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MYRTOS Hierapetra, Crete.

A small Roman settlement situated about 15 km W of Hierapetra, on the S coast. Minoan predecessors to the Roman settlement are sited 4 km E of Myrtos (Fournou Korifi, EM II), and on a high, conical hill immediately overlooking the Roman site (Pyrgos, EM III). In a circular building (shrine?) of Hellenistic date over the LM villa at Pyrgos was found a broken votive inscription to Aphrodite, Hermes, and all the gods (?). This suggests that the area was then part of the territory of Hierapytna, for the cult of Aphrodite is known in E Crete only there.

The visible Roman remains are concentrated on the W side of the modern village, on and immediately above the shore. The largest building to survive seems to have served as a cistern, and a circular plastered and buttressed structure NE of it may have fulfilled the same function. It may, however, be part of a bath building, and immediately W of it are extensive traces of a building with hypocaust heated rooms and at least two polychrome mosaics. This building, probably of 2d c. date can be seen to overlie earlier Roman remains. Fragmentary walls and surface finds can be traced over most of the area of the present village and the area immediately W of it and suggest a settlement of no more than 2 hectares. Finds from the site are mainly kept in the village school.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

L. Mariani, “Antichita Cretesi,” MonAnt VI (1895) 321; S. Xanthoudides, “Paratema,” Deltion 2 (1916) 25; M. Guarducci, ICr III (1942) 69, no. 39; 72, nos. 53, 54.

K. BRANIGAN

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