The archaeological site of Ancient Tylisos is located 16km west of Heraklion, in a strategic location. Tylissos was a Minoan city that was flourished in 1650-1450 mainly because it was amid the road that led from Knossos to the west Minoan centers and Ida Mount. In 1450 it was destroyed, but was rebuilt and prospered until 1200.
Tylisos has three small palaces (mansions) that have been named Building A, B and C. Their architecture is one of the most impressive in Minoan Crete, matching that of other major palaces. The most well-preserved mansion is Building A that had two floors with a central courtyard, apartments and warehouses with jars. The Mansion B contained very old ruins, while the mansion C housed a central chamber and system for water supply and sanitation.
The excavations at Tylisos began in 1912 by Joseph Hatzidakis, after the accidental discovery of three large bronze cauldrons - boilers. Later, in 1940, Nikolaos Platon carried out extended restoration and maintenance works.
Due to the discovery of the boilers and one impressive bronze figurine of outmost art, Tylisos is believed that was a great center of bronze. Moreover, in Tylisos the archaeologists found several plaques and jars inscribed with Linear A, which is the “language of the palaces”, as it has been detected only in palaces and luxurious Minoan mansions. Other impressive items that were found are the miniature paintings, which are compared in fine art only with those of Knossos. Moreover, many tombs have been found in the area (many of them already plundered) dating back in 1400-1200BC with painted clay sarcophagi, jewelry, stamps, etc.