Phaistos ...Festos ....

Phaistos (Festos) Travel Blog

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I love this shot....

FESTOS: PHAISTOS                            Amazing place: the disc of Festos was discovered here....

We drove towards the south west of the island. The area we were driving through was a rich agricultural region called the valley of Messara. It was lined with orchards, vineyards, gardens and fields. We wondered what it would have looked like when it was around harvest time. It was really wonderful to look out across the patterns of the different crops.

Phaistos is built on a hill. As we drove we saw the signs for Festos: also spelled Phaistos.

The disk is shown in the middle
We thought it would be closed but amazingly it was still open. We bought the tickets and walked down the wooded path to the ancient site. They had a nice gift shop and a small restaurant at the site entrance.

The excavations showed the site was ruins of Neolithic times 3000 BC. According to mythology Phaistos was the home of king Radamanthis: brother of Minos. The city was also the home of Epimenidis one of the seven wise men of the ancient world. The Phaistos palace was first built at 2000 BC. It was the second largest city of Minoan Crete. In 1700 BC the palace was destroyed by an earthquake. It was built again with more grandeur and magnificence. The city participated in the Trojan War and became a leader in the Dorian period.

Phaistos palace was located so it was the dominate force of the Messara valley.

drainage
It administered the government of the area and was the economic center of the region. The palace had huge storerooms for goods for trade and consumption.

It flourished but was destroyed by the Gorthnians during the 3rd century BC. It continued to exist during the Roman period. The seaports to Phaistos was Matala and Kommos.

The Disc of Phaistos is one of the most important discoveries. It is embossed with symbols believed to be an early example of printing Which is basically pressing shapes into damp clay. The hieroglyphics are the earliest know Minoan script dated approximately 1700 to 1600 BC. Both the front and back are covered with Hieroglyphs: it is arranged in a spiral. The groups are divided by lines (like a pie cut).

carefully fixing cracks....
It is theorized each of the groups represent a word. There are 45 different types of signs. There are many suggestions of what they could mean. One theory is it may be a list of soldiers. Another suggests a ring is discussing the erection of the palace of Phaistos.   The disk has not been interpreted satisfactorily yet... 

One thing I really enjoyed was watching a man repair an oil vessel.   He was working down in the storage areas (which are sunken areas) and had a tarp over him for shade.  It was really quite hot.  I kneeled and took some pictures ...  He was so nice..... he put the shade cover up so I could see better..... It was so great to see the careful work he did.... first he filled he holes with a palette then he matched the grain on the outside with the paint brush.... it was really an art.  I sat for about a half hour watching him.... then I noticed how hot he was and realized he must be quite uncomfortable....  I thanked him in Greek and handed him a cold bottle of water I had just purchased at the snack bar.   He had earned it by standing in the roasting sun while I photographed his work....   

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I love this shot....
I love this shot....
The disk is shown in the middle
The disk is shown in the middle
drainage
drainage
carefully fixing cracks....
carefully fixing cracks....
Messara valley....
Messara valley....
driving in greece
driving in greece
typical roads...
typical roads...
Messara valley..... looking up int…
Messara valley..... looking up in…
a really great place in town....
a really great place in town....
driving along....
driving along....
looking at the fields...
looking at the fields...
the road
the road
signs showing the archaelogical si…
signs showing the archaelogical s…
sign for Faistos... (yet another s…
sign for Faistos... (yet another …
building....
building....
looking over the ancient site at t…
looking over the ancient site at …
Phaistos site
Phaistos site
the palace court yard at Phaistos
the palace court yard at Phaistos
Phaistos... looking past the plant…
Phaistos... looking past the plan…
Phaistos view...
Phaistos view...
festos walls
festos walls
wine press.... and vessel on pedes…
wine press.... and vessel on pede…
looking into the palace area
looking into the palace area
palace area
palace area
festos palace
festos palace
palace
palace
phaistos
phaistos
the storage areas
the storage areas
palace walls
palace walls
phaistos
phaistos
view ... from the other side... th…
view ... from the other side... t…
looking down
looking down
more ruins directly below the pala…
more ruins directly below the pal…
palace
palace
palace area
palace area
palace area
palace area
palace
palace
palace reconstruction
palace reconstruction
half completed walls (In the style…
half completed walls (In the styl…
a little placard
a little placard
perhaps a well?
perhaps a well?
symbol
symbol
Festos
Festos
vessel
vessel
vessel
vessel
festos
festos
festos
festos
symbols
symbols
symbol
symbol
walk way
walk way
oven (?)
oven (?)
festos
festos
festos
festos
festos
festos
festos
festos
festos
festos
oil pot
oil pot
oil storage
oil storage
festos palace
festos palace
date of excavation
date of excavation
storage pots
storage pots
storage pots...
storage pots...
storage
storage
storage area
storage area
storage area
storage area
storage
storage
oil vessel
oil vessel
oil vessel
oil vessel
vessel
vessel
pathways at the Festos palace
pathways at the Festos palace
oil vessel
oil vessel
oil vessel... This really nice man…
oil vessel... This really nice ma…
fixing the vessel
fixing the vessel
working on the oil vessel
working on the oil vessel
He used a tiny palette and paint b…
He used a tiny palette and paint …
painting the vessel
painting the vessel
thinning the mixture
thinning the mixture
doing a low area
doing a low area
palace
palace
oil pots
oil pots
oil pots ; storage vessels
oil pots ; storage vessels
storage area
storage area
symbols
symbols
Festos
Festos
vessels....
vessels....
symbols
symbols
something to grind grains?...
something to grind grains?...
vessel @ festos
vessel @ festos
symbol at festos
symbol at festos
festos palace
festos palace
festos
festos
festos palace
festos palace
this looks like a bath... maybe
this looks like a bath... maybe
aisle
aisle
Disc
Disc
broken pottery
broken pottery
Yeah ... I love it and wish I had …
Yeah ... I love it and wish I had…
pot bottom
pot bottom
door ways to storage
door ways to storage
storage area
storage area
Festos
Festos
Phaistos
Phaistos
festos
festos
oil vessel
oil vessel
steps
steps
storage areaw
storage areaw
steps
steps
work area
work area
storage area
storage area
festos palace
festos palace
palace area
palace area
palace
palace
palace w/ reconstructed wall
palace w/ reconstructed wall
vessel
vessel
palace
palace
looking down into the storage areas
looking down into the storage areas
the steps
the steps
palace courtyard
palace courtyard
pillar
pillar
palace area edge
palace area edge
palace
palace
palace
palace
roadside chapel
roadside chapel
bakery
bakery
Looking through the town at a chur…
Looking through the town at a chu…
Right after we took this we found …
Right after we took this we found…
a truck load of sheep
a truck load of sheep
sheep jockeying for top position
sheep jockeying for top position
sheep
sheep
sheep
sheep
sheep
sheep
picture of archeological web site.
picture of archeological web site.
Phaistos (Festos)
photo by: aloneinthecrowd