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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Charkadio cave

It is located in Messaria, 2.5 km SE of Megalo Horio. With adiameter of 21 m, maximum height of 4.5 m and surface of 200 s.m. it is separated from a stalagmite into two unequal chambers. Although it does not show a notable natural inlay, scientifically it is considered very important. Paleontological discoveries that took place here in the 70s brought to light numerous bones of dwarf elephants and other animals (deer, turtles, rodents) as well as stone toolsof the Neolithic period (8.000 BC). The Charkadio cave hides more secrets as in deeper levels volcano material and at least two zones with phosphorous compounds which remind us of fossilized bones have been discovered.

DWARF ELEPHANTS

The animal dwarfism from the pre-existing large breed mammalian fauna occurred during the Upper Pleistocene period during which the geological formation of islands, such as Naxos, Rhodes, Crete, and Tilos was completed. New conditions such as the geographic isolation, the restricted terrain, the lack of food abundance, the climate,the inbreeding and the absence of large carnivores starteda slow evolutionary process in which small subspecies of animals prevailed with greater ability to adapt to the insular austere conditions. In Tilos dwarf elephants appeared 50.000 years ago and they disappeared 4000 years ago.

 

Info

The findings from the paleontological excavations will be transferred and presented to the museum of dwarf elephants built near the cave at Rosoi spot. The small open-air theater for cultural events running here and the paved road leading to the cave made this area important.

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