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The%20Central%20Court
The Central Court
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
The Central Court (dimensions ca. 50m x 25 m.) is an architectural element common to all Minoan palaces. The Court connects the different wings with one another. There was also direct access from outside the Palace. Part of the paving, which once covered the whole court, is preserved in the northwest and southwest corners, whilst near the "Throne Room", parts of the drainage system can be made out which ensured the evacuation of rain water.
It is thought that the area must have been for meetings and rituals of both a sacred and profane character
The orientation of the Central Court was north-south with a clear view of the sacred Mount Giouhtas, where an important sanctuary was located.

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East%20Wing%20%2D%20Grand%20Staircase
East Wing - Grand Staircase
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
A large part of the east wing cannot be seen from the Central Court as it is built into the side of the hill on top of which lies the rest of the Palace. It is one of the most interesting parts of the palace because two storeys are preserved below the level of the Central Court. Today, a large part of it has been reconstructed in concrete.
The storeys are connected with one another by means of a system of stairs known as the "Grand Staircase". The staircase was found during the excavation in its original position. There is a total of four flights of stairs, two for each storey. The two lower flights are preserved as they were found. The steps are broad and deep, with a gentle incline that makes for an easy ascent. The staircase is lit by a large light-well and was surrounded by a colonnade of wooden columns.
The Grand Staircase
The Grand Staircase
The Grand Staircase & Hall of Colonades - First floor
The Grand Staircase & Hall of Colonades - Ground floor
A series of corridors, spacious halls and small rooms is connected to the Grand Staircase. Evans, who believed that the Palace was the seat of the king of Knossos, hypnothesized that the residential quarters of the Royal family lay in this part of the site.

Shrine%20of%20the%20Double%20Axes
Shrine of the Double Axes
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
This room lies at the southern part of east wing in an area with many small rooms (possibly storerooms and magazines), lustral basins and light-wells. It was made into a shrine at the end of the Postpalatial period (1375-1200 B.C.). It is known as the "Shrine of the Double Axes". On a bench at the back, different ritual objects were found amongst which were a stone double axe and votive clay idols - among them the terracotta figurine of a goddess with upraised arms. Similar small shrines have been found in houses of the same period.

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The%20House%20of%20the%20Chancel%20Screen
The House of the Chancel Screen
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
This house belongs to the New Palace Period (1700-1450 B.C.) and was functionally related to the Palace. In its restored part with two columns, there was a bench on which some object of worship had probably been set up. There was a paved hall in front with a double pier - and - door partition.

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South%20East%20Houses
South East Houses
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
The south-east house belongs to the New Palace period (1700-1450 B.C.). It was well built and decorated with wall-paintings of lillies. It had a pier-and-door partition, a pillar room and storage rooms.
A little behind it are other houses of the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.) such as the house of the "Sacrificed Oxen", named after the remains of a sacrifice found there (horns of a bull and a tripod table of offerings) and the "House of the Fallen Blocks", after the blocks that had fallen from the facade of the palace due to an earthquake.
Next to "South-East House" there are houses of the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.), such as that of the "Monolithic Pillars" in front of the steps. Under the small roof is a Minoan, possibly smelting kiln.

Hall%20of%20the%20Double%20Axes
Hall of the Double Axes
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
The "Hall of the Double Axes" was so named by Evans due to the double axe signs engraved on the walls of the light-well at its rear. He also thought that it was the place of residence of the King of Knossos.
The central area has openings on three sides and is therefore called a "polythyron" (system with multiple doorways). It has a slab floor and its walls were embellished with gypsum slabs and frescoes. The area between the "polythyron" and the light-well was used as a reception hall. Traces of a wooden construction were found here. Evans reconstructed a wooden throne at this spot.
Pictures: 1, 2
According to the archaeological finds, the arrangement of the apartments on the upper floor was similar to those on the ground floor.

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Queen%27s%20Megaron
Queen's Megaron
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
The Queen's Megaron lies in the Royal Apartments next to the "Hall of the Double Axes". It is a smaller room with a similar layout and rich decoration. Evans thought that it must have belonged to the Queen. Fragments of frescoes with dolphins and dancing ladies were found here. The room is largely restored and copies of the wall paintings have been put up on the walls. At the end of the room, a low partition wall with one column created a small space. It was thought that it was the "Queen's Bathroom" since pieces of a clay "bath" were found there.
Pictures:
The Queen's Hall 1, 2,3
A corridor joins the "Queens Megaron" with rooms that have been interpreted as places of preparation and washing.

