The cemetery of


Fourni Minoan Cemetery
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The archaeological site of Fourni is located on the homonym wooded hill, 17km south of Heraklion and southwest of Kato Archanes. To get there (the site is not open, but you could contact the guard), you could walk along the Minoan path starting from Kato Arhanes and crosses the beautiful artificial grove of Fourni or ascend the stairs from the Apano Archanes ring road. 

In Fourni the archaeologists identified a preminoan cemetery (2800BC-2200BC), which indeed is the largest prehistoric cemetery in the Aegean Sea. However, more graves have been located, with belonging to the period 2200BC-1200BC. Moreover, you can see the quarry from which the materials for the construction of the cemetery were extracted.

In 1964 the archaeologist Ioannis Sakellarakis started excavations, which have so far revealed 26 buildings, mostly graves. The objects found in the graves indicate that ancient Archanes had strong relations with the Aegean, Egypt and the East.

Fourni, due to the major findings, is considered the most important Minoan cemetery on Crete. The most important finding was the intact - unlooted sarcophagus of the "Queen", with jewelry (over 140 pieces) of immense value and other items that she was thought to take to the next world. Remains of the sacrifice of an ox and a horse were also found. Many of the findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and the Archaeological Museum of Archanes.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Tombs
  • Peak Period: Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Walking

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