Ancient Sivritos

Ancient Sivritos in the prefecture of Rethymno is located west of the village of Thronos and close to Agia Foteini on the hill of Kefala and approximately 30km far from the city of Rethymno.

Like many other towns of the prefecture, such as Ancient Axos, Ancient Lappa or Ancient Eleftherna, the Ancient Sivritos was prosperous during the antiquity and it was built on different successive levels due to the inclined terrain.

Situated in a secured nodal point, which allowed control over the communications between the north and south of the region of Rethymno, Ancient Sivritos was one of the most powerful and independent cities because of its geographically strategic position. This fact can be proved by the ancient coins found and revealing its power during the Roman period. It was, indeed, one of the first Cretan cities to mint coins depicting the figures of Dionysus riding a panther, Hermes tying a shoe and Zeus. Ancient Soulia, today’s Agia Galini, was the port of Ancient Sivritos, washed by the waters of the Libyan Sea.

Ancient Sivritos was founded during the late Minoan period, flourished until the Roman times and continued to exist during the second Byzantine period (during which it became a headquarters of the Episcopal throne) and even until the early years of the Venetian rule. It is speculated that it was destroyed by the raids of the Saracens.

Apart from coins, many significant findings were excavated in the ruins of Ancient Sivritos, such as acropolis’ parts, ruins of houses with mosaics, pottery, figurines and metal utensils, while a cemetery was found in the southwest of the Thronos. All the findings from the excavations conducted in the area are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.