Huge Minoan Structure Discovered on Crete

Minoan Structure Crete
The monumental architectural complex has a circular shape. Credit: Ministry of Culture

A Minoan structure, unique to Minoan archeology, has been identified in excavations near the town of Kastelli on Crete, the Greek Ministry of Culture announced on Tuesday.

The monumental architectural complex has a circular shape, approximately 48 meters in diameter. It covers an area of ​​approximately 1,800 square meters.

This is the first monument of this type that has been identified and excavated in Crete. Archaeologists say that it was perhaps a type of community building, a landmark for the wider area.

The rings form in the center a circular building with a diameter of 15 meters, the interior of which (diameter 9 meters.) is divided into 4 quadrants.

Zone A is surrounded by a second main zone, in which radial walls intersect vertically the rings of the lower levels forming smaller spaces.

As the excavation progresses, an almost labyrinthine structure is revealed, as the spaces communicate with each other through narrow openings, the Ministry of Culture said.

Minoan Structure Crete
An aerial view of the circular shaped complex. Credit: Ministry of Culture

Minoan structure on Crete was used between 2000 and 1700 BC

The main period of use seems to have been between 2000 and 1700 BC, while the presence of pottery indicates that the use of the monument continued in later times.

The find is located at the highest point of the top of Papoura hill, almost 500 meters tall. It was discovered during work for the installation of radars for the new airport which is being built on Crete.

To evaluate the findings and continue with the airport construction project, a wide meeting was held on-site led by the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, and the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Nikos Tahiaos.

Minoan Structure Crete
This is a unique find of great interest, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said. Credit: Ministry of Culture

A unique find of great interest

Mendoni made it clear that the excavation research of the find must continue so that the archaeologists can interpret it, and of course save it, given its uniqueness. An alternative location for the radars for the new airport is being sought.

“This is a unique find of great interest. There are solutions so that the archaeological research of the monument is completed and it is absolutely protected,” she said.

Archaeologists say that the monument and the structure of the zones and spaces does not have an exact parallel with other buildings of the same period on Crete.

The Minoan civilization was the Bronze Age civilization of Crete that flourished from about 3000 BC to about 1100 BC. The sea was the basis of their economy and power.

Their sophisticated culture, based at Knossos, was named for the legendary King Minos. It represented the first high civilization in the Aegean area.

The Minoans exerted great influence on the Mycenaean culture of the Greek islands and mainland. Minoan culture reached its peak c. 1600 BC and was noted for its cities and palaces, extended trade contacts, and use of writing.

Related: Minoan Ancient Palaces of Crete in Bid for UNESCO Approval

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