Prepalatial Cemetery of

Odigitria

Odigitria Prepalatial Cemetery
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The historic Monastery of Odigitrias on the way to Agiofaraggo hides many treasures. Beyond the monastery itself with such great history and the tower of Xopateras, it conceals another surprise north of the monastery. This is the prepalatial necropolis of Odigitria, named after the monastery, as we still don’t know the name of the town it belonged to.

We still can say that today the area of Odigitria and the surrounding hills pulled the attention of man who settled here and formed settlements, places of worship and burial. The necropolis was looted by illegal excavations, like so many other places in Asterousia Range. It was used continuously by the Minoans for about a thousand years.

The first formal archaeological excavation took place in 1979-1980 by archaeologist Nota Dimopoulou and was continued by Antonis Vasilakis. The illegal excavations prior to the official one unearthed numerous finds many of which concluded in the private collection of Konstantinos Mitsotakis, the former Prime Minister of Greece coming from Chania.

The rich finds included ceramics, stamps, metal objects made of gold and other metals, and stone tools. The prepalatial necropolis with the old graves occupies a large area and consists of two domed tombs, rooms for offerings, an ossuary and a paved courtyard with altars. It is open to visitors. It has been maintained by the archaeologists. To find the space, there is a sign inside the monastery.

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Additional Info

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

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