Heraklion archeological sites

Colorfull remainings of an old building or temple at the ancient site of Knossos at Crete – witness of an old culture.

Knossos: One of the most important archaeological sites in Heraklion. It is located 5 km north east of Heraklio town. It was inhabited continiously from 6000 BC to 824 AD. It was an important settlement the most extensive and wealthy in the island since the early Neolithic period (7 millenium BC). After the middle Neolithic period some houses had yards, pottery as well as stone and bone tools. During the 5th millennium the first vases appeared. The first palace was built on the spot in 1950 BC. In the 17th century AD the settlement was destroyed and rebuilt, at that period many multistory buildings were built as well as warehouses and labs and around these many residencies of officials was built. The walls of the palace had embossed frescoes. The settlement declined gradually since the eruption of Thira’s volcano in 1450 AD. In 67 BC it became a roman providence. In 365 AD a powerful earthquake hit the city but its final abandonment completed during Venetian times in the 9th century AD.

Phaistos: In 1900 AD extensive excavations begun and in 1909 the palace was fully uncovered. In 1950 AD large parts of the first palace as well as colorful vases of Camaraican rhythm were found. The town of Phaistos was extended towards the south. In the North east of the town many tomb offerings were found. The town was inhabited continuously since the Neolithic period. The first palace was built around 2000 BC. It had three constructing phases. After 1700 BC the magnificent palaces of the New Anaktoric period were created. In the upper stories there were rooms for rituals. There was a brilliant entrance from the main yard that led to the royal apartments, even alabaster had been used among the building materials, there were also warehouses and a furnace for bronze. IN 1450 BC the life of the palaces was terminated and they were inhabited again during the 9th to 7th century. In 150 BC the settlement was defeated by the neighboring Gortynia and destroyed.

Malia: It is located 3 km outside the today’s Malia. In there lie the ruins of a Minoan palace and settlement that was named today after the name of the today’s settlement since it’s former name is not saved. In the settlement the grandeur of the palaces of Knossos and Phaistos is absent as well as the colorful Camaraican rhythm. The first palace was built after 2000 BC. It’s history is parallel to the history of the other two cities. In Malia metal work, jewelry and seal making were all developed.

Amnissos: It was used as port for the Minoan Knossos. In Amnissos the mansion of the frescoes was discovered which was probably built around 1600 BC and destroyed around 1500 BC probably by the enormous waves created by the eruption of Thira’s Volcano.

Archanes: it is located 15 km south east of Chania. It is one of the most ancient settlements and the excavations are been continued until today. Important findings from Archanes are being displayed in the Archeological museum of Arcanes.

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