Magazine%20of%20the%20Medallion%20Pithoi
Magazine of the Medallion Pithoi
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
The magazine to the north of the Grand staircase took its name from the pithoi (large storage jars) that were found here. The jars have relief disk and rope decoration, a characteristic of the beginning of the New palace period (1700-1450 B.C.). A variety of finds show that the place had also been used as a magazine in the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.).
Next door is the "Corridor of the Bays", where three small openings were used for storage. Many vases and religious artefacts were found here. The magazines were buried at the end of the New Palace period(1700-1459 B.C.).

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School%20Room%20%26%20Lapidary%27s%20Workshop
School Room & Lapidary's Workshop
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
Here is the so-called "School Room", an area where, according to Evans, scribes were taught to write on clay tablets. He supposed that they kneaded the clay in the built mortar next to the bench. It is more likely, however that it was a workshop for ceramics or wall-painting.
Behind the "School Room" is the "Lapidary's Workshop", where blocks of crude or semi-worked lapis lacedaemoniae (spartan basalt) and stone tools were brought to light.
According to Evans, the main workshop lay on the upper floor from which vases and large stone amphora had fallen to the ground floor.

The%20magazine%20of%20the%20Giant%20Pithoi
The magazine of the Giant Pithoi
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
Here the excavators found a number of very large storage jars (Pithoi) and Evans named the place the "Magazines of the Giant Pithoi". These magazines are one of the older parts of the palace. The pithoi stand out for their size, the number of handles and the richness of their relief decoration with ropes and discs.
To the right of the magazines a staircase which has been reconstructed by Evans descends to the east entrance of the Palace.
The entrance is a robust construction that gives the impression of a "bastion". From this point it would have been easy to reach an important building of the palatial period, the so-called "Royal Villa" which lies outside the main archaeological site.

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The%20corridor%20of%20the%20Draught%20Board
The corridor of the Draught Board
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
The Royal Gaming Board was found here, a kind of board game made of ivory, rock crystal, Egyptian blue, silver and gold, now in Heraklion Museum.
To the right of the corridor are the "Royal Pottery Stores", where Kamares pottery of the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.) was uncovered, and to thee left, storage and workshop areas.

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North%20Entrance%20%26%20Pillar%20Hall
North Entrance & Pillar Hall
Knossos Palace
at 16.4km (S)
An open air narrow passage linked the Central Court with the North Entrance. It was paved and had a strong inclination towards the north. Right and left were two raised colonnades known as "Bastions".
Arthur Evans reconstructed the "Bastion" on the west side. He also placed a copy of a restored relief fresco of a bull here. The wall painting may have formed part of hunting scene.
The passage ends in a large hall with ten square pillars and two columns. The pillars and columns probably supported a large hall on the upper floor. Evans suggested that, due to its position on the seaward side, it was here that the produce of seaborne trade would have been checked when it reached the Palace. It was therefore named the "Customs House".

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West%20court%20%2D%20West%20facade
West court - West facade
Knossos Palace
at 16.5km (S)
The court is crossed by the so-called "Processional Causeways", which stand out from the rest of the paving and intersect each other. One idea is that processions paraded along them during ceremonies.
The West Facade of the Palace rises up along one side. The facade is constructed of massive gypsum blocks (orthostats) set on a plinth. The facade is indented or protrudes corresponding to the interior arrangement of space.
In front of the West Façade, two bases can be seen, thought to belong to stone-built altars. Settlement remains of the Neolithic (6700 - 3200 B.C.) and pre-palatial (3200 - 1900 B.C.) periods have been found beneath the level of the "West Court".

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Kouloures
Kouloures
Knossos Palace
at 16.5km (S)
Three large pits, known as "kouloures" (rings), with stone-lined walls were built in the West Court during the Old Palace period (1900-1700B.C.). The excavation workmen gave them their name and A. Evans kept it.
The function of the circular pits is not clear. They have been interpreted as rubbish dumps either for all the refuse from the Palace or just the left-overs from sacred offerings. Support has also been given to the idea that they were storing grain.
In two of them, it is possible to see the remains of houses of the Pre Palatial period (3200-1900 B.C.). In the New Palace period (1700-1450 B.C.),the "kouloures" were covered over and out of use.

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West%20Porch
West Porch
Knossos Palace
at 16.5km (S)
The "West Porch" was a roofed area opening onto the Court, supported by one column of which part of the gypsum base remains. The east wall was decorated with a bull-leaping fresco. There was a small "guard-room" at the back.
The porch was closed off by a double door and from here began the long "Corridor of the Procession".

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The%20Corridor%20of%20the%20Procession
The Corridor of the Procession
Knossos Palace
at 16.5km (S)
The Corridor of the Procession is named from the wall painting decorating its east wall and depicting a procession of musicians and other people holding gifts.
The floor was very fine. The "Corridor of the Procession", according to Evans, initially led to the "South Propylaeum" and continued on to the Central Court.
Today a causeway made of wood, with handrail, stands in its place, so the visitors can follow the same route.

