Peak sanctuaries

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Petsofas peak sanctuary overlooks the Minoan town of Palaikastro

Minoan peak sanctuaries are widespread throughout the island of Crete (Greece). Most scholars agree that peak sanctuaries were used for religious rites. In all peak sanctuaries human and animal clay figurines have been found. Clay body parts, also called votive body parts, are also found in most peak sanctuaries. These open-air sanctuaries are found high in the mountains of Crete.

Eastern and east-central peak sanctuaries[edit]

Most peak sanctuaries are found in east and east-central Crete.

Central Crete peak sanctuaries[edit]

Atsipades Korakias seen from southwest.The sanctuary is on the more distant part of the outcrop. The Ayios Vasilios Plain is visible in the background.

Western Crete peak sanctuaries[edit]

  • Vrysinas
  • Spili Vorizi
  • Atsipades in the Korakias mountains was fully excavated in the 1980s. Its many hundred clay figurines and other ceramics have been analysed in detail.

Other peak sanctuaries[edit]

This section is for peak sanctuaries mentioned in passing in articles where more research is needed before categorizing them.


  • Chryssoulaki, Stella The Traostalos Peak Sanctuary: Aspects of Spatial Organisation Retrieved 19 January 2006
  • Jones, Donald W. 1999. Peak Sanctuaries and Sacred Caves in Minoan Crete. ISBN 91-7081-153-9
  • Kyriakidis, Evangelos. 2005. Ritual in the Aegean: The Minoan Peak Sanctuaries. London: Duckworth publishers