The Armeni Late Minoan cemetery
The Armeni Late Minoan cemetery (13th-12th century BC) is located 11 km from Rethymno, in the valley of Armenokampos at the foot of Vrissinas Mountain. The area was first inhabited by Armenian soldiers who came with Nikiforos Fokas to liberate Crete (961 AD). In the past, the villagers’ main occupation was the collection of acorns, which were used for the tannery.
Near the Armeni village there is an oak forest, where is the Minoan cemetery, on the crossroad towards Somatas village. The necropolis is the larger cemetery of carved graves in Crete. There are several studies about the findings of the cemetery, revealing facts about ancient people’s diets and customs.
In the plateau of Vrissinas, just 18 km from the city of Rethymno near the village of Goulediana, is the ancient city that seems to be located to the southeast part of the territory of the ancient Rithymna. At the entrance of the plateau, there is a small settlement, which consists of scattered, stone-built houses.
The prosperity of the city is dated back to the Archaic period (7th-6th century BC), but there are also traces of human presence from the Neolithic era (4th millennium BC). There is also an abandoned village with traditional architecture and the houses, which are visible today, are characterized by elements of the Venetian and Ottoman period. The creation of this settlement is dated to the 16th-17th century approximately.
In the north-west of Argiroupoli, at 1km distance, there are five tombs in a cave, where Agies Pente Parthenes (Five Virgins) were believed to be buried after martyring in the years of the Roman emperor Decius, in 250 AD approximately. On the tombs, from which holy water comes out, a small church has been built and is dedicated to Agies Pente Parthenes.
Archaeological findings support the view that this place was a family tomb-mausoleum of the Roman period. An extensive cemetery dating back to the Roman years has been discovered in recent years. The rich findings of the excavations and, also, those that had been collected before systematic excavations started, among which are two marble statues and a copper statuette, are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno. You may also visit the water springs and admire the rich flora of the location.
Daily visit-No entrance