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Greece Crete Rethymnon Prefecture Rethymnon Sightseeing Archaeological site of Eleftherna
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Archaeological site of Eleftherna

The archaeological site of Eleftherna is situated in the area between the villages of Eleftherna (24 kilometers far from Rethymnon at the East) and Ancient Eleftherna (29 kilometers far from Rethymnon at the East), at the northern foot of Psiloritis. Excavations in the area started in late 1920s' by the British expedition; since 1985 up to now the excavations are being carried out under the supervision of the University of Crete, whose target is to reveal the whole area of the ancient site, known only from text evidence.

It seems that the place was active from Prehistoric times up to the Early Christian era.

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The most important finds brought to light up to now are:

The ruins of a settlement of the Hellenistic period at Nissi, near the village of Eleftherna. Three more sites are found on the hill between two torrents, at the sites of Orthi Petra, Pyrgi and Katsivelos.

A necropolis of the Geometric and Archaic periods has been found at Orthi Petra; remains of buildings and roads of the Hellenistic and Roman era were excavated at the upper strata.

At Pyrgi, on the top of the hill there have been detected ruins of buildings from the Roman and Early Christian era. The archaeologists suggest that there probably was the center of the ancient settlement.
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Close to the actual village called "Ancient Eleftherna", excavations have brought to light traces of continuous use of the place from the Minoan era up to the Early Christian period.

Apart from this, it is worth mentioning the tower on a hill near the village of Eleftherna; it seems that the tower was in use during the Roman and the Byzantine periods.

At the northern part of the ancient site, on the stream at the west of the hill of Pyrgi, it is worth seeing a very interesting Hellenistic bridge with a pointed arch.

Finally, at Katsivelos you will see the Early Christian three-aisle Basilica with a marvelous mosaic decoration, possibly going back to the 6 th or 7 th century.
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