The Palace of Knossos was the most important of the palaces on Crete, and the seat of the first king among equals of the island, Minos, whose name has been given to the whole of the 3rd and 2nd c. BC Minoan civilization.
The Palace, like the others in Crete, was built soon after 2000 BC and destroyed in about 1700 BC.
It was rebuilt immediately and again destroyed in 1650 BC; its final destruction occurred in 1450 BC, with only a few signs of “reoccu¬pation” in 1400-1300 BC.
It was then abandoned until its reuse in the Greek and Roman periods.
© Photo credits by Tim Schofield under CC-BY-2.0
It incorporates all the basic elements of a Minoan palace: a central and a west court, theatral area, shrines and magazines orientated north-south. It covers an area of 20,000 m2 and was undoubtedly the economic, political and religious centre of Crete.
The site now open to visitors is a mixture of different phases. The official rooms and the habitation and recreation areas are laid out around the four sides of the Central Court.
The main entrance to the Palace was exactly were it is today, on the west side via a ramp leading into the West Court. There was a wall on the west and south sides encircling the Palace, perhaps to mark its limits, but not for fortification.
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