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Hiking in Palekastro area with view to Kastri hill and to Kouremenos bay

The small plateau south of Palekastro and the pictursque chapel in the midst

Sunrise in Karoumes bay, exceptional beach between Palekastro and Kato Zakros

Windsurfing in Kouremenos Bay

The bay of Kato Zakros and the Deads Gorge in the background

Palm Beach Vai, 7km north of Palekastro village

Xerokambos Beach, 10km south from  Zakros

Olives and Civilization

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Minoan oil harvestingThe olive is a favorite subject in Minoan art. Olive trees, olive branches and olive blooms are depicted in many wall paintings and relief works, found at the palace of Knossos ( 1600-1400 BC) and displayed in the Heraklion Museum today.

Of the most well known, is the wall painting depicting an olive tree between wild goats, the relief with the bull and the olive tree at the balcony of the northern entrance of Knossos Palace, the wall - painting with "The dance in the Sacred Grove" and other scenes with , olive foliage, blooming branch, branches and relief olives.

Olive branches and leaves are often depicted on the vases of the Minoan period. Characteristic examples are to be found in the storage-jar discovered at the small island Psira off the coastline of north-eastern Crete which is decorated with bull' s heads and olive shoots on either side (1600-1500 B.C) as in the cup with the olive branch in bloom from Knossos ( 1600-1500 B.C), both now displayed in the Heraklion Museum.

The olive was a favorite subject even in the craft of gold-plating in the Minoan period. Characteristic of this is the superb piece of jewelry made up of a bunch of golden olive leaves found in the pre-palatial cemetery on the small island just outside today's settlement of Mochlos to the north of the village of Lastros in Sitia.

At the Olympic games that started in 776 B.C., ancient Greeks were crowning the winners with a wreath ("Kotinos") made of branches cutted always off the same wild olive tree.

Also at the Panathenea games ( 600 B.C), the winner' s prize was a decorated amphora, full of olive oil which was produced of the "Mories" (Sacred) olive-trees belonging to Goddess Athena.

Read 1823 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 May 2013 15:08

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