Mpitzariano, Kastelli Pediados - 2007
Mpitzariano, Kastelli Pediados. Liana Starida, Eleni Kanaki, Periandros Epitropakis, Z. Aletras, Ch. Mpilmezi and N. Marnellou (13η ΕΒΑ) report that SE of Heraklion and NE of Kastelli Pediados, the settlement of Mpizariano(n)/Mpitzariano(n) is located. The church of Agios Panteleimonas is in close proximity to this settlement.
It is possible that a sanctuary was present in the area during the Minoan and Greco-Roman period, while it is also possible that an Asclepeion was also located there during the Greco-Roman period. During the Early Christian period, a three-aisled basilica with a wooden ceiling of the simple Hellenistic type (5th-6th c.) was built. After its abandonment, potentially during the 2nd Byzantine period of Crete (961-1210) the church of Agios Panteleimonas was erected in this spot. Parts of the building of the Early Christian period and of the Christian times were used as building materials for the church. The church is a three-aisled basilica without a narthex, although one might have been attached to it but it has not been preserved. The middle aisle is the widest one and results in a semi-circular arch on the E. The side aisles result on semi-circular arches as well. The entrance is located in the middle of the W side. The wall paintings of the basilica belong to at least two different periods. The older ones are well-made and date to the beginning of the 13th c., while the newer ones date to the middle of the 13th c.
During 2007, the Ephorate continued with the repairing works of the ceiling and the walls, the replacement of materials and cleaning of the wall paintings and the surrounding space of the church. During excavation works inside the basilica, underground shaft graves of the Middle Ages were discovered. Southwest of the church, approximately 150 m. away, built rectangular shaft graves were located. Their sides were made of crude stones, while they were covered with stone slabs. These graves were part of the cemetery of the settlement which was around the church of Agios Panteleimonas.
[Entry created by C. Koureta]
ADelt 62 (2007), Chr., 1273.