|Summary:||Early Iron Age settlement and later a Classical city-state.|
In the Mirabello district of N Crete and NE of modern Neapolis, Dreros occupies 2 small peaks on a S spur of Mt. Kadiston. The center and agora of the ancient city sits on the saddle joining the E and W heights. Traces of city fortification wall have been found.
The city was founded in the Geometric period and was most prosperous in the 8th - 6th centuries B.C. Above and SW of the agora stood the Temple of Apollo (built ca. 750 B.C.), one of the earliest known Greek temples. In the temple were found early (ca. 650 B.C.) statuettes of Apollo, Leto and Artemis, made of sheet-bronze hammered over wooden cores. Another important early find from Dreros is the group of Archaic inscriptions (found in the fill of a later Hellenistic cistern) that includes the earliest complete record of constitutional law found in Greece. In the 3rd to 2nd centuries B.C. Dreros became first an ally and then a dependent of Knossos. The city lost importance in the 2nd century B.C., but continued to exist into the Byzantine period.
S. Xanthoudides first excavated at the site in 1917. In 1932 P. Demargne began excavations for the French School and in 1935 S. Marinatos excavated the Temple of Apollo. The French School resumed excavations in 1936.