The text and photos are from the website of the Municipality of Itanos, http://www.itanos.gr
The Palekastro located 18 km east of Sitia. Administration, under the prefecture of Lassithi, and is the capital of Itanos municipality with a population of 1,300 residents. In the region of Palekastro are archaeological and historical monuments, the most important ancient Itanos.
The archaeological site of ancient Itanos
Great and powerful ancient city of eastern Crete 1km. North of Vai. It was founded in prehistoric times and believed that took its name from the Phoenix or Kouriti Itanos. The first historical evidence of Itanos is in Herodotus.The first historical testimony of Itanos exists in Herodotus. It was, he says,the homeland of fisherman of purple Korovios that when drought fell in Thira led the people of Thira to Libya, where they founded Kyrini (631 BC). Itanos in historical times was autonomous and for long periods dominated the Dragmo, Ampelo and Grammio, islands Dionyssiou, Elasa and Koufonisi (Lefki) and the Temple of Zeus Diktaiou, a major source of revenue.
The famous “Arbitration of Magniton” written in stone slab which is built-in in front of the Catholic of monastery Toplou justifies the Itanos with respect to claims for the Lefki by Ierapytna. The large port Itanos was especially transit trade to the East. Itanos flourished during the Classical period, as shown by the buildings, the temples (Asklepios, Fortune, Athena, etc.) and the silver coins, real art.The inscriptions found in Itanos are also important.
In Hellenistic times particularly Itanos was involved in disputes with neighboring towns Praisos and Ierapytna and with the help of Ptolemy of Egypt managed to cope with them without to be politically subjected.the early Byzantine years, as evidenced by the remains of large and wealthy churches and in accordance with evidence, people lived there and during the Venetian era.
The first that identified Itanos was the archaeologist Halbherr. Surveys have been made also by Bursian and Demarge and French Archaeological School, while investigations continue today by the Institute of Mediterranean Studies.
Many inscriptions have been found, coins, pottery, gold earrings, etc. According to a historic tradition the inhabitants of Itanos were pushed away in the 17th century by the city and founded the Sitano. Today there are a few newer homes in the archaeological site, inhabited in the summer. The visit in ancient Itanos with the great longitudinal antiquities, the acropolis, the Minoan ruins , buildings, temples and the magnificent natural environment is a unique experience.