Re: 18th century gaurd towers on Ustica

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Posted by Chris Caravella on 24 JUL 2008 6:57:31

I have some more info about the garitta to pass on. The herders on Ustica typically mound up rocks to build crude shelters while they spend days out in the fields. Our challenge was to try and distinguish between what they did and the original garitta. This is done by observing the lichens growing on the structures. Lichens take about 100 years to cover a surface, so if there are continuous lichens then you know the structure has been in place a long time. The other definitive clue was a well incised doorway which unfortunately was difficult to capture in the photo because the high perch and late afternoon sun did not allow for the best photo op. After climbing around for an hour we were confident that we had found the garrita. It would be great to have enough time to scour the island and map these out just for posterity sake. This area Oliostrello is not farmed much because the lava rock is too near the surface. We came across several well defined fumeroles (volcanic vents which smoke or fume during the winter months) which I had not seen before. I hope I'm not the only one who enjoys following behind Vito on excursions. He's an incredible store of historic and cultural information. I'll be reporting soon on recent excavations at the pre-historic village site. Vito was very exicted about recent revelations there.

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