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  • Writer's pictureDPS Kefalonia

Livadi - Kefalonia

The Livadi region of Paliki Kefalonia, is named after the village within the region. Both the village and the region has a long and interesting history. The region of Livadi is famous for it's wetlands and rare wildlife, ruins of the old prison, archaeological skeletal findings, quarry and village.




Village


The village of Livadi is close to the sea and gulf of Argostoli and has between 50 to 80 residents. There are a few of tourist accommodations in the area, a small petrol station and an excellent taverna "Tis Pareas" next to Livadi Beach. The next village to Livadi is the village of Kouvalata which has a sailing club, more accommodation and Variko beach.



Livadi beach





Wetlands


The Livadi wetlands form a unique ecosystem, one of the most important ecosystems in Kefalonia. This reeded and semi-aquatic environment is home to a variety of endangered birds and wildlife. The wetlands of Livadi are fed by small rivers & streams descending from the elevated northern peninsula. The wetlands are protected and have been the basis of many ecological studies, conservation projects and ornithological observation (bird watching). Click here for more information on the wildlife of the Livadi wetlands.




Livadi Old Prison


Inmates worked the land around the prison doing agricultural work and hard labour in the quarry. The prison closed around the mid-20th century due to 1953 earthquake. Up until this point, being just after the civil war, the prison was full with many political prisoners. After the complete destruction and death caused by the 1953 earthquake, prisoners were released to help with the emergency. The prison was also greatly damaged by the 1953 earthquake and later destroyed by the 2014 earthquake.



Before the 2014 earthquake.



Archaeological Excavation


In 1937 in Livadi, Kefalonia, a 4000 year old entombed gigantic (2.5 meters) skeleton was found in the quarry along with several other tombs. The skeleton was found by a prison labour who was working in the "Skavdolite" area of the quarry. The ‘Skavdolite’ site has a local reputation as being home to vampires, pagans, and other evil spirits. The tomb was in the shape of an irregular cave, with a slab covering the entrance. Found within the cave numerous bones and teeth of livestock were discovered. It is believed that these animals were sacrificed in the grave for the dead man. In the tomb was a clay jar which contained tsipoura which the skeleton was clutching, with which the dead man was also embalmed. Also found within the tomb was clay heads depicting the face of the deceased and coins baring his face. A coin was also found in the skeletons jaw to pay for his safe passage into the next life. Archaeologists concluded that the skeleton was probably related to ancient Lixurian sailors, which until then was considered a myth and dated the Skeleton to about 1500-2000BC, Pre-Mycenaean period. These remains are held at the Argostoli Museum of Archaeology (currently closed for renovation).




Giant Skeleton Livadi Kefalonia
Skeleton found in Livadi


The pottery heads depicting the face of the deceased (Museum of Archaeology, Argostoli)



Kefalonia Archaeology
Old Map of the Livadi area showing the ominous area known as the "Skavdolite" site.

Fly Over Livadi

Fly over Livadi's coastline by drone. You will view at the start the village of Livadi, then the bay of Livadi. Notice the bay of Livadi has hardly any beach compared to today (see photos above) this is because the video was taken in 2014 before the 2014 earthquake which formed the new sand beach. Don't forget to look out for the prison (pre-2014 earthquake) and 'Skavdolite' site.


Click here to fly over Livadi's coastline.


 

References


  1. Panou, A. (2016) Wetlands in Kefalonia. Available at: http://archipelagos-org.eu/en/wetlands/

  2. Thema, V. (2018) The unknown find of the gigantic skeleton. Available at: http://efimeridakefalonia.gr/el/2018/09/21/%CE%B7-%CE%AC%CE%B3%CE%BD%CF%89%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B7-%CE%B5%CF%8D%CF%81%CE%B5%CF%83%CE%B7-%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%B3%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%B1%CE%AF%CE%BF%CF%85-%CF%83%CE%BA%CE%B5%CE%BB%CE%B5%CF%84%CE%BF/

  3. Karavas, S (1937) ‘From the Mysteries of Archaeological Science - The Lixouri General was Discovered’, The Archaeologist, pp 9-11. Echo, Greece.

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