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In the area of the modern village Axos the ancient city Oaxos existed once, one of the most important cities of ancient Greece, which flourished from the late Minoan and the Geometric Times until after the Roman times.

The archaeological excavation has revealed abundant remains of the ancient city, including Aphrodite’s Temple, the Prytaneum, graves and various architectural remnants. The wall of the acropolis must have been impressive. Parts of it are still visible on the top of the hill.

The excavations were started by the Italian School of Archaeology in 1899, bringing to light various finds, including Minoan sherds, stone vessels, inscriptions and many statuettes of a naked human figure, which is believed to have been the Goddess of fertility. Remains of buildings of the classical times were also found. Other buildings were built over them later, mainly Byzantine churches.

The city continued to flourish in the Roman and the Byzantine times. In the Byzantine times in particular, it was the seat of a Bishopric and had a large number of churches. At the position “Livada”, NE of the village, remains of and archaic settlement have been discovered, which indicates that this was the area of ancient Axos.


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