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Crete's Lasithi Prefecture Overview continued Page Eleven

the snake goddessThere was also a small theatre area and a Shrine of the Snake Goddess with tubular vases that resembled snakes. This site is also notable for the fact that it was excavated by the first woman in charge of a major dig - Harriet Boyd-Hawes, an American, who worked there from 1901 to 1904. Sir Arthur Evans (excavator of Knossos) had suspected earlier that something was there. There is a campsite with its own cove and a swimming pool as well not far from the site, but this stretch of bay, including the beach at the resort of Pahia Ammos, seems to attract most of the floating garbage from Crete's north coast coast. Hopefully things will be improved by the time you get there.

Just 5km/3.1 miles south of Pahia Ammos is Vassiliki (visible from the main road), where the first examples of Vasiliki ware (housed in the Iraklion archaeological museum as well as the one in Aghios Nikolaos) were discovered, which represented a uniquely Minoan pottery style, with red and black mottling.

At this site was a pre-Palace settlement dating from 2650 to 2200 BC., abandoned after a fire destroyed it in 2200BC, which made it more accessible to excavation. One of its two main buildings, The Red House, had its corners facing the cardinal points of the compass, a common practice in the Near East and Mesopotamia, but not in Egypt or the Aegean. Clues to early Minoan building styles were gleaned from what appeared to be post-holes for wooden beams. Archaeologists have searched for a Minoan palace site in this vicinity since Gournia was more of a settlement than a palace complex and neither is Vassiliki.

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