Mysterious 4,000-year-old 'palace' with maze-like walls found on Greek island of Crete

By Jurassic JennJun 15, 2024 13:12 PMScience
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Mysterious 4,000-year-old 'palace' with maze-like walls found on Greek island of Crete
Mysterious 4,000-year-old 'palace' with maze-like walls found on Greek island of Crete. Source: www.independent.co.uk

A stunning archaeological find on the island of Crete has revealed a 4,000-year-old structure believed to have been used for ancient Minoan rituals. Covered in legend and unique in its design, this circular building has recently captured the attention of archaeologists.

Located atop a hill near Kastelli, approximately 32 miles southeast of Crete's capital, Heraklion, the building is a remarkable composition of eight stacked stone rings complemented by interconnected small walls, forming an intricate maze-like structure. Reminiscent of the legendary maze associated with King Minos of Crete, these intersecting walls add to the enigmatic aura surrounding the discovery.

Measuring an impressive 157 feet (48 meters) in diameter, the building's purpose has left experts intrigued. At its core lies a circular structure measuring 49 feet (15 meters) in diameter while the surrounding walls radiate outwards, creating distinct sections. Preliminary analysis of ceramic artifacts discovered during the excavation suggests a probable dating of 2000 to 1700 B.C., amid the flourishing period of the Minoan civilization.

The Minoans, renowned for their elaborate pottery, figurines, jewelry, and frescoes, established one of Europe's earliest complex cultures on the island of Crete. Encountering fragments of their sophisticated creations has painted a vivid picture of their society, although their written language has yet to be fully deciphered.

The ancient palace of Knossos stands as the most recognizable testament to Minoan architecture. However, these grand palatial structures primarily served as administrative hubs rather than royal residences, a fact often overlooked. Similarly, the recently unearthed circular building near Kastelli was unlikely to have served as a dwelling. Analysis of the findings suggests that the site was instead used intermittently for communal rituals, comprising feasts, offerings, and gatherings. Animal bones found within the building further support this theory.

Unlike the Kastelli structure, other monumental Minoan buildings, such as the palaces of Knossos, followed a square or rectangular layout, while circular shapes were typically associated with Minoan tombs. Thus, this intriguing circular structure presents a departure from the traditional architectural styles seen in Minoan civilization.

Ongoing research in partnership with the Greek Ministry of the Interior and the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority aims to shed more light on the mysterious purpose and architectural features of this remarkable discovery. Additionally, steps will be taken to preserve the building for future examinations and continue uncovering the secrets it holds.

As excavation efforts progress, more answers are expected to emerge regarding the shape, dimensions, and ultimate significance of this remarkable 4,000-year-old 'palace' adorning the Greek island of Crete. The unveiling of this extraordinary structure reinforces our fascination with the enigmatic Minoan civilization that once thrived on this ancient land.

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