Sarakino Fountain Verified

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SarakinoOn the coastal road of the village Chersonissos Port, there is the "Sarakino" fountain with the impressive mosaic decoration depicting fishing scenes.

The monument is generally dated by most antiquarians in the Roman period. Today, only one of the four decorated sides of Sarakino is well preserved and includes a mosaic with a sea scene depicting fish, aquatic birds and a fishing boat with a paddler and a man fishing, which pulls a large octopus at the stern. At the bottom of the display a man with a blue cap, catches an eel.

In 1954, the monument was fully restored and maintained, and in 1956 a small scale excavation was carried out in the surrounding area, revealing an extensive Roman building with many rooms, at the courtyard of which was probably the fountain. (Alexiou 1956, p. 420).

Thomas Spratt, an English Navy officer and researcher, is one of the first to talk about Sarakino, the peculiar pyramid-shaped mosaic fountain at Chersonissos Port, which, as he stated, "has a frustum shape so as to form four triangular sides with mosaics surfaces, each representing various forms, mainly aquatic birds and fish, as well as fishing scenes with naked fishermen (...) one of whom has caught a large cuttlefish or squid with eight tentacles. The forms are roughly captured without adhering to the principles of perspective, although the outlines of the people are sophisticated and with good taste "(Spratt 1865, p. 107).

Italian archaeologist Lucio Mariani, in a research conducted in 1895, states about Sarakino that "it is a pyramid source with mosaics". He also says that it was "a square tank at the height of the ground around which there is a curb built with lime and clinkers. Inside it, at a distance of 1.20m, there is a ruined pyramid, with a square base of 4.72 m. Its original height has not been preserved as it is ruined at the top. The pyramid is decorated on its four sides with exquisite mosaics and colors depicting scenes of people and marine beings. The four sharp ridges have small scales to bounce the water, according to the system of many Roman fountains. From its center, as seen from the existing crater, the water sprouted from a jet and fell on the sloping sides and pyramid scales". Mariani states that the fountain dates back to the 2nd century, based on "the style and the theme of the mosaics" (Mariani 1895, p. 240).