At the site known as Gournes, near the village of Apodoulou and situated at the western base of Psiloritis, archaeologists have discovered remains of a significant early Minoan center (1950-1700 B.C.). Overlooking the Amari valley, the site also offers control over the primary route to the Messara plain.
Three building complexes have been unearthed through excavations, along with tholos (domed) tombs from the Postpalatial period (1380-1200 B.C.) found in the nearby area. The site was first excavated by Spiros Marinatos in the 1930s, followed by the German Archaeological Institute led by E. Kirsten during World War II. Since 1985, the Greek Ministry of Culture has been conducting systematic excavations in partnership with the University of Naples.
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