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West%20Magazines
West Magazines
Knossos Palace
at 16.5km (S)
North of the South Propylaeum, at a lower level there is the start of the corridor that joins eighteen long and narrow storerooms, covering an area of 1300 sq.m.
In the floor of both the storerooms and corridor, there are ninety three rectangular cists, the so called "Kasellas". From the finds it appears they were used for keeping safe precious equipment and vases. There are also even larger cists in the corridor, internally lined, perhaps to hold liquids.
The pithoi (large storage jars) of the "West Magazines" bear witness to the wealth of the palace. The remains of some 150 pithoi were found, although there is room for about 400. Their contents are unknown, although they could have oil, wine, pulses, etc.
At different points of the magazine, clay tablets came to light in the Linear B script with records of an economic character. At the north end of the corridor, a large number of older clay seal impressions and clay tablets in the Cretan Hieroglyphic script were discovered.

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Sir%20Arthur%20Evans
Sir Arthur Evans
Excavator of Knossos
at 16.5km (S)
British archaeologist whose name is inextricably bound up with excavations and restoration work at the palace of Knossos. Born as the son of numismatist John Evans, he studied at Oxford and briefly in Göttingen. From 1875 to 1882 he travelled through the Balkans as a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. In 1884 he was appointed curator at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which post he held until 1908. One year later he became a university don. In 1894 Schliemman's excavations at Troy, Mycenae and Tiryns prompted Evans to visit Crete for the first time, in search of Bronze Age script. The following year he published his first book on Cretan pictographics and pre-Phoenician writing. He set about systematic excavation work after the island was liberated from the Turks (in 1898), having already located the wider area in which to dig. At the same time he toured the length and breadth of Crete.
Evans worked at Knossos for no less than 35 years, bringing the palace and countless finds to light. The building's large surface area and shape led him to the conclusion that it had been the palace of King Minos. He thus gave the name 'Minoan' to the civilization he had uncovered, subdividing it into three major periods. In 1911 he was knighted for his excavation activity and extensive work. Alongside the excavations, Evans showed great zeal in restoring the palace and reconstructing the wall paintings that had come to light. For all the intense criticism this part of his work has often attracted, it still stands as a first approach to what is now known as the Minoan palace. The ensuing publications of material added many pieces to the puzzle of Minoan civilization and remain useful research tools to this day. In the course of his last visit to Crete, Evans was given the Freedom of the City of Heraklion.

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Minos%20Kalokairinos
Minos Kalokairinos
Discovered Knossos
at 16.5km (S)
Born in 1843 as the youngest son of Andreas Kalokairinos. Having completed secondary education on the island of Syros, he matriculated at the University of Athens School of Laws and attended for one year, but was forced to abandon his studies after his father fell seriously ill and died. Thereafter his interest turned to his father's estates, which he initially managed together with his brother Lysimachos. Kalokairinos later went into soap manufacture, winning awards at world exhibitions.
Unfortunately, however, his business enterprises were not destined to be successful to the end; in 1895, having taken out numerous loans at exorbitant interest rates and mortgaged all his estates, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and was thus deprived of the right to engage in commerce. In 1903 he decided to resume his legal studies at university, and was later awarded a a degree.
In 1878 his passion for archaeology and classical studies led him to attempt the first systematic excavations at Knossos, which brought the first finds from the Minoan palace to light. These comprised the Kalokairinos private collection, held at the site where the Kalokairinos Mansion (the present-day Historical Museum of Crete) was later built. The finds were destroyed when the first mansion was burnt to the ground during the 1898 riots. In 1869 Minos Kalokairinos married Skevo Kyriazi, with whom he had five children.

North%20Lustral%20Basin
North Lustral Basin
Knossos Palace
at 16.5km (S)
This room, located beside the north entrance, resembles a cistern. Its floor is lower than the surrounding area and is reached by steps. The "Lustral Basin" was surrounded by columns and was lined with slabs of gypsum giving it a luxurious appearance. In its present form, the area has been completely reconstructed by Evans.
Areas with a similar arrangement have been found in other parts of the palace of Knossos, as well as other palaces and important Minoan buildings of the period (1700-1450 B.C.). It is not known how these places were used. However, from their construction it seems that theu would not have been filled with water, nor was there any drainage. Evans thought that they were used in purification ceremonies and therefore called these places "Lustral Basins". Evans also believed that the Palace was a sacred place. That is why, in his opinion, the "Lustral Basin"in question was used to purify visitors going into th Palace via neighbouring North Entrance.

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