The Municipality of

The Cave

. The cave is situated at the South West side of Arkalochori, specifically at the SW aisle of Profitis Ilias Church, 400m above sea level.
A narrow entrance (0.70cm wide, 1.60cm tall) leads to the interior, where one cannot walk upright due to lack of space. The roof is supported by three concrete poles. In previous times the cave is reported to be remarkably larger, extending possibly to the whole hill area and consisted of small connected compartments.
The roof of the large cave collapsed around 1500 BC. According to some archaeologists this collapse was due to either an earthquake or the eruption of Santorini volcano. It may also be possible that it collapsed because of soil eroded by water entering the rocks. From the archaeological point of view the cave is one of the most important in the Prefecture of Heraklion. Its reputation as a place of worship had been obviously attracting many visitors, proven by the also large number of votive offerings that were brought into light during the excavations.

The first excavation was conducted by Joseph Chatzidakis in 1912 when many potsherds, 53 brass sword blades without handles with a size of up to one meter in length, as well as 19 votive double axes one of which is silver, were brought to light.
More systematic excavations were done in 1934-35 by the archaeologists Spiros Marinatos and Nikolaos Platonas and many objects were found, mainly double gold axes. Their size varies reaching up to 70 cm. Among the swords the biggest is of a size of 1m and 5cm and is the longest copper sword of the Prehistoric Greece found. Many among the axes and the swords are engraved, one also bearing hieroglyphic writing.
It was supported by Spiros Marinatos, that the cave had been a worship centre since 2500 BC, in favour of a war god possibly, as most of the votive were weapons. It is also possible that some of its space had been used as a coppersmith’s workshop, because pieces of raw copper were found. The above archaeological findings are nowadays exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

The archaeological site at
Galatiani Kefala

Close to the village Archondiko towards the neighbouring village Galatas, upon a hill, findings have shown recent marks of a minoan city and palace.
Excavations have not been completed yet and the place is enclosed, it is however believed that it has been one of the largest minoan cities of Crete, claimed by many to be the fourth in size town of that era.

[Arkalohori] [Arhontiko-Houmeri-Zinta-Patsideros] [Gassi-Moussouta-Agia Semni] [Arch.Sites] [Churches]

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Οι σελίδες αυτές είναι προσφορά τού Δήμου Αρκαλοχωρίου.

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