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Periphery: Crete
Prefecture : Heraklion

Jewellry from Phourni and Archanes

Archanes (also Arkhanes, Godart & Olivier abbreviaton: ARKH) is the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan settlement in central Crete. The discovery of ancient roads leading from Archanes to Juktas, Anemospilia, Xeri Kara and Vathypetro indicate that Archanes was an important hub in the region during Minoan times. Archaeological evidence indicates that ancient Archanes spread out over the same area as the modern town of Archanes.

Archaeology

In 1912, Xanthoudides noted the importance of Archanes, but Sir Arthur Evans was the first to characterize the site as palatial, declaring that Archanes was likely a Summer Palace for the Knossos kings. Spyridon Marinatos and N. Platon excavated minor areas in the region, but nothing supported Evans' theory. In 1964, J. Sakellarakis dug trial trenches at the Tourkoyeitonia site and uncovered the first evidence of a palace site. Since 1966, Archanes has been excavated by the Greek Archaeaological Society under the supervision of John Sakellarakis and Efi Sapouna-Sakellarakis.

Troullos, the easternmost site of the settlement, is covered in detail in a separate article.

Tourkoyeitonia

Tourkoyeitonia, in central Archanes, is the site of its palace, likely built in the Middle Minoan period. Excavations began here in 1964 by J. Sakellarakis.

Architecture

Architectural features at Tourkoyeitonia include:

Building Materials: ashlar blocks, poros-stone plaques and blocks, plaster, wood, stucco floor tiles, gypsum, kouskoura slabs, mud bricks, ironstone blocks, schist plaques, blue marble flooring

Incurved altars

Wooden columns and pillars

Wall-paintings
A woman with long curly hair in a frilled-dress holding a branch in Antechamber 2

Polytheron - doorways with three openings

at least three storeys in some areas

Light-wells

Drain system

Artefacts

Movable artefacts found at Tourkoyeitonia include:

Porphyrite stone lamps

Vases, amphorae, cooking pots, cups

Clay loom weights

30 plaster tripodal offering tables

Plaster horns "of consecration"

Black steatite lamp

Bronze chisel

Triton shell

Marble pestle

Terracotta figurines

Silver earring

Ivory pin

Bronze pins

Tweezers

The Archive

Southwest of Tourkoyeitonia, more of the palace is found. While little remains of the architecture, the walls that are preserved are Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan IA. Linear A tablets and the model of a house were excavated at The Archive along with MMIII-LMIA pottery and several unworked pieces of rock crystal, obsidian and steatite.

The Reservoir

This man-made enclosure of a spring, first partially excavated in 1921 by Sir Arthur Evans was later completed by J. Sakellarakis in 1964. The floor is laid with pebbles and the walls are poros-stone. Evidence indicates that it was built between Middle Minoan IB and Middle Minoan IIIA, destroyed during Late Minoan IA and then restored and in various use afterwards. The Reservoir is within the palace grounds.

The Theatre Area

A large paved area, dissected by walkways which in the center form a triangle, is found at the site called "The Theatre Area" or Aghios Nikolaos. Two stepped altars are found here, one on a walkway and one on the pavement. There is a painting of a reconstruction of this area in Sakellarakis' Crete Archanes guidebook on page 49 which does this area more justice than a description.

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Municipality of Archanes, population

Ancient Archanes is at the modern village Epano Arhanes

Reference

Sakellarakis, J. and E. Crete, Archanes ISBN 960-213-234-5 (guidebook)

Minoan Crete Map

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