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Makri Cyclops Cave

A cache by GregoryGR Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/15/2010
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Makri - Cave of Cyclops Polyphemus

Makri. Cave-Neolithic settlement. The cave on the coast at Makri, near the present village of Platanos, known by the locals as the Cyclops’s Cave, was used for habitation in prehistoric times and as a place of worship later. Above it, on the site of Toumba (= tumulus) is the Neolithic settlement of Makri, one of the most important in the Balkans. Traces of Bronze Age and Iron Age installations have also been located in the same area. In historical times there was a small trading post here, where commercial transactions between Greeks and Thracians were conducted. The rock-cut structures (niches, rooms, channels, cisterns, stairways etc.) east of the cave are difficult to date but, nevertheless, bear witness to the exploitation of the rocks of the region over the ages.

In front of the entrance, there are large natural boulders which folk imagination has connected with the rocks that Cyclop Polyphemus threw to the ship of Odysseus. The cave has two spacious chambers, with interesting stalactite decor, and a third one on the second floor. Access to the above floor can be found through a narrow hole on the right wall of the entrance, above a carved niche, which indicates Christian worship to the site of the cave. An exploration by the Hellenic Speleological Society in 1970 has shown that the chamber of the upper floor has an earthen ground of good thickness, which someway must be connected with its use during the ancient times.

Read more (in greek):

Cyclops Polyphemus in Homer's Odyssey

In the story of Homer's Odyssey, during the titular character's journey home, Odysseus lands on the Island of the Cyclopes. He then takes eleven other men and sets out to find supplies. The Greeks find a large cave. They enter and proceed to feast on rosting sheep they find there. Unknown to them, the cave is the home of the Cyclops Polyphemus, who soon returns home to find Odysseus and his men there. The cyclops then rolls a great stone in front of the entrance to his cave, trapping the Greeks within. Odysseus then devises a very clever escape plan, true to his character throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey.

To make Polyphemus unwary Odysseus gave the cyclops, who had never had spirits before, very strong unwatered wine. When Polyphemus asks for Odysseus' name, Odysseus tells him "Outis" a name which is translated as "Noman" or "Nobody," but which has been used allusively by later authors. Once the giant falls asleep, Odysseus and his men use a spear that had been hardened in the fire to destroy Polyphemus' only eye. He yells out to his fellow Cyclopes that "Noman" ("Nohbdy" in Robert Fitzgerald's translation) hurt him; the others take this to mean that Polyphemus has lost his mind and stabbed his own eye out. They also conclude his condition is a curse from a god, and so they do not intervene. In the morning, Odysseus ties his men and himself to the undersides of Polyphemus' sheep. When the Cyclops lets the sheep out to graze, he feels their backs to ensure the men aren't riding out, but doesn't feel the men underneath.

Once the sheep (and men) are safely out, Polyphemus realizes that the men aren't in his cave. As Odysseus and his men sail away, he boasts to Polyphemus that "Noman didn't hurt you, Odysseus did!" Unfortunately, Odysseus didn't realize that Polyphemus was the son of Poseidon; Odysseus had already earned the enmity of that god, by defiling his temple in Troy and devising the sack of Troy, a city that held Poseidon in greatest esteem (although Poseidon had largely fought on the side of the Greeks during the Iliad). Polyphemus then casts a curse upon Odysseus, spiced with a hefty rock that he throws after the ship; for this, Poseidon causes Odysseus a great deal of trouble throughout the rest of the Odyssey.

The Cache

UPDATE (13 July 2014)
Since the old cache was lost, I replaced it and placed another one, with the same box as you can se on the old cache image (8. The cache).
But I had to place the new cache to another point:
In front of the cave, you will see a huge rock. On the back side of this rock there is a big hole, in that hole, at about 160 cm high, you will find a cache, covered by a stone. See spoiler image «7. Spoiler».
Please cover it back properly after your visit.

Note: Do not forget to practice CITO around the cave.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)