Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Hagia Photia

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Address  Sitia 723 00
Similar  Armeni, Anemospilia, Galatas Palace, Kommos, Zominthos

Hagia Photia (also Ayia Photia, Agia Photia, Greek: Αγιά Φωτιά) is an archaeological site of a fortified ancient Minoan building on eastern Crete. Sitia lies five kilometers to the west.


The building at Hagia Photia has 37 rooms which open onto a central court, but do not necessarily connect to adjoining rooms. It was originally built in Middle Minoan IA with a surrounding fortification wall. The fortifications are important to note, as so few Minoan settlements have evidence of city walls. Other fortified Minoan settlements are from the Pre-Palatial Period, but Hagia Photia is of the Old Palatial period. Three apsidal buttresses along the north wall which faces the sea and a fourth at the southwest corner of the outer wall are similar to the buttresses on fortification walls at Lerna in the Argolid and Chalandriani on Syros.

The site was abandoned in Middle Minoan IA and circular structures were built over those ruins during Middle Minoan IIA. The structures might be tholos tombs, and would be the farthest north and east tombs of their kind on the island. Many of the grave goods here are Cycladic, and may indicate that Hagia Photia was a Cycladic colony.

Two Kouphota hill caves which face the sea contain Neolithic, Pre-Palatial and Old Palance period remnants.

150 meters to the east, a Minoan cemetery, Glyphada, has been excavated with over 250 Early Minoan I-II chamber tombs.

Finds excavated from Hagia Photia are at the Archaeological Museum of Sitia and the Agios Nikolaos, Crete Museum.


Hagia Photia Wikipedia