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(also Phaestus), an ancient city in southern Crete and an important center of the Aegean culture. Italian archaeologists excavated the city between 1900 and 1966.

In the Neolithic period and the early Bronze Age, Phaistos was a small settlement. A monumental royal palace was built in the city circa 2200 B.C. The ensemble, which had much in common with the palace at Cnossus, was noted for its three paved courtyards, its sanctuaries, and its amphitheater with seating for 500. The Phaistos palace was rebuilt and expanded after an earthquake in the mid-18th century B.C. The new palace exhibited a high quality of construction. The walls of the numerous rooms and long corridors were made of cut slabs and were decorated with frescoes. A branched water conduit and many storerooms were built. The courtyard, which was surrounded with columns, was noteworthy. The city spread out around the hill on which the palace stood.

Phaistos was destroyed by an earthquake circa 1470 B.C., after which only a small settlement remained on the site.


Pendlebury, J. Arkheologiia Krita. Moscow, 1950. (Translated from English.)
Pernier, L. Il palazzo minoico di Festos, vols. 1–2. Rome, 1935–51.
Levi, D. “La conclusione degli scavi a Festòs.” Annuario della Scuola archeologica di Atene e delle missioni italiane in Oriente, 1965–66, vols. 43–4 (new series, vols. 27–28), pp. 313–99.


References in periodicals archive ?
His birthday gift for Anais had crossed Greece with him--including Epidaurus, Mycenae, Knossus, and Phaestos. He now found himself in the "supremely mystic spot of Greece." It was a return to a "pre-Adamic world." In his descriptions of the place, for Anais, he was already rehearsing The Colossus of Maroussi.
Alexandros Venetikos, who appears in Colossus as Kyrios Alexandros, later wrote to him, in 1957, remembering visit to Phaestos:
On the way you will visit the Monoan palace of Phaestos and the attractive resort of Matala.
The trip includes a full day excursion visiting Argiroupolis, Akrotiri and Chania as well as the Roman ruins of St Titus Church, Phaestos Minoan site, Monastery of Kalivianni and the Idi mountains.
Its civilization survived only in the remarkable Minoan ruins at Knossos, Phaestos, and elsewhere; in the extensive Minoan cemeteries such as the 220 graves at Armeni (near Rethymnon); and in the frescoes and potteries that draw visitors to the splendid archaeological museums at Heraklion, Rethymnon, and Khania.
Included visits to Phaestos, Matala, and the Gulf of Chania.
Finally, his translation of the Phaestos Disk leads to a treasure hunt on Crete.
"Pottery Workshops at Phaestos and Haghia Triada in the Protopalatial Period," in Laffineur and Betancourt 1997, pp.
LARA Croft and Indiana Jones would be right at home among the Roman ramparts and toppled columns of Gortys, or the 3,600-year-old Minoan palace at Phaestos. (Gortys is open 8am-5pm daily, about pounds 1.50; Phaestos 8am-5pm Tues-Sun, closed Mon, about pounds 3).
Biologist William Gelbart compares the completion of the sequencing project not to the reading of phone books, or even to finding the Rosetta stone, but to finding the Phaestos disk--a set of as-yet undeciphered glyphs from a Minoan temple.
As well as walking in magnificent scenery, you will see the old Venetian harbour-town of Khania (location for the film Zorba the Greek) with its captivating waterfront and web of narrow alleways, and enter the magical world of Greek mythology - visiting the classical site of Phaestos and the Palace of Knossos with its Minotaur labyrinth.
You will also have the chance to explore some of the delights of this fascinating part of the world, including a full-day excursion visiting Argiroupolis, Akrotiri and Chania as well as the Roman ruins of St Titus Church, Phaestos Minoan site, the Monastery of Kalivianni and the Idi mountains.