December 16, 2016: Roman Burial Chambers, Matala Beach, Crete.

 

Matala is a village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Matala is part of the community of Pitsidia within the municipal unit of Festos, Heraklion .

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The artificial caves in the cliff of Matala Bay were created in the Neolithic Age. Matala was the port of Phaistos during the Minoan period.  In 220 BC, Matala was occupied by the Gortynians, and during the Roman period, Matala became the port of Gortys.  In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the caves were used as tombs. One of the caves is called "Brutospeliana" because according to the legend it was frequented by the Roman general Brutus.

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Matala was historically a fishing village.  In the 1960s, the caves were occupied by hippies who were later driven out by the church and the military junta. Now Matala is a small village living mainly from tourism.

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