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Skotino Cave, Heraklion

Categories: Caves, Nature & Parks
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4.2/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
The Skotino cave is one of the largest and more impressive caves among the many caves found in Crete.The cave lies high on a hill northwest of the village of Skotino, a few kilometers inland south of Gouves. It is also known as Agia Paraskevi cave from the church dedicated to Saint Paraskevi built on top of it. The cave is 160 meters deep and 36 meters wide. The first archaeological examination on the site were carried out by Arthur Evans, the well-known British archaeologist who unearthed and partially restored Knossos in the early 20th century. A more comprehensive exploration was carried out by French and Greek archaeologists in the 1960s. They found a considerable number of bronze and ceramic votive offerings, the oldest of them dating from the earliest Minoan periods, suggesting the cave was an important sacred shrine dedicated to a female fertility deity, presumably Britomartis. The cave was still used in Classical Greek and Roman eras, when the fertility goddess Artemis or her Roman equivalent Diana replaced the Minoan deity.Bibliography Fisher, John and Garvey, Geoff . The Rough Guide to Crete, 7th edition.
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  • a great value, central location cave that someone worth going to is in fact skoyteino is nice to have with Lantern
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  • Entrance to the cave in the middle of the olive trees near a chapel to visit. The cave is free, requires a good lamp per person and very good shoes. Indeed, the floor is slippery in places, so moving carefully, you will have opportunity to discover beautiful rooms, stones with surprising aspects leaving free our imagination. It is advisable to have a guide or consult internet before to better understand it. Adventurers: Sensations provided for professionals, you can even continue the visit to speleologies by being well equipped
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  • © Ministry of Culture and Sport The cave of Agia Paraskevi is situated in the municipality of Gouves, 20 km. East of Heraklion and 1 km. Northwest of the village of Dark, at an altitude of 225m. In the space before the entrance doline is formed, while the main hall leads to Chambers that are deployed in four different, sloping levels, well known for its stone-rich decoration (total length 126m, width 36 m, and height up to 47 m). The Church of Agia Paraskevi in the entrance of the cave, is built on the remains of the first temple, which dates back to the period of Venetian rule. This is one of the most important cult caves of Crete with elements of worship of the goddess Artemis with the name Britomartis, while Paul Faure identifies with the Maze of the Minotaur in Knossos. The excavations of the Evans and Pendlebury (1933) and Dabara (1962) attest to the use of the cave in the late Neolithic (5th Millennium), Middle and Late Minoan (3rd 2nd millennium b.c.), Protogeometric (11th; 9th c. BC) and Roman period. Continuation of the excavation investigation is carried out by the American School of classical studies at Athens and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory of Eastern Crete in collaboration with the Department of Paleoanthropology-Speleology of southern Greece.
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