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Another mysterious 4,000-year-old labyrinth found in Crete

The construction of a new airport in Crete has already helped scientists discover 35 archaeological sites. Recently, this list was supplemented by an ancient labyrinth, which dates back to the period of the Minoan civilization.

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At a site intended for a radar station for a new airport near the Cretan town of Kastelli, Greece, archaeologists have discovered a large labyrinthine building measuring 1,800 square meters. The discovery has already caused a stir among scientists who are trying to understand its purpose, reports Phys.org.

Greece’s Ministry of Culture called the find “unique and extremely interesting,” attributing it to the Minoan civilization, known for its elaborate palaces, colorful art and mysterious writing. Despite lengthy excavations, the purpose of the structure remains unclear. Experts suggest that it could have performed ritual or religious functions.

Photo: Greek Culture Ministry

The building, surrounded by eight stepped stone walls up to 1.7 meters high, contains smaller connecting spaces and probably had a shallow conical roof. The significant amount of animal bones found inside suggests that it was used for ceremonies related to food and wine.

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The ministry noted that the structure was not a dwelling, indicating its communal nature due to its size and complex design, which required specialized knowledge and centralized management. Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni assured that the archaeological find will be preserved, and a new location will be chosen for the radar station.

This will balance heritage protection with airport development. The new airport, scheduled to open in 2027, aims to replace Heraklion Airport, which will serve up to 18 million travelers annually.

A structure that was mainly used between 2000-1700. BC e., were built around the same period as the first palaces of Crete, in particular in Knossos and Phistos. Some architectural features are reminiscent of early Minoan beehive tombs with stepped conical roofs.

Greece’s cultural heritage often collides with construction projects, as evidenced by the excavation and subsequent destruction of a 3rd millennium BC hilltop settlement during the construction of Athens International Airport.

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The new Castelli Airport project has helped uncover at least 35 archaeological sites, highlighting the ongoing challenge of balancing development and preserving historical treasures.

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Zoe Mitchell

Zoe Mitchell is an independent researcher and writer specializing in extraordinary topics. With a degree in journalism, she delves into the mysteries that lie beyond the surface of our reality.