Mitropolis Archaeological Area

The *Mitropolis Archaeological Area (open daily except Mon 8.30–3. Admission free), entered opposite the church of Aghios Nikolaos, is an exemplary display of what are complex archaeological finds. The various areas and strata visibly recount the history outlined above, as well as high lighting the decisions archaeologists have to take as they work down from level to level through a history as dense as this. The unusual construction of the Mycenaean walls can clearly be seen. There are ceramic workshops from the same period—one in which the work-bench and drying shelves are clearly visible, and where slip-coated pots with colour ready to be fired were found in situ. At another point an exceptional, painted krater was found (copy on site, original in museum). Higher up, above these levels, can be seen Classical door-ways and a Roman oven. There is also fascinating evidence of a cemetery hermax—the cairn or pile of stones left by visitors as they exited a cemetery. It was customary to make this symbolic and apotropaic gesture as you left the ‘polluted’ area of a cemetery in antiquity, as if the stone which you threw behind you onto the hermax, carried away any ‘pollution’ or ill-omen.
   On the top of the hill of Aplomata to the east of the bay of Grotta, excavated graves can still be seen at the sea ward edge. The small marble war memorial nearby commemorates Nikolas Binikos from Ikaria, who was killed in 1944 in the struggle to oust the German occupation of the Kastro.

Naxos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.

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