Geropotamos (river)

The Geropotamos (Greek: Γεροπόταμος or Ιερός Ποταμός) is a watercourse in southern Crete in Greece. Its drainage area is 553 km2 (214 sq mi).[1] It rises on the north slope of the Asterousia Mountains, near the village Sternes. It flows west through the Messara Plain and discharges into the Libyan Sea near Tympaki. This river was a source of water supply for the ancient Minoan settlement of Phaistos.[2] The Ieropotamos was heavily drawn upon by the Minoans because of the intensity of farming, even in the Bronze Age at Phaistos.[3] Scientists have determined that the groundwater basin may have been overdrafted some time in the Bronze Age, being a contributing factor to the mysterious depopulation of Phaistos.[4]

Native nameΓεροπόταμος
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ location
Libyan Sea
 ⁃ coordinates
35°03′30″N 24°45′08″E / 35.05833°N 24.75222°E / 35.05833; 24.75222Coordinates: 35°03′30″N 24°45′08″E / 35.05833°N 24.75222°E / 35.05833; 24.75222
Basin size553 km2 (214 sq mi)


  1. ^ Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, p. 94
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Phaistos Fieldnotes, The Modern Antiquarian (2007)
  3. ^ L.W.Mays et al., A brief history of urban water supply in antiquity[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Yuri Gorokhovich, Abandonment of Minoan palaces on Crete in relation to the earthquake induced changes in groundwater supply, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 32, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 217-222