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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Remember that inscriptions such as those on the Phaistos Disk, although only a few thousand years old, have yet to be deciphered.
Castellucci, "A novel piece of Minoan art in Italy: the first spectroscopic study of the wall paintings from Phaistos," Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, vol.
1400 BCE headed by the word Keftiu, under which rubric are listed the Cretan cities of Cydonia, Knossos, Amnisos, Lyktos, and possibly Phaistos. (4) According to Theodor Gaster, the place-name Caphtor likely derives from a single Aegean island, Carpathos, the modern Scarpanto.
Holidaymakers can explore the impressive remains of the Minoan Palaces of Phaistos, discover the fascinating artefacts showcased at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum or simply stroll along the spectacular beaches and through sleepy villages.
The north-coast port of Chania with its beautiful Venetian harbour is 30 minutes to the west, while the archaeological sites of Knossos and Phaistos are 90 minutes away.
Their topics include the early years of palatial Knossos, the urbanization of prehistoric Crete and settlement perspectives on Minoan state formation, craft production and social practices at prepalatial Phaistos as background to the first palace, whether there was a matrilocal house society in prepalatial and protopalatial Crete, and a regional network approach to protopalatial complexity.
Crete has legends of its own; Heraklion has sights such as Knossos, Phaistos, archeological museums displaying the intriguing artifacts of Minoan civilization; and like Athens and other cities, Heraklion stands as a city break possibility, for its cuisine, its traditional and modern market, historical city centre and its own impressive collection of five- and four-star hotels.