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Anemospilia is the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan temple on Crete.


The temple is located on the northern end of Mount Juktas. Modern Heraklion can be seen from the site.


Anemospilia was first excavated in 1979 by J. Sakellarikas.

The temple has no parallel in any other discovered Minoan or Mycenaean sites. It is far more symmetrical and less labyrinthine than contemporary buildings.

Pottery from the site confirms use during Middle Minoan II and Middle Minoan IIIA.

Anemospilia was destroyed around 1600BCE, probably by earthquake. The skeleton of a man, by the position of its body, suggests that he was running from the temple at the time of the destruction. He was holding a vase.

The antechamber of the temple yielded tripod cooking pots, mortars and pestles, vases and pithoi.

A central room was filled with vases. A stone bench lined the south wall. Larger-than-human clay feet and ash remains of what was probably a wooden statue.

The eastern room of the temple contains a stepped altar. Large bowls were placed on the altar, and evidence from other sites indicates that these were used for agricultural offerings.

The temple's western room yields evidence indicating that it was used for human sacrifice. Three skeletons were found. The skeleton of a man was found lying on an altar, a knife at his chest, with his feet tied. The skeletons of a man and a woman were also in the room, and were killed by earthquake and/or fire.


Swindale, Ian |"Anemospilia" Retrieved 11 February 2006

Further reading


Minoan Crete Map

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