11 km from the city of Sitia, near the modern village of Chamaizi, there is a small archaeological site. At the top of a cone-shaped hill called Souvloto Mouri, the remains of an unusual building with a unique oval shape were discovered. Despite its small size, it is one of the most important discoveries that comes from the Central Minoan period. So far, it is the only oval building from Crete in this period.
The first archaeological works were made here in 1903 by S. Xanthoudides. The mysterious shape of the building caused questions about its functions and purpose. Archaeologists have not agreed for a long time whether this form of building was designed deliberately or whether it was forced by the terrain. In 1907, Scottish archaeologist Dunkan Mackenzie, a longtime collaborator of Arthur Evans in Knossos, put forward the thesis that the oval form of buildings is accidental and forced on the builders by the shape of the hill. This opinion was then universally accepted. However, new doubts arose when archaeologists reentered here in 1971.
Ephor Kostis Davaras started work this time. In order to prevent the deterioration of the excavations, the site of the archaeological site was first ordered and thoroughly renovated. The discoveries of new buildings located outside the existing walls have begun to indicate that the terrain has not played a decisive role in giving the building an oval shape. The theory that such an outline of the construction put up by the Minoan people was fully intentional and intended was becoming more and more likely.
An equally interesting mystery was also the definition of the purpose of this building. Originally, archaeologists supposed that it was a sizeable residential villa. Fifty years later, the well-known Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Plato suggested that it was rather a form of sanctuary or a kind of temple. In support of these applications, he presented evidence in the form of figures he found here. Other scientists, however, argue that a small number of this type of artifacts does not explicitly point to any sacred place in the past. In addition, the remains of household clay pots for daily use, fragments of pitos and parts of looms contradict Plato's theory.
Regardless of the original destination, discoveries such as a movable fireplace in one of the rooms and a channel that probably supplied the building with rainwater collected in tanks are interesting.
Although only the bases of the walls remain from the former two-storey building, it is worth coming here, for example because of the amazing panorama spreading from this place. Climbing on the remains of the former inner courtyard, or well, you can enjoy the view of the Sitia, the airport and the mountains that limit the northern part of the horizon. An additional advantage of Chamaizi is the small distance separating this place from the New National Road leading to Sitia. It is worth taking a tour of this place as a rest from driving.
Although the contemporary village of Chamaizi is adjacent to the New National Road, the excavations themselves are located somewhat more in the depths of Crete.
Although a clear direction indicator clearly indicates where you have to leave the main route, however, the further path is much less readable. A few bifurcations lacking clear signs mean that many people give up access to this place. It's worth studying the Google maps to get here without a problem.
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