Heraklion Ancient Rizinia

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Location: Prinias

The Ancient Town of Rizinia in Heraklion, Crete: About 1 km north of Prinias village, on top of Patela Hill, there is the Ancient Town of Rizinia. A walking path leads to this ancient site. As indications show, the region was inhabited from 1,500 BC, during the post-Minoan and the Hellenistic period. A temple was found on the eastern side of the hill and findings refer to the worship of snake and of a goddess bearing weapons.

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Two more temples dating from the 7th century BC have been excavated on the central side of the plateau. One temple has Minoan influence and was probably dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess Rea, protector of the family. The other temple is similar to the temple of Apollo in Dreros Crete and had a more evident Greek influence. On the western side of the hill, there was a castle dating from the 4th or the 5th century BC as well as an ancient cemetery.

Visitors to this archaeological site are few as excavations have been limited. The location gives an excellent view to the valley of Messara and the mountains of Lassithi. Many findings from Ancient Rizinia are hosted in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion Crete.

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