The archaeological site of Monastiraki

The archaeological site of Monastiraki

An important Minoan palatial center of the palaeopalatial period 2000-1700 BC has been excavated outside of Monastiraki, at the site of “Kokkinos Harakas”, which seems to have been closely connected with Phaistos. It is a fairly extensive facility, estimated to have occupied around 300 acres.

The center had large storage warehouses where a large number of pithas for the storage of goods were uncovered, places of worship, large workshops as well as living quarters. Also, a room with 150 seals has been found here which has been interpreted as the first record of seals. A building with cyclopean masonry and a jagged facade stands out at its core, in which the “Minoan Hall” with a central column and a door with stone pilaster bases can be seen. Of particular interest is the integrated rainwater management system of the palatial center, which dates back to the end of the palaeopalatial period (1700 BC) and is currently the earliest and the only sample for the period. Today one can see the pipes, the collection basins, and the circular tank in the area.

The palatial center of Monastiraki was destroyed by an earthquake and the fire that followed at the end of the palaeopalatial period (1700 BC), as happened to the other palatial centers and the great palaces of Crete. However, unlike the latter, Monastiraki is not rebuilt during the upcoming neo-palace era and is permanently abandoned.

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