village of Oaxos, one of the most important cities of ancient
Crete, was situated in the area of the modern village of Axos,
and flourished from Late Minoan and Geometric up until Roman and
consecutive times. Archaeological pick-axes have brought to light
many parts of the ancient city including the temple of Aphrodite,
the prytaneum, tombs and a variety of archaeological relics. The
wall of the acropolis, remains of which can still be seen today
on the summit of the hill, must have been of particular grandeur.
In 1899, the Italian Archaeological School started excavations,
which uncovered a variety of findings such as Minoan potsherds,
stone vessels, inscriptions and many figurines of a naked female
body, which is believed to portray the goddess of Fertility. Furthermore,
remains of buildings dating back to the Classical Period were
found, on top of which new constructions had been built, mainly
Byzantine churches. The city flourished during both the Roman
and the Byzantine Period. During the latter it accommodated the
seat of the Episcopate and boasted a large number of churches.
At the place of Livada, north east of the village, remains of
archaic times have been found, a fact, which indicates the dimensions
of ancient Axos.