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The Minoan Capital

The throne of the King of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, Crete.

The weird dream image has come down through the ages: Knossós, the House of the Double Axe, the Labyrinth of Minos. The bull dances, mysteries and archetypes evoke a mythopoeic resonance that few places can equal.

Thanks to Arthur Evans’ reconstructions, rising up against the hill-girded plain, Knossós is now the most visited archeological site in Greece after the Acropolis. Evans’ reconstructions are now themselves historical monuments; the work you’ll see on the site is reconstructions of reconstructions.


The first Neolithic houses on the hill by the river Kairatos date from the 7th millennium BC, or earlier; few Neolithic sites in Europe lie so deeply embedded in the earth. In the 3rd millennium BC, a Minoan Pre-Palace settlement was built over the houses, and c. 1950 BC the first palace on Crete was erected on top. After collapsing in an earthquake of 1700 BC, a new, grander palace, the Labyrinth, was built on its ruins.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Annatsach, Aquick assumed (based on copyright claims)., Cadogan Greek Islands, Carole Raddato, Deror_avi, Gregor Klar, Mmoyaq, Creative Commons License, Moonik, Schuppi, Stefan Bellini, W. Stanley Moss, Zde