The village of Oaxos, one of the most important cities of ancient Crete, was situated in the area of the modern village of Axos, and flourished from Late Minoan and Geometric up until Roman and consecutive times. Archaeological pick-axes have brought to light many parts of the ancient city including the temple of Aphrodite, the prytaneum, tombs and a variety of archaeological relics. The wall of the acropolis, remains of which can still be seen today on the summit of the hill, must have been of particular grandeur. In 1899, the Italian Archaeological School started excavations, which uncovered a variety of findings such as Minoan potsherds, stone vessels, inscriptions and many figurines of a naked female body, which is believed to portray the goddess of Fertility. Furthermore, remains of buildings dating back to the Classical Period were found, on top of which new constructions had been built, mainly Byzantine churches.
During the latter it accommodated the seat of the Episcopate and boasted a large number of churches. At the place of Livada, north east of the village, remains of archaic times have been found, a fact, which indicates the dimensions of ancient Axos. Another detail implying the importance of Axos is the fact that it had various kinds of currency. Approximately 40 different coins have been recognised, most of which display the head of Apollo or of Zeus, the gods, who were worshipped in ancient Oaxos.
This text is cited Oct 2003 from the Tourism Promotion Committee of Rethymno Prefecture URL below, which contains image.
The acropolis of the ancient city is above the village, near the cemetery church of Agios Ioannis. Excavations have revealed a large temple platform, possibly of Aphrodite, a statue of Dimitra and several other finds including the excellent bronze helmet displayed in the Iraklion Museum (Room 18). In Axos, Zeus and Apollon were also believed to be worshipped.
This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.
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