Greece : Discovery of a mysterious maze-like structure Greece : Discovery of a mysterious maze-like structure

Greece : Discovery of a mysterious maze-like structure

Greece : Discovery of a mysterious maze-like structure
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A large, 4,000-year-old round stone structure discovered on a hilltop on the island of Crete has baffled archaeologists and threatens to disrupt a major airport project on the tourist island.

The structure is described as a "unique and very interesting discovery" from the Minoan (or Minoan) civilization on the island of Crete, famous for its opulent palaces, brilliant art and mysterious writing system.

The ruins of the 1,800-square-meter (19,000-square-foot) structure, which resembles a huge car wheel from above, were uncovered during excavations by archaeologists.

The site has been allocated to establish a radar station to serve a new airport under construction near the city of Kastelli, which is scheduled to open in 2027. It is expected to replace the second largest airport in Greece in Heraklion, and is designed to receive up to 18 million passengers annually.

Archaeologists do not yet know the purpose of the structure. The site is still being excavated and has no exact similarities to other ancient archaeological buildings at the site. So, currently, experts speculate that it may have been used in a ritual or religious function.

The structure consists of eight overlapping stone rings, intersected by small walls up to 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) high, to form rooms. It is almost like a maze, and may have had a conical roof.

The statement of the Greek Ministry of Culture stated that it does not appear to have been a dwelling, and that the finds from inside it included a large amount of animal bones.

“It may have been used periodically in ritual ceremonies involving the consumption of food and wine and possibly offerings,” the statement said.

He added: "Its size and precise architectural design required large labor, specialized knowledge, and strong central management." The statement noted that it was definitely a type of collective building that stood out in the entire area.

Culture Minister and archaeologist Lina Mendoni has pledged to preserve the find, while a different location for the radar station will be searched.

She said: “We are all aware of the value and importance of cultural heritage as well as the growth potential of the new airport project. It is possible to proceed with the construction of the airport while giving the monuments the protection they deserve.”

The structure was mainly used between 2000 and 1700 BC, and was founded at the time when the first palaces were built on Crete, including at Knossos and Phaistos, the ministry said.

While palaces such as Knossos were arranged in a square or rectangular manner, the newly discovered structure is circular, a shape often found in Minoan tombs topped with stepped conical roofs found in other parts of Greece.

Because archaeological work on the ancient structure is still ongoing, scientists do not yet know its exact shape or height. Additional research is planned, in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of the Interior and the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, to find out exactly what the mysterious structure was used for and to protect it for future study.

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