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3500-year-old Minoan building found

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 10:23 PM
I did not see that this was noted previously within our search engine, so......

Archaeology: Crete, 3500-year-old Minoan building found brings some current details to an ongoing study of Zominthos.

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, OCTOBER 4 - An accidental meeting in 1982 between a well-known Greek archaeologist, Yannis Sakellarakis, and a shepherd from Crete has led to an archaeological discovery of great importance – Zominthos, a settlement from the Minoan era on the plain by the same name, 1.187 metres above the sea. The settlement is at the feet of the highest mountain in Crete, Mount Psiloritis, eight kilometres from the village of Anogia along the road which led from Knossos to Ideon Andron, the cave where Zeus was born according to Greek mythology.

The shepherd, who lived in Anogia, invited the archaeologist who was working at an excavation site nearby to visit the area of Zominthos. The name was enough for an expert like Sakellarakis to suspect that something could be found in that area. Once he travelled to Zominthos the following day, he realized he was standing in front of a settlement from the Minoan era hiding behind the thick vegetation. A year later, in the summer of 1983, Sakellaris with colleague and partner Efi Sapouna Sakellaraki started excavations until 1990. They resumed them in 2004 and they are ongoing.

In the past few years, the remains of an impressive and luxurious building from 3,500 years ago has seen the light. The building has two or three floors and some 80 rooms including workshops and storage rooms over a surface of 1,360 square metres and it is in excellent state. Sapouna-Sakellaraki told To Vima weekly that it is the first Minoan mountain settlement built in the same period as the Palace of Knossos. The archaeologist also said this is the largest summer residence found so far from the Minoan era.

The structure of the building shows that it was not a seasonal house for shepherds but a luxury residence for local leaders. The building was a great administrative centre and was built with large, elongated stones while walls had been painted in different colours as shown by the building's remains. Experts believe the palace was destroyed by a violent earthquake.

Research so far has shown that three time periods emerge from the remains of the Palace of Zominthos – its first construction in 1900 BC, the second around 1600 BC at the height of its prosperity, when it was presumably destroyed by an earthquake and around 1400 BC when another building was built nearby.

Archaeological findings in Zominthos are several including signets with scorpions or birds and ornamental objects in copper and ivory. Two copper statues were also found, "among the most beautiful from the most prosperous Minoan period", said the archaeologist, who believes these prove the area was also a place of worship. Excavations have in fact unearthed among other things a metallic cylinder with snakes which could have been the sceptre of a priest and a copper cup. (ANSAmed)

I did find this to be a very interesting article. Hopefully some of the artifacts will be presented for us to see, and further exploration provides more detail of these peoples and their lifestyle. It will also be interesting to see if they locate any "harbors" near by.



posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 10:32 PM
reply to post by Shane

Absolutely love this kind of stuff... the stuff of legends!

80 rooms and 3 storeys is more advanced than I would have expected for 3500 years ago - I hope we get pictures soon!

Star and flag 2 u Shane for bringing it to my notice.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 10:56 PM
thanx for posting...its a breath of fresh air.....

what i mean is that i like the date - 3,500 yrs ago

watch out,,the gnostics will be here shortly to claim its 35,000 yrs old lol


posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 11:23 PM
Thanks for the info. I found a video with some info on the area. It shows some of the stuff they found.

It is a bit old and the guy is hard to understand but you can see some of what they found at Zominthos.
Tour of Zominthos,Crete

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 11:53 PM

Originally posted by thePharaoh
thanx for posting...its a breath of fresh air.....

what i mean is that i like the date - 3,500 yrs ago

watch out,,the gnostics will be here shortly to claim its 35,000 yrs old lol


35,000 years old, made out of meteorites and put there by Aliens.

You are missing essential parts of your story.

3500 years ago, kinda boggles the brain to think people actually had 'rooms' that you could count, let alone 80 of them. When all around people were carving holes in lime stone mountains and calling it a sweet spot with a proper view.

Or bunging down some mud, straw, a load of cow poop and wondering why there are so many flies, must be the heat.

good find!

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 01:06 AM
reply to post by winofiend

A lot of people still live that way, and just a century or so ago the majority of the people lived that way. In those societies only a very tiny amount of people had that 'advanced' life style, the vast majority lived lives similar to our own centuries poor 3rd world subsistence farmers

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 01:07 AM
reply to post by thePharaoh

I been meaning to ask you Pharaoh could you name a 'Gnostic' who is doing this?

