The lesser-known Minoan settlement of Pirgos can be found just east of the coastal village of Myrtos, near Ierapetra, situated on a low hill overlooking the eastern bank of the river Krygios. With views of both the sea to the south and the forested Dikti range to the north, this location was chosen by the Minoans after they abandoned the nearby settlement of Fournou Kefali. Pirgos thrived from 2200 BC until around 1450 BC.
Archaeologist Gerald Catogan first excavated the site in 1969-70, with the British School of Archaeology continuing his work in 1981-82. Numerous building ruins were discovered, including a luxurious building at the top of the hill, believed to be the leader’s residence. The pottery found at Pirgos was quite elegant, showcasing sophisticated and impressive art.
A short trail leads visitors through the various buildings to the top of the hill, which is the most interesting point of the site. Here, floors, foundations, walls, and various stairs made from colorful stones ranging from white to purple create a visually striking puzzle.
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