Metallurgy Workshop



Chrysokamino Copper Workshop at Kavousi
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Chrysokamino is located near the Cave Theriospilios in the area of Kavousi, Ierapetra province. At the site that locals called Golden Oven (chrysokamino), because they frequently found copper pieces, in 1900 the archaeologist H. Boyd spotted a metallurgy workshop that operated from 4500-3500 BC to the Minoan Era. The most important study and excavations since then took place after 1995.

The site was only used for firing copper minerals imported from other regions of the Aegean (possibly Kythnos island or Lavrio near Athens). Other operations, such as cleaning of the mineral before firing or melting the produced copper took place somewhere else. The place was abandoned after 1400 BC.

Chrysokamino is actually the only copper foundry site found in the Preminoan Crete and one of the few met in the Aegean. Other sites have been identified that may have operated kilns in Crete, such as Petras at Sitia and Katsambas in Heraklion, but are considered very small facilities. The point at Kavoussi is considered ideal for a copper furnace copper, as due to the strong wind, the coals were heated continuously at high temperature and fumes were removed.


Credits to Willem van Leuveren

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Peak Period: Prehistoric Age (Earlier than 3000 BC), Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Dirt track
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