Remains of an extensive centre of the early Minoan period (1950-1700 B.C.) have been uncovered at the site called Gournes, near the village of Apodoulou, at the west foot of Psiloritis. The site dominates the Amari valley and controls the main route to the Messara plain.
Excavations have brought to light three building complexes, while tholos (domed) tombs of the Postpalatial period (1380-1200 B.C.) have also been located in the adjacent area. The site was first excavated by Spiros Marinatos in the decade of 1930. During World War II it was excavated by the German Archaeological Institute, under the direction of E. Kirsten. Since 1985, systematic excavations have been carried out by the Greek Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the University of Naples.