The Cave of Marinous
In Kimoliaka publication, Ioannou Sp. Ramfou, first elder, (volume B), there are reports that: “Excavations to find early Christian or Byzantine period monuments have not been made until today in Kimolos. However, we are know that here, as in Milos, unexplored settlements in Limni, where the ancient city of the island was located and in the position of Marinous in the area of Epano Klima, lying at the northern end of the present town. The traveler Olivier, visiting the island in 1794, speaks of catacombs at the position Limni without specifying whether they are Christian (see Voyage dans l’empire Othoman, vol. 2, p. 192).
It is also reported that inside of the catacomb of Marinous, traces of arcosolia (= arcus (arch) + solium (throne) coffin, the sarcophagus were saved inside. Usually, the monuments located in Christian catacombs are called so).
In addition, references are made to the book “On the prehistoric culture of the Cycladic islands, the island of Kimolos”, by Haridimou G. Moustaka, Lawyer.
Clay lamp found inside a cave located in Marinous, Kimolos island.
This lamp bearing handle consists of an elongated cylindrical container. It has a hole in the top of the container, full of oil. There are small holes on the protrusion for placing the wick. It is made of red clay, and has decorative Christian symbols, carved on its upper surface.
Unfortunately, poor maintenance of this lamp does not allow us to accurately identify these symbols.
It has a length of 11 cm and a width of 7 cm. It dates from the 5th or 6th century AD.
This lamp is made with a die (mold), and consists of two clay shells that were joined together before baking.
This lamp was found in the basement of a narrow and dark tunnel that has been opened inside the rock for more than 50 meters, at Marinous (near Agios Efstathios). This tunnel is located within the property of the late Ioannis Kyprianou. This tunnel was visited in the year 1930. It is likely that this tunnel was used in ancient times by the inhabitants of the island to hide from pirate raids or is a catacomb.
Reading all the above reports, we could not help but get into the process of trying to find them, which was quite difficult but, for us, not impossible. So in our search for the catacombs, their place was indicated to us by a great gentleman and so things became a little easier for us and we started to visit them.
After searching for a long time without result, we began to believe that we would not be able to find them, but, unable to reconcile with the idea that we would leave unscathed, we continued and finally we discovered it.
The entrance of the catacomb of Marinous, was right before our eyes and artfully covered. So, we started to “clear” the entrance, as a result of which a small vestibule to its right was revealed to us, as well as its interior. Our joy was indescribable, slowly and carefully we started the exploration with the help of torches, which were the only source of light in the space. To enter the catacomb we had to crawl, as the entrance was partially clogged by natural external factors.
Inside there were small corridors which led to larger rooms. To our great surprise we noticed that there was a staircase leading to a ΄΄second΄΄ floor of the monument, where there was another room. Then we took the required photos and headed towards the exit, due to the fact that the humidity had become quite annoying. Leaving the catacomb, we made sure to cover its entrance exactly as we found it and took the road back to the village, full of joy and pride for what we had achieved. But the feeling that prevailed within us was sadness, because the treasures of our place still remain in obscurity and at the mercy of time. The journey to the unknown underground Kimolos continues….