2. A field trip to the Katharo Plateau in the Lasithi mountains will be organised on Saturday 18th. In addition, on Sunday 19th, we will visit the archaeological site of Knossos.


    1. Visit to Katharo Plateau

    2. Katharo basin

      The Katharo Plateau is situated at a height of 1,100 m above sea level. There are no permanent residents on the plateau and only a few scattered buildings are found. The plateau is marginally cultivated and extensively used by shepherds. During the winter, however, the plateau is uninhabited and mostly unused as it is covered by snow.

    3. The fossil dwarf hippos on Katharo

      The Katharo is the most famous locality of dwarf hippos of Crete. The site, due to its location, is not exactly a place where one would expect to find hippos. The fossils are found all over the plateau, but at a particular site (Digenis Anaspa) remains of a complete herd have been found. Apart of the hippo fossils, fossils of deer and elephants have been found as well, but in low numbers. The age of the deposition has been dated between 850,000 and 375,000 years before present.
      For more details on the fossil insular fauna of Crete visit Google Books: Evolution of Island Mammals.

    4. Traditional Cretan meal on the Katharo

      There are 3 small tavernas on Katharo, which serve mainly to the local farmers and shepherds. After the visit to the fossil sites, we will have lunch in those tavernas. The menu will include: stew of feral goat with potatoes, grilled lamb chops, paximadia (twice-baked bread, softened with water and seasoned with olive oil and herbs), local hard cheese and Cretan olives.

    5. Prassas Cross Section

      To conclude the field trip, we will visit the Prassas cross section. The site is known for its fossils of Pliocene fishes.

    6. Field trip details

      Begins: 8 a.m. on Saturday, 18th of June.
      Ends: before 8 p.m. on Saturday, 18th of June.
      Cost: 55 euro.
      Cost Includes: Lunch provided on Katharo and Guide Book.
      Minimum Number of Participants: 10.

      John de Vos
      NCB Naturalis
      Leiden, the Netherlands

      Charalambos Fasoulas
      Natural History Museum of Crete
      Heraklion, Greece


    This site has been designed by Gregory and George Lyras