Gerani cave

Gerani cave

One of the most beautiful caves in the prefecture of Rethymno and in whole Crete, is the cave of Gerani. It is located 7 km west of Rethymnon, at the location "Kamari" and close to the beach of Gerani.

The cave was accidentally discovered on March 15, 1969 during construction works for the modern highway. The current entrance is not the original, but was opened by the explosives used to open the road. The initial entry was found during the excavation. It had been blocked by rocks before the end of the Late Neolithic period.

For this reason, unlike other caves in Crete, the transition from late Neolithic era to newer periods, like the Minoan, are not represented. The last fact gives us a terminus post quem for its use. Because the cave was sealed, the stratigraphy of the Early Neolithic II, Middle Neolithic and Late Neolithic periods were exceptional.

The area covered by the cave is 1200 m and is divided into six chambers. The five rooms are sequential and are separated by large stalactites and stalagmites. The roof is full of thousands of small snow-white stalactites resembling to frozen, fossilized rain. The sixth chamber is parallel to the first left. There was the natural entrance of the cave.

During the excavation, homes from all three periods were found, surrounded by pots, tools and animal bones. Bones were also found, belonging to over one hundred native deer Candiacervus ropalophorus that lived during the Pleistocene.

At the other end of the cave skeletons of three people were found, who were apparently trapped in the cave by an earthquake and died from suffocation. The cave was used as a residence only sporadically during the year, possibly in conjunction with crop, livestock and perhaps fishing. The cave was also used for the production of stone and bone tools. These tools were identified as coming primarily from hare, rabbit, pig and goat bones.