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Phaistos

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Crete, Greece.

  • Photo of Phaistos
  • Photo of Phaistos
Photo of Phaistos
Photo by flickr user Kernel Sanders
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One of Crete’s great and grand Minoan cities destroyed by an earthquake in the Bronze Age, Phaistos’s palace was rebuilt multiple times after earthquakes until the whole city was eventually shaken beyond repair. Apart from the earthquake risk it was otherwise built in a good position on a small hill surrounded by fertile grounds then mountains, commanding good views.

Excavations took place there in the 1880’s and on into the second half of the 20th Century including several important examples of Linear A text, as yet undeciphered, as well as Minoan buildings from several different periods. The main palace has a courtyard with two main staircases set in a small ampitheatre. A seemingly simple design is more complex on further examination, due to the rebuilds, which is why excavation work continued over such a long period. Current theory suggests that in later rebuilds the original design, which bears some resemblance to the land surrounding it, was maintained as much as possible.

Now set up as an attraction for visitors, this is one of the better maintained of Crete's sites, but bordering on the commercial in the last few years, but not the extent of spoiling it.

Written by  Howard Amble.

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