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Ancient Lissos, at a position called today Ai-Kirkos, in the homonymous bay of the south coast of the prefecture of Chania, was an important city in the historical times of Crete.

In the Hellenistic times it played an important role as a member of the Federation of the Mountains, which consisted of Elyros, Yrtakina, Tarra and Poikilassion. It was a famous worship centre already in the Hellenistic times and until the end of the antiquity. In 183 B.C. it signed, along with other cities of the “Alliance of the Cretans”, a treaty with Eumenes II of Pergamo. After its destruction in the 9th century, it was not inhabited again.

From the Byzantine times to the present day it has been a local, agricultural and religious centre, with the churches of Ai-Kirkos and Panagia built on the ruins of Paleochristian basilicas. With financing from the community program LEADER 1 – OADYK (West Crete Development Organization) being the implementation contractor-, a project of cleaning, path formation, surface research and mapping of ancient Lissos was conducted. A large part of the valley has already been expropriated.

(Authors: Vanna Niniou – Kindeli, Aggeliki Tsingou, archaeologists)


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