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"Phaestos" Phaestos - Festos Tip by Lochlainn

Phaestos - Festos, Crete Island: 18 reviews and 27 photos


I refuse to go along with the convention of naming these sites 'palaces', as has become the norm. I believe they represented much more than merely the court and living quarters of Minoan aristocracy. While everyone is aware of Knossos on the north coast, fewer know of or make the journey inland to Phaestos. Which is a pity, to anyone with even a half interest in archaeology, the unreconstructed remains of this vast development speak more clearly than the re-invented edifices of Arthur Evan's Knossos. The site itself is huge and is comprised of several mini complexes, representing the many functions of the place as well as its long history. There is every reasonable prospect that Phaestos exceeded all other known Minoan centres in importance, and the Wheel of Phaestos seems to support this claim. This beautifully carved stone circular slab is sculpted with motifs that suggest a representation of the different departments that Minoan Crete was divided into, suggesting also that the rest of Crete saw Phaestos as a 'meeting place', probably to pay annual tribute at harvest times. There is ample evidence that the site rose in stature after the explosion of Thera island obliterated Knossos and other main centres, as well as the Minoan ascendancy itself. To stand on the central square amidst the foundations of the impressive buildings that once would have surrounded you, knowing that others stood right there, going back thousands of years, and shared your awe, is a truly moving experience.
<p><a><center><img src='/p/.73965/M_996242992-0.jpg'><p><font color=red>The wheel - or 'disk' - of Phaestos with its enigmatic symbols and reliefs displayed. Its exact meaning and function are lost in the mists of time.</font></center></a>

Address: South Central Crete

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 11, 2002
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