The Sanctuary of


Anemospilia sanctuary
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At position Anemospilia, on the north slopes of Mount Jiouchtas, the archeologists Giannis and Efi Sakellarakis located in 1979 a small sanctuary of the Minoan era that surprised the global archaeological community. This small sanctuary offered the first indication of human sacrifices in Minoan Crete.

The two-storey building was built in the 17th century BC and was destroyed by an earthquake a few decades later. So far four sites have been revealed, but maybe there are more.

In the first room of the temple many utensils were found, about 150 pots of various shapes, while the main room was full of the biggest temple utensils, pots and jars. The easte room, where the bloodless rituals took place, housed many objects and a stepped altar on which they placed all utensils for worship. The bloody sacrifices took place in the west room of the temple, which was poorer in findings.

The most important discovery of the excavation was the existence of four human skeletons. According to scientific investigations, three of them (including one woman) were killed by the collapsed roof and simultaneous fire. Probably there were two priests and a priestess. The fourth dead was the most interesting finding, as he was found laid on a trapezoidal table with a short sword or spear in his body. According to the opinion of anthropologists and forensic experts, this man was a victim of human sacrifice and the scene was delivered to our era due to the earthquake.

The site is sealed and access is forbidden for public.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Sanctuary
  • Peak Period: Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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