Gournia (also called Gournies) – the ancient name of which is not known – is the most characteristic of the excavated medium-size settlements, dated to the period of the peak of the Minoan culture (Late Minoan I period: 1550-1450 B.C.). The ancient city of Gournia is called “Pompeii of Minoan Crete” because of the good state of preservation. It occupies a low hill, close to the sea, at the Isthmus of Ierapetra.
The first inhabitants settled here in the Early Minoan III period (2300 B.C.). Remains of the Middle Minoan period (2000-1600 B.C.) are also preserved; in c. 1600 B.C., the palace was erected but was destroyed along with the surrounding town in 1450 B.C., at the same time with all the other palatial centres of Crete. Fifty years later the site was partly reoccupied and was finally abandoned in around 1200 B.C.
Gournia offers a picture of the daily life of the Minoans, who were engaged in agriculture, animal breeding, fishing, vase-making and weaving, as shown by the tools discovered in the settlement.
Source: Archaeological Receipts Fund
Nearby and worth a visit:
- Agios Nikolaos, the charming coastal city of east Crete
- Ierapetra – southernmost city in Europe
- Ancient Lato – one of the strongest cities in ancient Crete
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