At a distance of approximately 13km from Sitia and 2km from Nea Praisos, you will find the remains of the Ancient Praisos town.
The region, located between the two arms, Kalamauki and Panteli, of the current river Stomios (ancient Didymos), was occupied by the ancient big city of the Eteocretans, Praisos, which was one of the most important regions of Eastern Crete.
It was built on three hills and was surrounded by a strong fortification wall, whose remains are saved in some parts and in particular on the northeast of the big hill, where the chair of the city's authorities was located. The third hill with the altar-shrine and the holy cave in the position Skales was located outside the fortification.
After the conquest of Crete from the Dorians in the 12th century B.C. the Eteocretans, who were the first inhabitants of Crete and the "native Cretans", withdrew towards the east of the island, where they preserved their genuine Minoan character, their language, religion and the worship of Diktaios Zeus.
Praisos was located at the centre of the Sitia peninsula and had harbours in the Northern sea, the Cretan sea, in Etea (Sitia), in the Libyan sea, in Styles, as it appears in the resolution of Praisians, during the Macedonian years, concerning fishery and the trade of the red shells and the navy.
The Ierapytnians, who were of Dorian origin, after many years of war finally defeated the Eteocretans of Praisos and destroyed their city.
The region has probably been inhabited since the Neolithic period. In the cave located in Skales, by the river banks of Kalamauki and Panteli, Neolithic and caramaic ceramics were found.
In 1884, Federico Halbherr discovered in Praisos the first Eteocretan inscription and found a large number of clay figurines. The excavations of the British Archeological School revealed that in Praisos was a city of the historical Hellenistic times.
The more ancient Eteocretan city of Praisos, recorded by the ancient Greek historian Stravon, was far from the remains preserved today and after its destruction, the last descendants of the Eteocretans, along with the Dorians, built the new city in the 12th century BC. It is the remains of this new city that are still preserved today. The region of the "state" of Praisos occupied the whole peninsula of Sitia -apart from Itanos- which was then called the Eteocretan peninsula, the peninsula of Praision.
The regime of the Hellenic-Geometric Praisos was democratic. As an autonomous city, Praisos had its own coins. In most of these coins we find representations of Hercules, Zeus, Apollo, Demeter and the word "PRAISION".
At the hill of Praisos a tomb was excavated in 1935, where a Praisian athlete was buried along with his awards, the most characteristic of which were two painted Athenean amphoras dating back to 560 - 500 BC. It seems that the athlete participated and won the pan-Athenean games.
In Praisos there are traces of all past eras. The Neolithic, the Mycenaean, the Geometric, the Hellenistic, and the Venetian eras have left their traces here. Even the Ottomans have left two fountains in Vavelous.
Edited by: Yallou