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Galatas Minoan Palace

Place description

The Minoan Palace of Galatas can be found in the administrative region of the village Galatas, in the province of Pediada, approximately 30km south of Heraklion and near Arkalochori. This palace was constructed on a raised hill known as Kefala, offering views of the Messara plane to the south and the sacred cave of Arkalochori at Profitis Ilias hill. Kefala is home to two caves, likely used for the Minoans’ religious purposes: the caves of Poulina and Atzoanos.

Encompassing an area of 0.4 hectares, the palace’s surrounding town was excavated between 1992 and 1997 by archaeologist Georgios Rethymiotakis and his team. The palace’s construction featured some Mycenaean elements (such as a central yard encircled by pillars), indicating connections with other Mycenaean centers. Numerous tools, primarily made of stone and used for food preparation, were also discovered.

Constructed around 1700 BC, the palace reached its peak in 1650 BC. However, by 1500 BC, it began to decline until it was ultimately abandoned. Excavations have not yet been completed, and the archaeological site is not open for visits.

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