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by Archaeology Newsroom

Two aromatic herbs of ancient Crete

From the Minoan era, in the middle of the second millennium BC, down to our day, Crete has been famous for the variety and wealth of its flora and particularly for its aromatic herbs. The most celebrated among them, known especially for their healing properties, are the ladanos or labdanum, of the Cistus Creticus Boissien genus, called po-ni-ki-jo by the Mycenaeans, also dictamos, a marjoram, known in Botany as Origanum Dictamnus. This plant, being an attribute of the goddesses Dictyna and Artemis Vritomartys and of the god Eros, was also called «theangelos” (= gods’ messenger) after the role Eros usually plays among the other deities.