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The Archaeological Site of Eleftherna, Rethymnon

 
 

Eleftherna was one of the most important cities of ancient Crete.  It is not certain when it was established, but recent findings link it to the Minoan period.  The ancient city stood on a hill in the foothills of Mount Psiloritis.  Key findings have been discovered in three areas of the hill.

Necropolis at Orthi Petra, ancient ElefthernaAt Orthi Petra (West side of the hill) archaeologists have uncovered a necropolis dating back to the Geometric Period, along with Roman buildings and streets built on top of earlier constructions.

At Pyrgi (on the summit of the hill) remains from the Roman and Early Christian Periods have been discovered.

On the East side of the hill, near the modern village of Eleftherna, researchers have uncovered a settlement with remains spanning all stages from Pre-historic to Early Christian eras.  Some of the more important remains include Hellenistic walls, Roman buildings and baths and an early Christian basilica.  The site is still being excavated by the Department of Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Crete.

 

Over the last few years, the site has become more and more important because of some extremely valuable finds. So much so that in 2009 the Archaeological Institute of America voted the site in their Top 10 excavations.
The construction of a local museum is underway and is expected to open its doors to the public in 2015.