I really thought I had seen quite a lot of Athos and its settlements and buildings (except from the farmhouses-kellia). So I was really surprized that the drone-images from an anonymous photographer had something new in store, as can see on the images at the end of this post. But here are first some images from arsanas Chilandariou and the Milutin tower:
The next pictures from the drone are taken at the spot below on the map near Esfigmenou, along the Athos costline. This place is seldomly visited by pilgrims, because there is a dead end road to the chapel Ag. Theódori. But there are interesting objects to be found along the coast near Esfigmenou, as the pictures below will soon show us.
On this part of the coast Theodosios discovered two interesting objects, situated here:
The question is why these two walls were build along the Athos coast: the first one cannot be reached by land and they both are near to eachother and on a very remote place. What could be their purpose? Clearly they are not in use anymore because they are crumbling down, but on the other hand they are not not totally ruined, at the harsh conditions where they are situated, next to the sea and at the shore, with its crashing waves. I could not find a plausible answer to these questions.
The man who took the pictures came with the idea that these walls have been build by fishermen, who used the walls to dry their nets. This could be, but why are they so high? And why on such desolate places? And why are these two walls exactly at this spot and why are there no other examples along the (Athos) coast (as far as I know)?
Does anyone have a plausible explanation?
Wim Voogd, 25/8
Thanks to all the wise and helpfull reactions of our readers, with an extensive investication about the subject by Japetus (worthwhile to read!), and also thanks to Vasílis/Efraim, “Byz history Tweep” and Keliotis), who also gave an answer to my question.
Japetus wrote in his first comment: These are ‘thinnoskopeia’, tuna fish watch towers.
A monk would climb on top in order to observe the sea for flocks of fish. Other monks in boats carrying nets, were ready for his signal and as soon as they would hear it, they would row fast to encircle the flock between them.
There is another one of these watchtowers near Agia Anna, known as ‘Thynni’.
This is a picture from mine archive of the Thynni of near the arsanas of Agia Anna, made 2015.