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Voyage to Crete: Zominthos
by Eti Bonn-Muller
July 21, 2009

Although the Minoans are best known as seafarers, excavations at the site of Zominthos, nestled in a plateau on Mt. Ida, Crete’s highest mountain, have shown that they were also highlanders. This important second-millennium B.C. site, located about 1,200 meters above sea level, lies on the ancient route between Knossos and the sacred Ideon Cave, where the god Zeus is believed by some to have been born and raised. (Others think the legend arose from the Dikteon Cave on Eastern Crete.)

Zominthos is the only mountaintop Minoan site ever to have been excavated and is already yielding groundbreaking information on what was thought to be a well-known civilization. Today’s photos provide only a general overview. A video tour of the site, led by excavation director Yannis Sakellarakis, will be available online soon.


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Preeminent archaeologist Yannis Sakellarakis directs excavations at Zominthos, along with his (photo-shy) wife, Efi. He first heard of the site from a shepherd in the 1982, when he was excavating the Ideon Cave. He conducted small-scale explorations here over the years, but has only been digging formally at the site since 2004.

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One comment for "Voyage to Crete: Zominthos"

  • Reply posted by Serena (April 17, 2010, 3:36 am):

    Sir Sakellarakis,
    I honor you in regaurds to you excavation work.
    Recently I dreamt about certain artifacts and
    you had found an ancient book near the side of
    a cave where the dirt was very grainy.The dirt
    seemed to be a light colored dirt and a cave
    was near by that was beside the dirt area
    where you had found the I believe it
    to of been you for one reason you resemble the
    man I dreamt of in the dream there were steaks
    set up around the area where the digging had
    taken place..Along with the book there were also
    several other items found. In which I had been
    watching from afar almost as in a vision and
    suddenly I was digging with you and others
    we used no tools and we were all on our hands
    and knees.. I am unsure if this will mean
    anything to you but I am a true believer
    and possibly you are as well…My hope is
    you do find the book I am speaking of
    the writing in it will be unreadable
    and yet in the dream, I could read of
    it’s manuscript and yet no one else could.
    I have faith you will find this book..