Saturday 15 June 2024

Archeologists uncover mysterious Minoan structure on the Greek island of Crete.

Archaeologists on the Greek island of Crete carrying out survey work ahead of the construction of a new airport have uncovered a mysterious structure believed to date from the Late Palaeopalatial Period of the ancient Minoan civilization, according to a press release issued by the Greek Ministry of Culture on 11 June 2024.  The excavation work was being carried out on Papoura Hill on the eastern part of the island, where it was planned to build radar station to serve the new airport, though the significance of the discovery means that serious consideration is now being given as to whether this part of the project can go ahead as planned.

The new monumental structure discovered on Papoura Hill, Crete. Greek Ministry of Education.

The structure is believed to have been constructed between about 2000 and 1700 BC, and to have remained in use for several hundred years. It comprises a series of stone rings, which are on average 1.4 m thick, and rise a maximum of 1.7 m above the surroundings. The outer diameter of this structure is about 48 m, with what appears to have been a circular building 15 m in diameter at the centre. This building had entrances on the northwest and southwest parts of its diameter. The area surrounding the structure has produced thousands of Animal bones, suggesting that the site was used for ritual feasting.

The new Minoan structure seen from above. Greek Ministry of Culture.

No similar structure has been found at any Minoan site, despite many decades of intensive study of the culture, emphasising the uniqueness of the site. Possible similarities to structures at the Mycenaean site of Tiryns in the Peloponnese, or the elliptical Middle Minoan house at Hamezion on eastern Crete, although investigations at the site are still at an early stage.

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