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TzermiadoArticles: Tzermiado of Lasithi

Tzermiado is the seat of the municipality of the Lassithi Plateau. Along with Agios Georgios they are the biggest villages in the Plateau and have the biggest population. All the authorities of the municipality are situated in Tzermiado as well as the junior high school and the high school of the area.

The village took its name from the surname of its first settlers, Tzermias (which in plural means the village of Tzermiadon). The name comes from the Venetian word Geremia = Jeremiah. The surname Tzermias survives even today in the village, as well as the surname Jeremiah, which still exists in the city of Heraklion.

Tzermiado had the same fate as the whole province during the period of the revolution. During this “clash of the giants” on May 1867, as Stavrinides said, Tzermiado was destroyed, too.

Voreadis Anthonis came from Tzermiado (1856-1913), a classical scholar, writer, specialized in Jena, principal in Smyrna, Neapolis, Chania, and headmaster of the School of Heraklion, prefect and minister of Lassithi for the period of the Cretan State. He translated the Iliad of Homer, wrote about the Olympics of 1896 and issued the newspaper ‘Heraklion’ in the last decade of last century.

In the village there was found pottery of the Middle Minoan III period. Inside the cave of the district Argoulias seashells were found dating back to the Neolithic – Late Minoan period. In the cave at the location Skafidia, Neolithic burials were discovered. In the location Ponta Agia Anna, on the east side of the hill, Late Minoan seashells were found as well as archaic and Hellenistic, bronze objects and Roman coins.

In Kastelos, on the east of the village, Neolithic tombs and dwellings of the Early Minoan – Middle Minoan II period, and two Middle Minoan buildings were discovered. Evans and Taramelli consider Kastelos a prehistoric citadel. Even more interesting is the Trapeza Cave on the east of the village, which was systematically excavated by Pendlebury in 1936, known today as the Kronion. Evans visited it in 1896 and found a figurine of faience and leaves of gold similar to those at Mochlos in Sitia. Also, he found figurines from the Early Minoan II period made of ivory. The clothes are similar to the late-neolithic figurines in Crete. The cave entrance is low and it is quite deep, 22x6x5 meters. (See P. Faure, Fonctions, p. 68).

At the end of the final Neolithic period, and mainly at the Yponeolithic – Early Minoan one, the cave was inhabited by people, such as the one in Kamares, Miamou, Magkassa, etc. Later, when the opposite Kastelos was inhabited, they buried the dead in the cave until the end of the Early Minoan III period. The findings of this period are votive offerings. Before the end of the Middle Minoan I period, the Cave was conquered and Diktaion Antron took its position as a sanctuary.

In the 1583 census of the Historic Kastrofylakas there are mentioned a number of smaller settlements in the location of the current settlement: Alogospilios, Gaitanou, Skafidia, Kerassa. These names survive today as place names, as well as neighborhoods in the village. It is first mentioned as Zermiades in the report of the Historian Franc. Basilicata in 1630 with 50 houses, and is the largest village in the province (See Monuments Crete. Hist. V, p. 29). The Turkish census of 1671 mentions it as Cermyado with 112 families (see N. Stavrinides, Translations, II, p. 136). In the Egyptian census of 1834 it appears as Farsaros and Dzermiada with 120 families (Pashley, Travels in Crete, II, 322). In the census of 1881 as Tzermiado and is the seat of a municipality having the same name with 894 Christians and 4 Turks (tax collectors). It is written Tzermiadon in 1900 and is the seat of the municipality with 918 inhabitants, in 1928 it is mentioned as the seat of a municipality having the same name with 1163 residents, in 1940 with 1331, in 1951 with 1243, in 1961 with 1246, in 1971 with 1129, in 1981 with 1060, in 1991 with 1206 and in 2001 with 762 residents.
Source: http://www.oropedio.gr

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