Photographer's Note

Phaistos (or Festos) is the second most important archaelogic site in Crete, after Knossos. It is located at the south of Iraklion (or Heraklion) prefecture, and close to it there is another very important archaeological site, that of Gortyna. If you ever get there, you can also visit the famous Matala beach, that once upon a time was the "capital" of hippies.

Here you see small part of the palace of Phaestos, the royal entrance. Phaistos is famous for the "Phaistos disk", one of the great mysteries of archaeology.

"Phaistos (Greek: Φαιστός), also transliterated as Phaestos, Festos and Phaestus is an ancient city on the island of Crete. Phaistos was located in the south-central portion of the island, about 5.6 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. It was inhabited from about 4000 BC.[1] A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age. Knossos along with other Minoan sites was destroyed at that time. The palace was rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age.

Phaistos was first excavated by Italian archaeologists Federico Halbherr and Luigi Pernier. Further excavations in 1950-1971 were conducted by Doro Levi.

The Old Palace was built in the Protopalatial Period,[2] then rebuilt twice due to extensive earthquake damage. When the palace was destroyed by earthquake, the re-builders constructed a New Palace atop the old.

Several artifacts with Linear A inscriptions were excavated at this site. The name of the site also appears in partially deciphered Linear A texts, and is probably similar to Mycenaean 'PA-I-TO' as written in Linear B. Several kouloura structures (subsurface pits) have been found at Phaistos. Pottery has been recovered at Phaistos from in the Middle and Late Minoan periods, including polychrome items and embossing in imitation of metal work. Bronze Age works from Phaistos include bridge spouted bowls, eggshell cups, tall jars and large pithoi.[3]

In 1908, Pernier found the Phaistos disc there. This artifact is a clay disk, dated to between 1950 BC and 1400 BC and impressed with a unique sophisticated hieroglyphic script."

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Additional Photos by Hercules Milas (Cretense) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5327 W: 74 N: 16998] (68709)
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