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Crete's Lasithi Prefecture Overview continued Page Twelve

Northeast to Sitia

the north coast to SitiaHeading northeast towards Sitia, the scenery improves vastly and is one of the most exciting stretches of road in Crete, with precipitous drops to the sea, and then the road goes inland at Kavousi.

minoan shore and island of mochlosAt Platanos is a turret from which to view the gulf, and some tavernas. Mokhlos (right) is one of the few beaches (pebble type rather than sand) you will see below the road that is accessible, 5km/3.1 miles of switchbacks downhill.

It is more of a fishing village than a resort, with some rooms (including fairly cheap ones) and some tavernas. There is a small islet (right) also called Mochlos, very close to shore which was once attached to the Cretan mainland and which had Minoan houses on it, remains of which can be seen on the islet's south side. Pots were made in Mokhlos with lids handles shaped like reclining dogs. Seven tombs were found in the cliffs here fairly recently, dug into the rock, and surprisingly intact. Important finds from these tombs were early seal stones including one from Mesopotamia, gold jewelry (in the Iraklion archaeological museum) and vases made from marble, rock crystal, and steatite (in the Aghios Nikolaos and Sitia archaeological museums). Pot shards from Akrotiri (the destroyed village excavated on Santorini) were found here as well. Mokhlos was abandoned after the disasters of 1470 BC. The waters are very clear here and there are places to camp out.

Offshore 2km/1.24 miles if the island of Pseira. This was also a Minoan port, excavated in 1907 by Richard Seager, an American archaeologist. It was a prosperous town built like an amphitheater around a harbor with steps leading upward to the houses, each of which had a hearth in one room There was a shrine here with a floor that had been built up with pumice that had drifted from Santorini (Thera). One of loveliest houses in eastern Crete was found here-the House of the Pillar Partitions-with a sunken tub in the bathroom and a drain for the water. Exceptional painted pottery was also found here, one of the most famous of which is the jar (at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum), with bull's heads and double axes. The island was later used by the Romans, who had a lighthouse and military settlement at the highest point.

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