The Mysterious Ring-Shaped Stone Monument of Crete

The Mysterious Ring-Shaped Stone Monument of Crete

A fascinating discovery has been made on the Greek island of Crete – a 4,000-year-old ring-shaped stone monument located on Papoura Hill, near the town of Kastelli. This Bronze Age structure, covering an area of 1,800 square meters, was uncovered during excavation works for a major airport project. The labyrinthine design of the monument consists of eight concentric rings of stone, each 1.4 meters thick on average, with some sections still standing at heights of up to 1.7 meters.

Crafted by the architects of the Minoan culture of Crete, known for their peak sanctuaries used in ancient rituals, the purpose of this unique circular structure remains a mystery. While peak sanctuaries typically feature exquisite Minoan art and religious artifacts, the Papoura Hill monument stands out as unlike any other Minoan structure discovered to date. The Greek Culture Ministry speculates that the site may have been used for ritual ceremonies involving the consumption of food, wine, and offerings, supported by the discovery of a large quantity of animal bones within the structure.

Dating back to the Middle Minoan period (2000-1700 BCE), the monument sheds light on the flourishing population and construction boom experienced by Crete during that era. The period saw the rise of iconic Minoan palaces, built atop sites used for communal ceremonies for centuries. Despite a period of destruction around 1750-1700 BCE, likely caused by earthquakes, remnants of pottery from the Neopalatial period hint at continued use of the site well into the Middle Minoan era.

With construction projects in Greece often revealing unexpected archaeological finds, the Kastelli airport project has unearthed at least 35 new sites, further highlighting the rich history of the region. The Greek Culture Ministry has assured the public that steps will be taken to protect the newly discovered monument from modern development. Archaeologist Lina Mendoni, the Greek Minister of Culture, emphasized the importance of completing archaeological research on the site while ensuring its preservation for future generations.

The discovery of the ring-shaped stone monument on Papoura Hill offers a tantalizing glimpse into the religious and ritualistic practices of the ancient Minoan civilization in Crete. As archaeologists continue to uncover more clues about the site’s significance, efforts to protect and preserve this remarkable piece of history will be crucial in unraveling its secrets for years to come.

Science

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