in association with the


KNOSSOS 2000


 

THE CITY IN THE 4TH TO 8TH CENTURIES AD

 

4th century structures were found directly below the surface in several areas and it is probably these which show most clearly in the geophysical survey. The severe earthquakes of the early 3rd century and a decline in the importance of Knossos resulted in rebuilding on a less substantial scale with unmortared, undressed masonry for the walls. The areas around the buildings were not kept so clean, resulting in a larger quantity of significant finds for the archaeologist.

 

In Area C in the west beyond the limits of the 2nd century complex, were drystone walls and a stone-lined well, perhaps indicating that the aqueduct which supplied the 2nd century city with its bathing establishments was out of use, or at least not available to the humbler citizens. Even here however, the roofs were tiled.

 

In Areas E and F, there were 4th century buildings with narrow walls and tile lined water channels, together with a cobbled street running N-S, whose surface had been relaid on two or three occasions (page 24). Finds of particular interest from this area included an intact bone spoon.

 

 cross symbol on 6th century

 red slip bowl

Life at Knossos continued well into the Early Christian Period, and the excavation has provided, for the first time, some indication of the character of the city of Knossos at the period when the three fine Basilicas were constructed, and an explanation for the fact that they have not been recognised before. Fragments of mud-brick wall in all areas, give an indication of the nature of the buildings. Two cooking pots and a 6th century red slip bowl with Christian symbol (above) found on the floor of the hypocaust room in Area C, show that use of some 2nd century structures was still possible, despite the fact that some had collapsed in earthquakes and others had been dismantled for building materials. Pieces of glass and glass-slag from above the courtyard in the same area suggest an 'industrial' use.

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