The deserted Koumos at

Xylodema

Koumos at Xylodema
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In the Cretan dialect Xylodema means the makeshift fence that was built with dry shrubs to prevent the entry of goats and other animals in the rural properties. Xylodema is found as a toponym in several parts of Crete. One of them is at the entrance of plateau Askifou, at the highest point of the road that goes from the plateau to Krapi. From Xylodema the visitor has the best views across the plateau and the settlements Askifou and its forts. Xylodema today hosts a stone fountain that never has water with a wooden fence. Above the fountain we see a Koumos (mitato, a stone biult domed building for maturing cheese).

Koumos was also used as a makeshift accommodation for the shepherds on the mountain. The Koumos in Xylodema is one of the most easily accessible since it is almost on the road. It consists of two separate rooms joined together internally by a very small opening just enough fit to get a man. The entrance is also very low and small in order to keep warmth inside. For its construction they used local stones and indeed the area literally reminds of a quarry itself. Between the stones there is no binder or mortar. Very close to Koumos lies the unknown Koules of Rogdio which had direct sight to the forts of Askifou.

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