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Knossos

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Knossos

About the site


Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Greece, Herakleion, Crete
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch:
Theme:
World Heritage:
Ancient Site

Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilization. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary king Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros. The site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 BC) until Roman times. The Linear B tablets (Mycenaean script) of the 14th century BC mention the city as ko-no-so. Intensive habitation occurred mostly in the Minoan period, when the so-called first (19th-17th centuries BC) and second palaces (16th-14th centuries BC) were built along with luxurious houses, a hospice and various other structures. After its partial destruction in 1450 BC, Knossos was settled by Mycenaeans from the Greek Mainland. The city flourished again during the Hellenistic period (sanctuaries of Glaukos, Demeter, other sanctuaries, chamber tombs, north cemetery, defensive towers) and in 67 BC it was captured by the Roman Quintus Caecilius Metelus Creticus. The "Villa of Dionysos", a private house with splendid mosaics was built in the same period.
Knossos was discovered in 1878 by Minos Kalokairinos. Arthur Evans conducted systematic excavations at the site between 1900 and 1931, bringing to light the palace, a large section of the Minoan city, and the cemeteries. Since then, the site and the surrounding area have been excavated by the British School of Archaeology at Athens and the 23rd EPCA.
The restoration of the palace to its present form was carried out by Arthur Evans. The interventions were mostly imposed by the need to preserve the monuments uncovered.
Some of the most important sites in Knossos are the Palace of Knossos, the Little Palace, the Royal Villa, the House of Frescoes etc.

Hellenic ministry of culture