The Water's Path
The existence of water used to and still is playing quite an important role in the financial and social activity of the residents of Zakros. The financial structure, the neighborhoods, the residents activities are moving in parallel ways with “The Water’s Path”.
A path being carved by the strength of the water’s movement for thousnads of years, starting from the largest source in Zakros, the “Mesa Milos”, until it meets the Gorge and goes on to its course to the sea.
The settlement was built parallel to the water’s route, giving it this elongated shape it still has to this day. Some small vegetable gardens were first cultivated for the everyday needs of the people and later large fields with olive tries, being arable in their entirety to this day, producing the exceptional olive oil of Zakros.
Man could not have left the water’s strength in moving machinery he has invented to produce goods and improve his life unexploited. Therefore, using the water’s strength and the areas’ geological formations he build watermills all along this water path to grind grain, the factory to produce olive oil and the “rasotrivio”, to process woven wool.
Zakros has been the center of a facsimile “Industrial area” in the beginning of the 1900’s, since a total of eleven watermills were operationa. The watermill is considered the “factory” of the pre-industrialization era. A smart and simple to operate construction puts the water’s power to use to move the grindstones, while all the work and control were done by one person alone, the milonas (mill owner).
The produce grinded was mainly barley, some grain and “kethri:, cultivated in the area of Zakros and the nearby provinces. There were a lot of people coming from far away to grind their produce in the Zakros watermills.