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Minoan Villa of Vathypetro

Archaeological Sites


The Minoan villa of Vathypetro, situated at the position Piso Livadia, 4 km south of Archanes in the southeast side of Yuhtas. It is a large building, in some parts it has two storeys, with walls decorated with colourful mortar, without frescoes.

The villa was possibly the house of a local leader and has the characteristics of a ”small palace”with a central and a western yard, a small three-aisle sanctuary, a stoa of three columns, a columned chamber with four square pillars, a storehouse with 16 pots and laboratories. It seems that the construction of the building was never completed. Important finds are the wine press in the southern wing and an oil press found in the yard.One of the most important movable finds is a large decorated amphor for carrying oil.

Many villas were built in Crete along with the new palaces. They had the form of a small palace with many floors, impressive interior decoration, frescoes, many rooms of various uses, storooms full of pots, yards and corridors. Some of the villas, like those of Tylissos and Vathypetro, were as large as a mycenean palace. The construction of the villa began in around 1580 B.C. Its construction lasted for about 30 years but only the western wing was completed. In the eastern wing only the internal wall started being built. The building was destroyed, possibly by an earthquake, and was abandoned in 1550 B.C.

The excavation started in 1949 by Spyridon Marinatos and lasted until 1956. Restoration and consolidation works were conducted during the excavation and were continued until 1973. In one of the restored rooms there is a small exhibition with the pottery from the villa of Vathypetro.


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