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by Archaeology Newsroom

Knossos and Archanes

The Minoan settlement lying under the modern small town of Archanes used to be one of the major centers of Crete during the Bronze Age. However, a settlement so large and wealthy raises the question of its relation with Knossos, the Minoan capital, which is situated only 10 kilometers north. We can approach this complex question through a brief examination of the role the broader regions had played in Minoan Crete. Thus, we will obtain the necessary framework in which the relation of Archanes with Knossos will be considered. With the evidence so far available, we are unable to give a clear answer to our basic political question. The remains of luxurious buildings in Archanes and their rich content suggest obviously that an important person or persons were living there and that a close relation with Knossos existed, at least during the Neopalatial period. Regardless of the political structure of Knossos and the degree of its control over the north part of central Crete during the Neopalatial period, Archanes, either a town or a Palatial centre, undoubtedly was enjoying a considerable degree of I independence, was easily accessible and economically efficient due to its fertile rural suburbs, while the holy mountain dominating its region supplied it with a unique spiritual power and prestige.