Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


13 February 2013

Υποβρύχια έρευνα στο σπήλαιο ‘Καθεδρικό’ στο Ακρωτήρι Χανίων (Underwater survey at thecave ‘Kathedriko’at Akrotiri, Chania, Crete)

Χρήστος Σ. Αγουρίδης Enalia. The journal of the Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology XI (2012): 86-91.


During an underwater survey conducted by the diving team of the Ephorate of Paleo­anthropology – Speleology of the Ministry of Culture, a submerged cave was located in the area of Akrotiri, Chania (Crete). The cave has two entrances, one underwater at a depth of 15 meters and the second on land, on the cave’s ceiling, close to the rocky shore. The latter is a window to the sky under which a six meters high mound of fallen limestone blocks is formed, on the cave’s floor, at a depth of 10-4 meters. Furthermore, fresh water circulation was observed in the cave at a depth of 5-7 meters. Other caverns located in the adjacent area show that ‘Kathedriko’ is part of a unique geological system.

Between the rocks in the area of collapse a very interesting pottery assemblage was located comprising mainly amphorae with elliptical mouth, tripod cooking pots and conical cups, some intact and most of them in fragmentary condition. Most of the finds are heavily concreted to the rocks of the cone of collapse with dark biogenic marine concretions. Some exposed finds were brought to the surface in order to be examined. The finds can be dated to the Middle Minoan ll-lll period.

Evidence available so far and preliminary observations suggest that a certain cult activity was practiced in the area of collapse while it was dry, associated with fresh water supply and followed by ceremonial meals. It seems likely that geological phenomena that took place after the MM III period, altered dramatically the geomorphology of the area, com­pleted the submergence of the cave and suspended its use. However, safe conclusions concerning the chronological horizon and use of the cave can be drawn only after systematic archaeological and geological research. 


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