Ancient Praisos was besieged and was completely destroyed, around 145 BC by the city of Ierapytna. In our area where are the ruins of ancient Praisos, are legends for a cave, where Praisians were storing their treasure or hid it before the invasion of Ierapytnians. Especially are referred to a cave that is believed to be in Kypia’s area, an archaeological site above the village Kalamafki and close to hill of Prophet Elias, where P.F like others placed the Dicrean Zeus sanctuary which according to Strabo was at Praisos.
Paul Faure knew the relevant legends of our villages.
Some people of our region who accompanied Paul Faure during his exploration in many caves confirm that they heard him or heard from his attendants, to say :
"That among ancient Praisos and the village Katsidoni was a cave which brought on the top of it’s entrance a carved A. There Praisians had time to hide their treasures before the invasion and the besiege of the city by Ierapytnians. This cave has not been found so far and it’s entrance more likely is hidden because of sedimentation or even because of a bush that closes it’s entrance "
Those who reported it, did not knew, from where P.F. had drawn this information, and also they had not heard him giving some interpretation of what Alpha symbolized. They argue however that others, as practical archaeologist Manolis Fygetakis who accompanied P.F. and the archaeologists N. Platon and Davaras and had heard many discussions of archaeologists, was saying the same.
I do not know what Faure was saying or meant, and if his words were transmitted with precision, so I mention the above quote with great caution.
However, he was interested in the legends of our villages and tried to find if there were behind them echoes of ancient stories. Example the legend for the cave "Gidari’s pit". He believed that behind this legend maybe was hidden the echo of Diktean Cave that according to his thoughts was disappeared probably by a landslide. It is not unusual that, the legend of our villages for the cave at Kypia, and some other legends too, about caves in our area with hidden treasures that appear and disappear, made him believe that indeed there was a cache of Praisos’ treasure. If he really asserted that, must have had something else in mind which we do not know.
The letter A is believed to has it’s origin from the first symbol of the Phoenician alphabet which was in the shape of a bull's head and was called alef, ie bull, though some scientists do not exclude this Phoenician symbol to be a type of an older Greek script.
If a letter A was engraved at the entrance of the cave, probably it symbolized the bull-Zeus who was the main deity worshiped at Praisos. Zeus transformed himself into a bull and brought to Crete from Phoenicia, Europe. The symbol could have been engraved as a warning to all disrespectful people meaning that if someone was violating this area that was guarded by the watchful eye of the patron of Praisians and father of the gods, he had to face his wrath.
Letter A with a double horizontal line, in linear B a Greek language which was used by the Minoans after the descent of the Mycenaeans, is pronounced E.
The Praisians as Eteocretans ie descendants of the Minoans, had retained the language of their ancestors as evidenced by Eteocretan inscriptions found in the city, although are written in Greek alphabet. Was maybe the engraved above the entrance of the crypt letter A, something similar to E in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where God was worship as Sun and as a symbol was associated with the solar ritual, the initiation of man to light, and with the eternal relationship of God with light, the perfection of man ?
Praisians as we know from the agreement with Stalites, were visiting the sanctuary of Delphi. Among the gods that Kosmos (authorities ) of Praisos invoked in vows during fourth century B.C was Pythios Apollo. Daphnephoros Apollo is represented on coins of the city too .
Was the cave where Praisians maybe were hiding from old times their treasures, a cave of initiation too in a mystical knowledge? Was a symbol of light? Gold, luster, light?
Perhaps among the hidden knowledge the priesthood of Praisos had, was the retention of writing of the language of their Eteocretan ancestors (Linear B) for priestly use only, although we have no such evidence, and the symbol A of the entrance, maybe was taken from this language and was pronounced as E.
Just i gave some first thoughts on an issue that I think should concern us in the future.