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Palace of Malia
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The palace of Malia is located at  the boundaries of  Heraklion - Lasithi prefectures, 3 km East of the homonym modern city. The palace stands on a hilly rise, south of Mount Selena,  in a short distance from the northern coast.



The geographical area of the palace of Malia shows signs of habitation from the Neolithic humans (6,000 BC) until the end of the prehistoric period (1,100 BC). Habitation in the Neolithic era documented by shells while habitation is continuous from the Bronze Age to the end of the Minoan civilization. Finally, in historical times low significance Roman-Byzantine traces of habitation have been documented. The archaeological findings from the area indicate the existence of two phases of construction of the palace. The first phase started at the beginning of the second millennium (1,900 BC) and completed 200 years after. 50 years later the palace was rebuilt in the same geographical area following the plans of the first building phase. The palace was destructed in 1450 BC due to fire without clarifying whether man or nature were responsible for this disaster.

This palace of the Minoan civilization was the center of the various settlements that grew in a short distance. The ancient name remains unknown to this day, although it is assumed that in this particular location was the ancient city of Milatos. According to Greek mythology, king of Milatos was Sarpedon, son of Zeus and Europa and brother of the king of Knossos, Minoan.

The first excavation was conducted by Joseph Hatzidakis in the early 20th century, but without revealing  the palace. The excavations were continued by the French Archaeological School who discovered the palace and a large part of the city. The archaeological discoveries of all excavations exposed in museums of Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos and include the famous "Jewel of Bees" found in the ancient cemetery.



The palace of Malia occupies an area of ​​over 7,000 sq.m. and it is the third largest palace of the Minoan Crete. Architecturally, the palace of Malia, although it is similar in structure to the palaces of Knossos and Phaistos, was not as impressive as the other two. It was built with limestone rocks of the region and it was missing frescoes.

The majority of the revealed  site belongs to the neo-palatial complex. In the northwestern part of the site the first building phase can be observed while at the North there is a building constructed after the end of the Minoan civilization.

The palace of Malia is developed around a large central flagstone courtyard with altar.  The main wing of the palace was the western, developed on 2 floors. This wing housed sacred and official venues and extensive warehouses. In the eastern wing jars for liquids were stacked. The southern wing of the palace was developed on 2 floors and it was  characterized by the impressive entrance that  led directly into the main courtyard.

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