Archaeological Sites

History

The strategic position of Crete at the crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean civilizations was the main reason for the constant claim of the island by various occupiers. Traces of each occupier are scattered everywhere on the island and are deeply engraved in the customs of the Cretans.

Show Map

Prehistoric Times
The first man in Crete was possibly Homo erectus, that arrived in Crete with boat 130.000-700.000 years ago. This theory is evidenced by the several tools and axes that have been identified by scientists in the area of Plakias and Samaria, reinforcing a theory for this very early type of ability to move with boats. Before this theory was evidenced by the ideltified tools, scientists dated the arrival of Crete in the Neolithic Era. The most important finding of this era is...
Read more...

The Minoan Era (3000 BC - 1200 BC)
Crete is the birthplace of the first European civilization, the Minoan, which flourished between 3000 BC and 1200 BC mainly in Central and Eastern Crete. Even today, the majestic palaces of Knossos, Phaestus, Malia, Zakros, Tylissos, Arhanes, Monastiraki, Galatas, Kydonia and the luxurious mansions at Agia Triada, Zominthos, Amnisos, Makrigialos, Vathipetro and Nerokouros reflect the splendor of the Minoan civilization through architectural, pottery, jewelry and painting...
Read more...

The Dark Age (1200 BC- 800 BC)
The imposing Minoan palaces and the rest of the constructions developed between 2000 BC and 1400 BC. Around 1700 BC, the Minoan cities were levelled by an unverified factor, probably the eruption of Santorini volcano. The palaces were rebuilt, but the destruction of the large Minoan centers by the Mycenaeans around 1400 BC was the starting point for the decline. The Minoan superpower was irreparably shaken, could not recover and eventually faded in the following...
Read more...

Classical and Greco-Roman Era (800 BC- 395 AD)
During the Dark Age, living in such remote and inhospitable areas was so arduous, that a few centuries later those settlements declined and disappeared. During the same period, the Achaeans and Dorians broke the ground for the flowering of Classical Hellenism. They introduced new customs, such as the use of iron, cremation and new clothing habits. The "island of a hundred cities", as recorded by Homer, gradually came to the fore. Knossos became the administrative center...
Read more...

Ancient Tombs
The Cretan land is full of ancient graves, highlighting the great care of the Cretans for the dead. In the Bronze Age (6000 BC-3500 BC) the simple deposition of dead inside caves was abandoned and use of cemeteries was widespread. During the Minoan era, in some areas of eastern Crete, including Gournia, Mochlos and Palekastro, the tombs were rectangular and could be used again for the burial of many bodies. At Chrysolakos by Malia, Palekastro, Arhanes and Platanos,...
Read more...

Byzantine, Arab and Venetian Eras (395 BC - 1669 BC)
The prosperity of Christian Crete under the protection of the Byzantine Empire was fiercely interrupted by the Arabs in 824 AD. The new occupiers of the island converted Candia, today’s Heraklion, to a base for their pirate raids in the Mediterranean Sea. After several failed attempts, the Byzantines eventually managed to liberate Crete in 961 AD under the orders of Nicephorus Phocas, giving a new impetus to the Byzantine tradition of Crete. After the Occupation of...
Read more...

Ottoman Era (1669 - 1898)
In the 17th century, after the Ottomans stabilized the possession of Constantinople, they targeted new conquests. Crete soon came to the center of their expansionist policies, because of its strategic position in the Mediterranean. After fierce battles, the Ottomans managed to occupy the cities of Chania in 1645 and Rethymnon in 1646. However, the last stronghold, the Grand Castle of Candia, remained under the Venetian rule until 1669, when it fell after 21 years of siege. The Fall...
Read more...

Modern history (1898 – Today)
Since 1896, after the massacres of Arkadi, Crete has become autonomous under the protection of the Ottoman Empire and is officially named the Cretan State. In 1898, after the slaughters of the Ottomans against the Christians in Heraklion, all muslims are forced to leave Crete and the island returns to pure Christian population after 2.5 centuries of Ottoman Rule.  On December 1st, 1913, Crete officially united with Greece, fulfilling the century-long dream of Cretans. The political...
Read more...

Also read:

Download Free Premium Joomla Templates • FREE High-quality Joomla! Designs BIGtheme.net