive investments incereals
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: massive piles of stones cleared from fields, numerous fieldwalls to keep out grazing animals, overgrown terraces, and threshing floors 10-20 m in diameter! But inhabitants informed us that cereal production ceased by the decade after WW II.
Likewise, resin production
was historically important in the regionfrom the 19
century until the 1970s, but the ubiquitous artifacts of resin production—corroding resin collectors that litter the wooded hillsides—are poor reflectors of the scale of production historically. The large basins builtinto and outside of a couple of the houses
suggest that resin collectingwas a significant economic industry that may have been energized by proximity to the Saronic. The discovery of 19
century pottery andtiles imported from Aegina and the Piraeus at least point to goods exchanged inSaronic markets via the nearby harbor of Korphos.The houses also defied facile classification
. Interviews andformation process studies documented aggregate structures that representedepisodes of construction, remodeling, abandonment, and reconstruction. In somecases, these archaeological processes were obvious from assorted roof tiles of various dates and fabrics, as well as the attractive mixture of
bricks and cinder blocks in restored walls. But in most cases, our informants revealed morecomplex life cycles
. We learned that one house (#3: Sklias) now