V-Collections - Ancient Hellenic Treasures
Phaistos was one of the most important centres of Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful city in southern Crete. It was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the foundation and development of the Minoan palaces in the 15th century B.C.
The Minoan city covered a considerable area around the palatial centre. After the destruction of the palace in the 15th century, the city continued to be inhabited in the Mycenaean and Geometric periods, that is, until the 8th century B.C.
Although many inscriptions were found by archaeologists, they are all in Linear A code which is still undeciphered, and all we know about the site, even its name, are based on the ancient writers and the findings uncovered at Knossos.
According to mythology, Phaistos was the seat of king Radamanthis, brother of king Minos. It was also the city that gave birth to the great wise man and soothsayer Epimenidis, one of the seven wise men of the ancient world.
Excavations by archaeologists have unearthed ruins of the Neolithic times (3.000 B.C.).
During the Minoan times, Phaistos was a very important city-state. The city participated to the Trojan war and later became one of the most important cities-states of the Dorian period.
Phaistos continued to flourish during Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic times.
The Palaces (old and new) are built of ashlar blocks and spread on different terraces. To the central, peristyle court are opened the royal quarters, the storerooms, a lustral basin, and workshops. The monumental propylon and the large staircases facilitate access to the many terraces.
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