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In the cave of the holy mountain - Athos, Greece

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

The first stage of the international project Study of the caves of Mount Athos (Mount Athos) - Greece. ended. The same was initiated by the Bulgarian side and held under the patronage and with financial and material support of the European Federation of Speleology.

The project team is composed Zhalov A. - Head, A. Stoev, V. Gyorev (Bulgaria), L. Makrostergios, J. Lazaridis, T. Komaditis (Greece), I. Agapov, S. Kaminski (Russia),D.Tomic (Serbia),T.Tuluchan (Romania), but for different reasons from participating in the expedition gave A. Stoev and T. Komatidis. The group works on an area of 15 - th to July 22 th. In this period were surveyed the areas of the monasteries Zograf, Kostamonit, Diohar, Xenophon, and Pantocrator and skits Kafrsokalivion, Little St.Anna, St. Anna and New Skiti.

The distances between these holy places were mostly overcome with walking tours lasting from 1 to 6 hours, the movement by sea is carried by ferries and inside the Monk republic with bus and taxi. One of the main difficulties in fieldwork were 35o C temperatures combined with high humidity. During the event were identified and mapped (according to preliminary data, information obtained on site and as a result of the search) about 41 underground sites.

They can be divided into three main categories - caves associated with the lives of Saints (and St.Kozma St.Pimen Zografski; St.Maksim; St.Gerasim), caves cells, usual and sea caves and artificial caves (catchments and reservoirs ). Along with it was collected many oral and photo information to other cave objects, which will be the subject of future studies. Preliminary data show that the team were surveyed 36 sites with a total length of 151 meters. Among them is the longest sea cave near the great harbor of the monastery Kostamonit (56.40 meters).