The Xerolithia (stone fence)

 

  • The plain stone walls-fences or benches was the only way for Tinian farmers to cultivate their land. These farmers responded to the lack of fertile land with hard work and creative ways of handling it.
  • The stone fence is built of stones without using a binder.
  • The construction requires effort, time and expertise, since the stones had to be collected and divided into foundation, building, connection, filling and coating stones.
  • These hand made stone walls created terraces and transformed the barren, rocky soils in arable fields, retaining water and soil, preventing soil erosion and dividing the land as they played the role of boundaries, as well.
  • In fact, every year farmers were forced to demolish and rebuild parts of them in order to stir and keep the soil in good condition.
  • The same technique of building based solely on the weight of the stones, was also used in stables, mills and warehouses.