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 01:08 AM
reply to post by Shane

Pics please....

Love to see images if they're available....

Don't make me google it... im lazy

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 01:16 AM

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 03:57 AM
Looking at the Photos Hanslune's link provided, I found the following pages to be offering some fine details on these constructions of the Minoans in general, and the site of Zominthos in specific.

Minoan Palaces, common features

The Minoan Palaces are oriented north to south and are unfortified. This means that they are not surrounded by high walls, although small fortifications have now been discovered in many parts of Crete.

They are building complexes, meaning that they are comprised of many wings of small rooms. The wings extended in the four cardinal directions (north, south, east and west) around a rectangular central court, which functioned as a lung providing the surrounding rooms with air and light.

Apart from the central court there were other paved courts, large enough to accommodate various events. Some even contained a theatral area - tiers of steps used as theatre seats.

The west wing of the palaces was usually considered a sacred space. It is no coincidence that this is where the magazines or storerooms were located, demonstrating the importance of trade to the Minoan economy.

The east wing generally contained the various workshops.

The palaces are multi-storeyed with large staircases, lightwells and water and drainage systems.

Several rooms contain frescoes providing us with information on Minoan life.

The palace entrances were particularly elaborate. They often used polythyra, a system of doors set next to each other, with a lovely aesthetic result. These, combined with the many columns and imposing staircases, formed imposing propylaea leading into the palaces.

Stone was widely used in the construction of the palaces. The stone walls were plastered and decorated with frescoes (wall paintings where the painting is painted directly onto the damp plaster, so that the colour sinks into it indelibly). Other materials used in the construction of the palaces included alabaster and wood.

The rooms of the palace were heated on cold winter days by open wood-burning hearths on the floor. Only one closed fireplace has been found to date, in the throne room at Knossos.

The palace windows were unglazed, as the Minoans lacked the necessary technology to make panes of glass. However, some windows of thin sheets of alabaster have been found. They are so fine as to be semi-transparent, allowing light in but preventing anyone from seeing clearly either in or out.

Finally, it is worth mentioning an impressive feature of the Minoan palaces: their famous, four-thousand-year-old drainage systems. These are stone structures with running water used to flush the lavatories in various rooms. Stone ducts also formed drains which led rainwater from the courts outside the palaces, to eliminate the risk of flooding. Finally, clay ducts which fitted into each other distributed clean drinking water throughout the palace. The water was piped down from often remote springs, along extensive stone aqueducts.

Quite impressive for the period.

As for Zominthos

Finds from the Zominthos excavation

Zominthos is the site of a Neopalatial (c. 1600 BC) building complex with obvious palatial features, of a huge size for its time. This is obviously the administrative centre of the wider area, which was destroyed by a major earthquake along with the surrounding settlement around 1400 BC and never reinhabited.

The central building, with a North-South orientation like that of the palaces, covers an area of approximately 1600 sq. m. and dominated the west hillside, controlling the whole plateau. It has imposing indented façades built of large, dressed blocks of local stone. Its walls, preserved to a height of up to 3m, were faced with clay for insulation and decorated with wall paintings.

This building with many rooms had at least two to three floors, which were destroyed by earthquake (c. 1400 BC), so only the ground floor is visible today.

In the northwest part of the central building was found a workshop with a kiln and more than 150 clay artefacts for everyday use. Many important objects for use and ritual artefacts were also found, made of rare and valuable materials such as rock crystal, which the Minoans believed to have magical properties.

The careful and solid construction of the Zominthos buildings, together with the important excavation finds (traces of wall paintings, delicate painted vessels of precious materials, jewellery and a plethora of other finds), indicate a Minoan polity, i.e. a handicraft, religious and administrative centre of high aesthetic standards, built on a strategic spot for the control of the area, well-organised and fully adapted to the harsh conditions of the Cretan mountains.

Other details are offered, which give us a glimpse of this region.

Looking forward to what further details will be found



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 05:23 PM
Found this site when I clicked on one of the pics that Hanslune posted - it has field notes from the dig at the site right through from 2005 to 2012 and lots of pics - well worth a look!

ETA there is also a video tour there

edit on 9-10-2012 by skjalddis because: (no reason given)

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