Cretan History


Ancient Dreros
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Ancient Dreros (or Driros) was built on the mount Kadistos, next to the current church of Saint Anthony, 2km northeast of Neapolis town. The town was inhabited by Eteocretans and Dorians, who arrived in Crete in 1100BC, and flourished in the Classical - Hellenistic Period.

The town was unearthed in 1855, when some locals identified a pillar with an inscription of the 3rd century BC with the oath of 180 teenagers for their devotion to their city and their allies. The first systematic excavations started in 1917 by the archaeologists Stephanos Xanthoudidis and Spyridon Marinatos, and continued in 1932 by Demargne and Van Effenterre. They brought to light several buildings with the greatest being the temple of Apollo Delphinios, with the bronze statues of Apollo, Artemis and Leto (7th century BC) and an altar for sacrificing goats. Moreover, it is interesting to see the central square (agora) of the city with the small type of theater, in the center of which there was a large tank. Inside the tank some inscriptions with laws were found (regarded the earliest legislation in Greek) and an inscription in Greek and Eteocretan language.

Dreros seems to have minted coins depicting the head of Athena and the letters ΔΡ. The town was destroyed by civil war that began in 220BC and resulted in its decline.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Ancient City
  • Peak Period: Classical & Hellenistic Age (800 BC - 69 BC)
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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