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Minoan village of Vasiliki

Place description

The Minoan settlement of Vasiliki can be found in the region of the village Vasiliki, within the province of Ierapetra, situated on hill Kasteli. It is located opposite the exit of the gorge of Ha and relatively close to the Minoan settlement of Gournia, occupying an elevated point that controlled the isthmus of Ierapetra. The settlement has been in existence since 2600 BC and flourished due to its strategic position and the fertile valley. The main buildings were destroyed by fire in 2300 BC and later rebuilt on the hilltop. The Minoans appear to have had an impressive knowledge of urban planning since that era.

The site was initially excavated in 1900 by Americans Haryet Boyd and Richard B. Seager, but the most systematic excavations were conducted by Antonios Zois after 1970. The excavations have uncovered a Minoan mansion (on the hill) with storage rooms and a courtyard.

Within the ancient settlement of Vasiliki, remarkable vessels were discovered, primarily pots and teapots, used for transporting liquids with elongated narrow spouts (mouths). These vessels are adorned with characteristic spots that are created with controlled temperature in the ceramic kiln. The style of these vessels found in Vassiliki is referred to as “Vassiliki ware“, and it is believed that Vassiliki was the center of production for this type of vessel, which mainly date from 2300 BC to 1900 BC.

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