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Mysterious Minoan structure from 4,000 years ago unearthed in Crete

Mysterious Minoan structure from 4,000 years ago unearthed in Crete

The New International Airport of Heraklion needs to find another area to place its radar station.

Archaeologists have accidentally uncovered a 4,000-year-old Minoan structure while installing a new airport in Crete.

Historians believe that the Minoan civilization - named after the mythical King Minos - was an Aegean Bronze Age culture that thrived through 3100 - 1100 BCE.

However, following the Late Bronze Age collapse in the 12th century BCE, the Minoan civilization was largely forgotten.

After years of laying dormant, archaeologists began flocking to Crete in the early twentieth century where they uncovered historical sites such as the necropolis at Aemeni and the harbor town of Kommos.

Another ‘unique and extremely interesting’ discovery that archaeologists can now lay claim to is mysterious building ruins.

Thought to have been used between 2000-1700 BCE, these Bronze Age ruins measure around 48 meters in diameter and comprise of eight concentric stone rings.

Greek Ministry of Culture
Greek Ministry of Culture

These 1.5-metre-high rings converge on a central circular building and may have been topped with a shallow conical roof.

According to reports, the 4,000-year-old circular stone building - covering an approximate area of 1800 square metres- was found on the summit of Papoura Hill.

It’s said the hilltop discovery, just northwest of Kastelli, was uncovered during installations for a new airport on the south Aegean island.

Interestingly this is just one of at least 35 other archaeological sites that have been uncovered during work on the new airport, said the Greek Culture Ministry.

Speaking about the historic find, they said: “Its size, architectural layout and careful construction required considerable labour, specialised know-how and a robust central administration.”

Moreover, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni vowed that the Minoan ruins would be preserved and a different area would be sought out for the proposed radar station build.

Greek Ministry of Culture
Greek Ministry of Culture

“We all understand the value and importance of cultural heritage… as well as the growth potential,” she said. “It’s possible to go ahead with the airport while granting the antiquities the protection they merit.”

The new Cretan airport is set to open in 2027 and will be situated around 25 minutes from Heraklion and less than 20 minutes from Hersonissos.

The New International Airport of Heraklion is expected to be the ‘second busiest airport in Greece’ and will serve 10,000,000 passengers at the start of its erection.

The so-called ‘green airport’ boasts its own production and management of energy and emphasis will be placed on reducing CO2 footprint.

Moreover, the airport will work to support the local community by promoting local heritage and providing visitors 'with a sense of the place and its unique characteristics.

Featured Image Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture / Twitter