Ancient Pressos

Location: Episkopi   

Ancient Pressos in Lassithi Crete: The site of Ancient Pressos is located in the inland of Lassithi, eastern Crete. Pressos was a very important town in the ancient times and existed for many centuries, from the Neolithic till the Hellenistic times. This was the homeland of Eteocretans, the true Cretans. The town was spread in three hills and thus it had three acropolis.

It flourished a lot in the Minoan times, as shown by the signs excavated there. These signs were written in the Minoan language using Greek characters. Pressos dominated over the eastern side of Crete and was continuously in rivalry with the powerful cities of Itanos and Ierapytna for the control of the temple of Zeus Dikteos in Palekastro. In fact, Pressos was so powerful that it controlled two ports: the port of Sitia in northern Crete and the port of Stiles on the southern side.

Apart from the three acropolis, Pressos also has strong fortifications, tombs, temples and houses, but few of them survive today in the site. In 155 BC, Pressos was destroyed by Ierapytna and was never rebuilt. The inhabitants moved to Sitia and built a new town there.

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