Acropolis Smari near Kastelli in Crete
Acropolis Smari near Kastelli in Crete

The Acropolis of Smari is located on the summit of Prophet Elias, a rocky hill near Smari, at an altitude of 590 meters. It offers panoramic views of the Pediada province and overlooks the fertile plains of Kastelli and Smari. Archaeologist, Hatzi-Vallianou, believed that this was the actual site of ancient Lyttos mentioned by Homer.

Construction Period

The city was inhabited from 1800 BC to 630 BC.

Historical Significance

The acropolis has a strong defensive wall. Within the city walls, there are three elongated buildings. To the north, a sanctuary of Athena Ergani has been discovered, as evidenced by ceramic plaques depicting the goddess. These plaques are considered the oldest representations of the goddess Athena in Crete. Around the peak, there is a settlement within a second enclosure, connected to the acropolis by a paved road. Outside the second wall, large buildings have been found, which probably served as storage areas and workshops. There are also terraces outside the acropolis where the city’s inhabitants managed to cultivate grain by retaining minimal soil. The presence of water from a spring located at the site of the Prophet Elias church, a few meters below the summit, was of strategic importance for the city’s development in such a wild and rocky area.

Current Status

The Acropolis and its settlement were gradually abandoned towards the end of the 7th century BC, and the population seems to have moved to the plains of the Smariano plain and the low hills of the surrounding area. It is now an archaeological site.

Minoan period
Dark ages
Classical period
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