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Archaeological Sites in Sitia - Palekastro - Ierapetra:

Pressos in Sitia



The important ancient city of Pressos was the homeland of the Eteocretans--the true Cretans. These people withdrew to these three hills, built a city and continued their Minoan culture when the Dorians invaded. Remains of an older and newer city were found as well as very important tablets written in the Minoan language using Greek characters. This may help in the deciphering of the Minoan language.

The site was inhabited continually from Neolithic to Hellenistic times. Pressos dominated the east side of Crete, and it had two harbours, one on the north coast--Itia, the site of Sitia--and the other one, Stiles, on the south coast. The excavations have revealed three acropolises, temples, houses, and tombs, but little remain to be seen in the site. From the acropolis, where some ruins still remain, one has a good view of the old harbour of Pressos, Sitia in the distance.

Pressos was in continuous struggle with the powerful cities of Itanos and Ierapytna for the control of the Temple of Zeus Dicteos in Palekastro. Although at some point in time it even shared citizenship with Ierapytna, it was destroyed by Ierapytna about 155 B.C. and was never rebuilt. The inhabitants of Pressos left for Itia (Sitia), their harbour on the north coast and established New Pressos there.


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