Archaelogical site of Stavromenos

The archaeological site of Stavromenos is located in homonymous village in prefecture of Rethymno and covers the region of Hamalevri-Pangalochori- Stavromenou and Sfakaki .

The first excavations in the archaeological site of Stavromenos were performed in the early 20th century. The following, from the 1990s onwards, revealed extensive building complexes of residential and workshop character. Among its findings, there is a 5th century BC marble headstone with carved image of a young hunter.

For this city of the historical times different names were suggested, such as Allaria, Arion or Agrion, Pantomatrion and Stile.

The highest density of ancient buildings’ remnants are located on two hills, Tsikouriana and Kakavella, right south of Stavromenos and proves the existance of an extensive inhabited settlement since the Early Minoan III period (about 2000 BC) to the Christian period.

At Tzampakas an edifice was found dating back to the Middle Minoan period (about 2160-1900 BC), with total area of 355 square meters, with several rooms and a second floor. The west wing of the building housed a complex of kitchen spaces. The systematic soil collection for the research during the excavation revealed a large number of crushed olives, suggesting the production of olive oil in Hamalevri in 2,000 BC and its use as fuel for cooking and heating. At Bolanis, the revealed elongated cobbled path, along with clay utensils for specific use and garbage pits, suggest the existence of crafts’ industry. At “Pateras” yet another house of the Middle Minoan period came to light. Moreover, at all these three settlements, round pits were found of the Late Minoan period (about 1190-1130 BC). These pits are more likely to be involved in a ritual, rather than serving some every-day needs.

In Pangalochori, a finding of a clay figurine of a goddess, suggests the existence of a worship place in this area.

The cemetery of the Minoan years is located on the hills that surround both the Stavromenos and the neighboring region of Arsaniou and Pangalochori, as well as several scattered rock-hewn chamber tombs of the Late Minoan period were found in this area.

Along the coastline of Stavromenos and Sfakaki, buildings with baths were found, large rooms and mosaic floors of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, while the same area shows cemeteries dating to the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods that reach the seashore.

The Archaeological Museum of Rethymno  displays all the findings of the archaeological site of Stavromenos.


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