Archaeology in Herakleion (Crete)

Four of the island’s six known "palaces" (as dubbed by Arthur Evans) can be found in the nomos of Herakleion: Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Galatas. Add to these the so-called "summer palaces" of Aghia Triadha and Archanes, and one can see why this area is known as the richest archaeologically in Greece. It doesn’t stop there either. Gortyn, one of the most incredible sites on the island, Kommos, a wonderful port, is situated right on the south coast, alongside a beach bearing the same name. Evans’ interpretation of these sites as "palaces" is almost certainly a misnomer, though there may well have been some sort of "royal" connection, in Minoan times.


This is a wonderful spirit-of-place site situated in the Mesara plain and second behind Knossos in importance in Minoan times, mythologically home of Rhadamanthys, Minos of Knossos’ brother
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A splendid site, a couple of kilometres to the west of the "palace" of phaistos, Aghia Triadha is known to have had a history dating back to the middle of the 4th milennium BC.
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One of the two ports of Knossos, Middle Minoan (c1900 BC) artifacts have been found here. Mentioned on Linear B tablets as A-Mi-Ni-So, and connected with the cults of Zeus and Eileithya.
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There are three sites here, all of enormous importance. The so-called "Summer Palace" of Archanes, is visible in parts, though the exceptionally pleasant modern town covers most of it.
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Archalochori lies 4KMs south of the palace of Galatas.
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Galatas is the most recently discovered palace, and lies some 30KMs south of Herakleion, near to the village of the same name and not far from the site of Arkalochori.
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A splendid multi-period site, many in the past believed to be Knossos, due to its labyrinth of tunnels.
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Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, for the British School of Archaeology, throughout the early decades of the 20th century, Knossos is amongst the most important archaeological sites in the world.
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On the south coast, Kommos was a port used by Phaistos, Gortyna and Aghia Triadha. Beutifully situated, the excavation is ongoing, and has been expertly supervised by Joseph Shaw, of the American School of Archaeology at Athens.
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Situated in the province of Kastelli Pediados, northeast of the modern village of Lyttos, this is an extremely important post-Minoan site, known for its associations with Sparta during Classical times.
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Some 3 Kms east of the resort of the same name, Malia, with an area of 7,500 sq metres, is Crete’s third largest ‘palace’, and great for wandering around.
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A series of houses built during the 16th C. BC, with further additions and alterations made in the following two centuries, before being destroyed in the 14th century BC, and re-occupied later.
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Other Activities for Herakleion
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