For the first time in 62 years, within the framework of a project to promote and protect the archaeological site of Liso, in Crete, an excavation was carried out that revealed a large part of a public building, in the form of an odeon (small building theater used for musical performances) oriented to the east.
Liso, an ancient autonomous city, religious center and headquarters of the Federation of Mountaineers in the 3rd century BC, developed in a small hollow in the hills facing the sea.
The Asclepeion (healing temple dedicated to the god Asclepius), which came to light in 1959, architectural remains of public buildings, the impressive necropolis from the Greco-Roman period and the two single-nave Byzantine temples, make up a unique archaeological landscape of special beauty natural.
Access to the archaeological site is by sea or through the E4 European path, so the area remains unaffected by new interventions, but at the same time the execution of the works faces objective difficulties.
The first phase of the survey revealed part of the structure, two side chambers with vaulted ceilings and 14 rows of cavea seats, with a built-in underpass and probably founded on natural ground.
Most of the intact seats are preserved in the south and southwest. Instead, the northwestern part of the cavea is especially altered. Its destruction occurred when huge rocks, carried by the adjacent torrent, penetrated the building diagonally in an easterly direction.
The overflow of the torrent was possibly due to the violent seismic event of the late Roman period (4th century AD), which destroyed most of the ancient sites of western Crete. The construction of this remarkable monument, according to a first estimate, is dated at the beginning of the Roman period (1st century AD).
The next phase of the investigation requires the completion of the excavation to clarify whether the monument is flanked by an exterior wall, a necessary element for the preparation of the restoration and enhancement study.
In any case, the discovery of a building with a public function in a central point of the ancient city and in the vicinity of the famous Asclepion adds new data to the archaeological and historical horizon of the area.
The project was executed by the Chania Ephorate of Antiquities. As part of the project, arrangements and modifications were made to the visitor trails that cross the archaeological site and surround the two Byzantine temples.
The stall and canopy were repaired, informational and directional signs were created, and a printed brochure on the Liso archaeological site was published.
The excavations were carried out under the coordination of Dr. Eleni Papadopoulou, Head of the Chania Eforate of Antiquities and under the direction of Dr. Aikaterini Tzanakaki, Deputy Head of the Department of Prehistoric-Classical Antiquities and Museums of the Chania Eforate of Antiquities. Chania.
Greek Ministry of Culture