Excavations at Crete reveal depictions of Minotaur

Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Gortyn on Greek island of Crete, revealed new details about the city’s Temple of Apollo and unearthed a silver coin minted in Knossos with a depiction of the Minotaur.

Excavations in Gortyna (by Il Mattino di Padova)
Excavations in Gortyn (by Il Mattino di Padova)

Researchers from the University of Padova finished the season of excavations in Gortyn, which were focused at the area of the Temple of Apollo. The excavation at the ancient sanctuary, the most important one on the whole island, were aimed at identification of the phases of  architectural development of the complex. The complex itself encompasses the area of over 400 hectares and contains buildings established between 600BC – 600 AD.

Coin with a minotaur found at the site (by Il Mattino di Padova)
Coin with a Minotaur found at the site (by Il Mattino di Padova)

The excavations also revealed a limestone floor at the sanctuary, dated to the 5th century and unearthed numerous artefacts, among which was a rare silver stater coin issued in Knossos, bearing an image of a Minotaur on the obverse. The coin is dated to between 440 and 360 BC. According to archaeologists the find allows to date the time of a major renovation of the sanctuary and to illustrate the possible relationship between the two emerging polis of Gortyn and Knossos

Ancient Gortyn is  known for becoming the headquarters of the Confederation of all the Cretan poleis, the Koinon ton Kreton. It is also a place where the most important code of laws of the Greek world was found on an inscription-bearing wall.

(after Il Mattino di Padova)

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