Eleutherna, Sector II (1985-)

Eletherna Sector IΙ of the excavation extends from the highest reaches of Pyrgi and Nissi, two hills which dominate the landscape at Ancient Eleutherna.
Research has been conducted since 1985 under the supervision of Thanassis Kalpaxis, Professor of Classical Archaeology, with the aim of determining what function the areas served within the framework of the town plan.
It has been determined that Nissi hill was mainly used as a residential area from Geometric times or earlier up until the late Hellenistic period, when it was abandoned. A large rectangular enclosure dating to the classical period with a Doric monumental portico was found on the north side of the hill, outside the settlement boundary. The wall surrounds an area occupied by a local sanctuary, possibly dedicated to Apollo Sassthraios.

Pyrgi hill is a naturally fortified position, and was used almost continuously from Proto-Minoan to Late Byzantine times.

The Archaic temple unearthed on the central plateau testifies to the fact that it was the main acropolis of the ancient city. This is further confirmed by the remains of other Doric rhythm buildings, as well as by the large number of inscriptions from the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods, and the existence of an Early Christian house of worship. Nevertheless, over time a considerable expanse served as a residential area, probably during particularly troubled phases in the city history.

The defensive tower on the north side of the hill gave rise to its name (Greek pyrgi = tower.) This was built in Early Byzantine times, as were the other visible sections of the fortifications and the large cisterns on the west side.