Zakros Palace

Location: Zakros   

The Minoan Palace of Zakros in Lassithi Crete: The Minoan Palace of Zakros is located 45 km to the south east of Sitia town and 100 km from Agios Nikolaos, Lassithi. Excavations show that the floor plan of this palace was similar to other Minoan palaces in Crete and that it was first built during the 19th century BC but it was then modified, in about 1600 BC. The site was discovered in 1961 by the Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Platonas but the excavations had started many decades before.

The palace had a central courtyard surrounded by a cluster of buildings with labyrinthine corridors and many rooms. The main entrance to the palace was at its eastern side and a special path connected it to the harbour. The western part of the palace accommodated places like the throne room, the hall of ceremonies, the archive room and the treasury, while the eastern buildings were the royal apartments and cistern swimming pools. There were also store rooms and kitchen in the northern wing of the palace, while the southern side was for the handicraft area.

As the excavations have shown, a small town surrounded the Palace which got prosperous mostly from agriculture. The findings in the area include pieces of cisterns, jewelry, parts of sanctuaries, tools and signs of ancient writing of Linear A style. All these findings are kept in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. The Palace of Zakros was destroyed by fire in 1,450 BC and was never inhabited again.

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