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Knossos, Minoan Palace

The distinctive material culture on Crete is named Minoan, after its mythical King, Minos.  Considerable reconstructions were made by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans after his excavations in early 20th century, which give an idea of the opulence of Minoan buildings.

The first settlers arrived at Knossos around 7000 BCE, establishing their Homes. What would later become known as the Minoan Palace.  Though the term palace is misleading as in addition to being a residence archaeology suggests it had also an economic, religious, creative and administrative focus.  Extensive archives of clay tablets were found.

The architecture of the palace seems to have been designed from the central court outward, with the central court serving as a focus for the ceremonial activities of the palace.  Several entrances exist paved with large blocks of locally quarried gypsum.

The palace supported specialist artisans who produced wall paintings.

The era ended violently in the middle of the second millennium BCE when any sites on Crete, including the palace at Knossos, were destroyed by fire.

After excavations at Knossos, Evans wanted visitors to appreciate the magnificence of Minoan architecture and art, accordingly he commissioned reconstructions to be made for the remains and restoration of the wall paintings which depicted men and women in various activities including bull leaping and cult ceremonies.