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Aphrodite’s Sanctuary at Lenika

  • Aphrodite’s Sanctuary at Lenika


About Aphrodite’s Sanctuary at Lenika

Ancient Dreros (or Driros) was constructed on Mount Kadistos, adjacent to the present-day Church of Saint Anthony, situated 2km northeast of Neapolis town. The city was populated by Eteocretans and Dorians, who arrived in Crete in 1100 BC, and thrived during the Classical – Hellenistic Period.

Dreros was discovered in 1855 when locals identified a pillar with a 3rd-century BC inscription containing the oath of 180 teenagers pledging their loyalty to their city and allies. The first systematic excavations began in 1917, led by archaeologists Stephanos Xanthoudidis and Spyridon Marinatos, and continued in 1932 under Demargne and Van Effenterre. These excavations revealed several structures, including the Temple of Apollo Delphinios, which housed bronze statues of Apollo, Artemis, and Leto (7th century BC), and an altar for goat sacrifices. Additionally, the city’s central square (agora) featured a small theater with a large tank at its center. Inscriptions containing laws (considered the earliest Greek legislation) and text in both Greek and Eteocretan languages were found inside the tank.

Dreros appears to have minted coins featuring the head of Athena and the letters ΔΡ. The city was ultimately destroyed by a civil war that began in 220 BC, leading to its decline.

Categories & Tags

  • Archaeological Sites

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