Minoans Palace in Knossos 3D

In Greek mythology, King Minos dwelt in a palace at Knossos. He had Daedalus construct a labyrinth; a very large maze (by some connected with the double-bladed axe, or labrys) in which to retain his son, the Minotaur. Daedalus also built a dancing floor for Queen Ariadne (HomerIliad 18.590-2)

The great palace was gradually built between 1700 and 1400 BC, with periodic rebuildings after destruction. Structures preceded it on Kephala hill. The palace has an interesting layout – the original plan can no longer be seen due to the subsequent modifications. The 1,300 rooms are connected with corridors of varying sizes and direction, which differ from other contemporaneous palaces that connected the rooms via several main hallways. The 6 acres (24,000 m2) of the palace included a theater, a main entrance on each of its four cardinal faces, and extensive storerooms (also called magazines). Within the storerooms were large clay containers (pithoi) that held oil, grains, dried fish, beans, and olives. Many of the items were processed at the palace, which had grain mills, oil presses, and wine presses. Beneath the pithoi were stone holes that were used to store more valuable objects, such as gold. The palace used advanced architectural techniques: for example, part of it was built up to five stories high. Knossos showed no signs of being a military site; for example, it had neither fortifications nor stores of weapons.

The centerpiece of the “Minoan” palace was the so-called Throne Room or Little Throne Room.

The palace had at least three separate water-management systems: one for supply, one for drainage of runoff, and one for drainage of waste water. The queen’s megaron contained an example of the first water-flushing system latrine adjoining the bathroom. This toilet and bathtub were exceptional structures within the 1,300-room complex.

Due to its placement on the hill, the palace received sea breezes during the summer. It had porticoes and air shafts to enable its ventilation. The palace also includes the Minoan column, a structure notably different from other Greek columns. Unlike the stone columns that are characteristic of other Greek architecture, the Minoan column was constructed from the trunk of a cypress tree, common to the Mediterranean. While most Greek columns are smaller at the top and wider at the bottom to create the illusion of greater height (entasis), the Minoan columns are smaller at the bottom and wider at the top, a result of inverting the cypress trunk to prevent sprouting once in place.

The palace at Knossos was a place of high colour. In the EM Period, the walls and pavements were coated with a pale red derived from red ochre. In addition to the background coloring, the walls displayed fresco panel murals, entirely of red. In the subsequent MM Period, with the development of the art, white and black were added, and then blue, green and yellow. The pigments were derived from natural materials, such as ground hematite. Outdoor panels were painted on fresh stucco with the motif in relief; indoor, on fresh, pure plaster, softer than the plaster with additives ordinarily used on walls.

(source: wikipedia)

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