The beauty of the Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos in Crete is one of the largest Bronze Age sites in the country and it is thought to be one of the oldest cities in the whole of Europe. It was built on the North coast of Crete by the ancient civilisation of the Minoans. The palace is over 14,000 square metres in size and was first discovered by an archaeologist back in the early part of the 20th Century, and since then, a team has restored it.

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The Minoans were an incredible civilisation who constructed incredible buildings. They were thought to be amongst the first people to develop drains and running water and it was in this palace, they first used the systems they had developed. You could say that they are the forefathers of the drains that we use today and that CCTV Drainage Surveys like the ones from keep flowing throughout our towns and cities.

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The origins of a palace on this site have and are still are a matter for scholarly debate. This is due to the fact that there is evidence of a previous palace underneath the existing one that was once thought to have been destroyed by an earthquake. Although this has recently been put into question and that instead, it was all a part of a more extensive renovation program that took place. What specialists are clear about is that the palace was often subject to damage, and repairs would have been commonplace. One of the most notable being the damage that would have occurred from the volcano Thera erupting and causing a giant Tsunami to hit areas of the island back in 1600 BC. Large earthquakes also followed this in 1700 BC and would have caused further damage. This is what adds weight to the argument that the second palace was, in fact, a renovation of the previously damaged one.

The destruction of the second palace is again a matter of debate. This could have resulted from further natural disasters, most likely earthquakes, but invasion by other civilisations is also a possibility. The Mycenaeans occupied Knossos, and this could have led to the destruction of the palace.

The archaeologist who first discovered the palace, Arthur Evans, undertook extensive renovations of the ruins he found. Some of these have ceased damage to the structure, and modern-day conservationists are trying to undo the damage that occurred. They are also unsure how much of the renovations were based on how Evans thought the palace would have looked in the past and how much is based on the evidence that he found at the site.

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