Archaeological Site of Phaistos

Archaeological Site of Phaistos

The palace of Phaistos is the second largest Minoan palace (ca. 18,000 m2) and occupies the easternmost point of a hill that rises to the west of the most fertile plain of Crete, Messara.

This Minoan palace has been standing there for centuries overlooking the fertile plain near Psiloritis, the Asterousia Mountains. It is about 10 km from its port, Kommos, and approximately 58 km from the palace of Knossos.

It was one of the most important palatial centers of the Minoan civilization, the most important city of southern Crete in terms of wealth and power. The settlement of Phaistos originates in Neolithic times and continues until the foundation and consolidation of the Minoan palaces (1900-1450 BC). The Minoan city was developed around the palace.

Systematic excavations in Phaistos started at the beginning of the 20th century by the Italian Archaeological School of Athens, while the conservation and study of the palace continues to this day.

This great Minoan palace has all the basic features of Minoan architecture (paved courtyards, multiple doors, well-kept facades, skylights, etc.). Archaeologists discovered that it has been destroyed and repaired twice. After a great destruction around 1700 BC, its buildings were demolished and the newer palace was built on top of them, which lasted until about 1450 BC.

One of the most important findings of the excavations, which is kept in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, is the famous Phaistos Disc which probably dates back to the 17th century BC.

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