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Damantri, a Minoan centre in eastern Mesara

“Locating a major central Minoan building surrounded by a settlement and necropoles at Damantri location has come to bridge the gap, since a Minoan centre had been suspected to have existed in the eastern basin of the extensive plain of Mesara in southern Crete.

The location is at a low land rise, northeast of the present day village. The carved façade and the numerous streets with ‘tectonic points’ in the excavated area testify to the significance of this building. So far the search has followed its course over an area of about three square kilometres, while the entire site seems to be larger, since it stretches to adjacent properties. Surface indications point to settlements throughout the hill, while the necropoles were located on its western slope. After the conclusion of cultivation activities, the burial surroundings were excavated and small elliptic larnakes and jars were found. Finds indicate that the settlement dates to the Middle Minoan Period, while evidence collected so far from the central building indicates that it was destroyed by fire in the Late Minoan Period. Traces from a major fire are visible everywhere (at numerous points stones have become calcified). The time of the destruction is believed to have been after the cereal harvest, since amphorae filled with charred grain were found, and before olives and grapes were harvested, since the jars awaiting to receive them were found washed clean and ready, placed in order upside down, on the long sides of the storage room. It seems that the place was never inhabited again after it had been destroyed; at least the search so far has not revealed any later remnants.”  

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