A recently discovered red jasper stone seal in the Minoan sanctuary of Vrysinas, located south of the city of Rethymon, has attracted the attention of Archaeologists and Historians for being carved on its four surfaces with Minoan hieroglyphic characters, the only evidence to date of the Minoan writing style in western Crete.
The excavation, which began in 2004, is being carried out by Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, under the supervision of archaeologist Helena Papadopoulou in collaboration with Iris Tzachili del Department of History and Archeology of the University of Crete.
A preliminary study of the objects recovered so far, including about 800 clay statuettes and a significant number of ceramic vessels, indicate that the sanctuary was in use during the time of the First Palaces (1900-1700 BC) and continued at least until the beginning of the phase known as “New Palaces”, after which it moved to the lower part of the plateau.
The Vrysinas Shrine is believed to have been the most sacred in Western Crete. The context of the site makes it comparable only with other important Minoan shrines such as those of Iouktas, Petsofas and Traostalos Kofinas.
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