Stone-paved Threshing Floor A

Arriving on the route that winds underneath the Plakes peak, hikers will then descend through the pine forests that blanket Mt Pelinaion. Low-lying stone structures are observable all along this route. Some of the structures even look like rock “sculptures” by contemporary artists. The truth is less glamorous, however: they’re just remains of a bygone age. Abandoned dry-stone structures pop up throughout the journey, observable among the shrubs, bushes and pine trees. These stone remains are relics of past agricultural and pastoral activity.
The island’s agricultural past is readily evident in sights hikers will meet all along the trail, most notable of which is the stone-built threshing floor (αλώνι, aloni). The word “aloni” has its origins in medieval Greece, from the word “alonion”, itself a diminutive of the term “alos”. It is a flat circular space that farmers would use to thresh grains and dry out grapes to make raisins.
These threshing floors were paved with flagstones and constructed near settlements, on heights or anywhere open especially to westerly winds.
Farmers would take pains to prepare the threshing floor before the threshing. First and foremost, they had to fill in any gaps between the flagstones to prevent loss of grain. This was done with the use of a mixture of clay and manure, which they would turn into a paste and fill in the gaps. It only took a few hours for this paste to dry out, ensuring that no grain would go to waste. After that, the farmers would examine all the flagstones to make sure they were well embedded and didn’t move around. A sturdy guiding rod, the “sticheros”, “troiros” or “stroiros”, would be affixed vertically to the centre of the floor. Once these preparatory tasks had been completed, and after a meticulous cleaning, the threshing floor would finally be ready to receive the harvest. Farmers would gather the harvested crops (wheat, barley, oats, rye, chickpeas, lentils) into bundles and stack them around the threshing floor. These bundles would then be laid atop the floor to be trampled by one or more pack animals, such as horses or donkeys, to extract the grain. The extracted grain would then be gathered and stored in storehouses, while the straw was stored in barns as livestock feed.