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Elithyia Cave

ELITHYIA CAVE (1 km S of Amnissos). It was also mentioned by Homer. One of the most important places of worship dedicated to Elithyia, goddess of childbirth. It was discovered in the late 19th century and was known to the locals as Neraidospilios (i.e. the cave of the fairy). It is oblong (60 m long and 9 to 12 m wide) and, as excavations proved (by archeologists Chatzidakis and Marinatos) it was place of worship from the Neolithic Era up to the 5th century B.C. (the ceramic findings depict all periods). Almost in the centre of the cave, there is a rectangular altar or nave, around two cylindrical stalagmites that remind human figures.

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