Due to the construction of the Aposelemis Dam (2007-2015) in the valley of the Aposelemis river, between the villages of Potamies and Avdou Pediados, a great excavation project was carried out. Major ancient sites, ranging from the Late Neolithic to the Late Roman period, were excavated and are being studied.
The ancient settlements were established on the routes passing through the valley in all directions, forming crucial crossroads in the valley. The main roads were used to connect the Aposelemis valley with the Malia district to the north, the valley of Kastelli to the west, the plain of Lassithi to the south and the area of Gouves to the northeast. The earliest date for the road network in the valley is MM II. A large part of this road was excavated in the area of Souviani and on the west border of the settlement in Agios Leontios. During the MM period, except for the settlements (as in Agios Leontios) and the monumental buildings (as in Kefali), “watchtowers” were placed to control the traffic, mainly close to the crossroads, as at the site of Mesochorio. A dense network of paths was intended to lead the ancient worshippers to the Dictaean Cave and other ritual caves, while a system of rocky paths led to the Iron Age hillsites (such as Karphi).
During Roman times, the road connected sparse villas on the hilltops or along the banks of the Aposelemis river.
In this paper the excavators intend to set all the evidence together and create a map showing the settlements, the routes, the acme and the decline of movements, and lastly the political and ritual significance of the fertile valley among the mountainous surroundings.