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J. Lesley Fitton

Minoan palace and town in Crete that flourished in the Neo-Palatial period (c. 1650–c. 1425 bc). The smallest of the Minoan palaces, Kato Zakros lies at the edge of a very small fertile plain that opens on to the Bay of Zakros on Crete’s eastern coast. The palace and town seem to have owed their position to the sheltered anchorage afforded by the bay and to have been important as a trading centre, perhaps receiving goods brought by ship to Crete from the East. The unworked elephants’ tusks and copper ingots found within the palace are probably examples of such imports. Excavations carried out in 1901 by D. G. Hogarth, of the British School of Archaeology at Athens, revealed extensive remains of Minoan houses, but it was not until Nicholas Platon began work on the site in 1962 for the Greek Archaeological Society that the palace, and further substantial areas of the town, began to be revealed. Investigation of the site is still continuing. While traces of early buildings show that the town was occupied from the Proto-Palatial period (...



Gerald Cadogan

Village on the river of the same name on the south coast of Crete, 17 km from Ierapetra. It has two important Minoan settlements (Pyrgos and Phournou Koriphi), as well as a large Roman baths (2nd century ad) and residential area, both with mosaic pavements. Pyrgos, half a kilometre east of the modern village, on a prominent hill above the mouth of the river, was a long-lived (Early Minoan [em] ii to Late Minoan [lm] i, c. 2900/2600–c. 1425 bc) and prosperous settlement measuring at least 95×70 m. Excavated by G. Cadogan, largely between 1970 and 1973, the settlement has four principal Minoan phases, of which three (Pyrgos I: em ii, c. 2900/2600–c. 2200 bc; Pyrgos III: Middle Minoan [mm] ii–iii, c. 1800–c. 1600 bc; Pyrgos IV: lm i, c. 1600–c. 1425 bc...



Philip Betancourt

Minoan town on an island of the same name off the north-east coast of Crete, in the Gulf of Mirabello; it was first excavated by Richard Seager in 1906–7. A Minoan settlement was already established there by the Early Minoan (em) period; it expanded during the Middle Minoan (mm) period, reaching its largest size in Late Minoan (lm) i, at the end of which period it was destroyed by fire. (For discussion of the absolute dates associated with Minoan chronological periods see Minoan §I 4.) A small Byzantine monastery occupied the island from the 6th to the 9th centuries ad.

The buildings on Pseira were of local stone. Paved lanes and tall staircases divided the town into blocks of houses that followed the topography. Some houses were large and massively built, occupying several terraces on the slope of the hill, while others were more compact; most were two storeys high. One of the finest, the Building of the Pillar Partitions, had an inner court and an L-shaped wall of alternating pillars and doorways, so that the entire wall could be closed off or opened to admit a maximum of light and air to an area with a sunken bathtub. In Pseira’s shrine was a fine relief fresco (...