The Minoan Times


Minoan Palace in Archanes
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The palace of Archanes is located in the suburb Tourkogitonia of Epano Archanes town. It came to light only in 1964 by the famous Cretan archaeologist Giannis Sakellarakis because, by then, only a few traces of the palace had been found. Some parts of the palace are still below the houses of modern Arhanes. The palace was equally rich and powerful with the palace of Knossos and seems to have had strong relations of dependence. The purpose of the palace and the Minoan town of Archanes, which occupied as much land as the modern town, was to control the rich and fertile mainland and to coordinate the many religious centers of the region (Anemospilia sanctuary, Giouchtas mount, necropolis in Fourni).

The palace complex followed a similar history to that of the other palaces of Minoan Crete;  it was built in 1900BC, in 1700BC got damaged by an earthquake, was rebuilt but re-destroyed in 1600BC, got rebuilt and finally got destroyed in 1450BC. After the disaster of 1450BC, the city flourished again under Mycenaean rule till 1200BC.

In Tourkogitonia, to date, the main core of the palace has been identified, as well as the theater, the Archive (where plaques with inscriptions with the Minoan script Linear A), sanctuaries, an imposing entrance, compartments, cisterns, hydraulic system, etc. The palace had probably two floors and the walls were decorated with frescoes. Inside the palace, hundreds of objects and ritual vessels were found, such as figurines, portable altars, decorated jars, vases and cups, seals made of steatite, human heads made of ivory and … flower pots! Most of the findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Archanes and the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Ancient City, Palace
  • Peak Period: Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Bus services

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