The Neolithic Period (6000-2600 BC)
|The earliest evidence of human habitation comes from excavations
that have been carried out in some of the numerous caves in the region.
Findings of particular note that indicate human presence during the
Neolithic Period have emerged from work carried out at the caves of
Gerani, Melidoni and S(f)endoni.
The Gerani Cave (7 km West of
Rethymnon) was discovered by accident in 1969 by workmen building the
new National Highway. Archaeological research led by Ioannis
Tzedakis revealed that the site was inhabited during late Neolithic
times. Both human and animal remains were found - indicating that
the site was used for worship and for burial. Neolithic artefacts
uncovered from the site include stone figurines, tools made from stone
and bone, stone pottery, jewellery and spear shafts.
Some of the findings from caves in the region may be seen on display in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon.