Crete is famous for its history, especially the so called Minoan period (2800 – 1450 before our times) is a landmark not only in Cretan, but also for the European history. The Minoan time and culture was – as far as we can say this by looking at the archaeological finds – a very peaceful and joyful epoch. It was part of and has many similarities with other cultures of the Old Europe, the time before the indoeuropean patriarchal war tribes took over.
The Minoan people were highly developed what concerns infrastructure - they had floor heating, baths, water pipes and wastewater systems – and arts and crafts: just have a look at the fine figurines, ceramics, jewelleries and frescos they did. Many of the techniques and materials used by them were forgotten after their decline and it took centuries to reinvent them and/or to reach the level of fine art again. What remains from these times up to nowadays is the roots of cretan music and dances, some few words of their language and a culture full of respect towards women.
From Ifigenia Apartments it is a 90 minutes drive to one of their central places, the palace or town of Festos – and even if you are not so interested in “old stones” this place is worth a visit anyway as you will be impressed by the beauty of Messara plain and the mountains around it. At Heraklion archaeological museum you can see many of the finds from this epoch, it is the second biggest archaeological museum of Greece and a must for every one interested in history.
At the archaeological museum in Rethymnon you can see the finds from the Rethymnon prefecture, especially interesting are the finds from the late Minoan cemetery in Armeni, which is close to the main road from Plakias to Rethymnon.
The Minoans were not the first people on Crete, what was known already quite a time is the neolithic settlements where impressing figurines were found (like the one on the foto from 6000 b.c.). An absolute surprise were the finds in Plakias area in 2008: not only mesolithic stone tools were discovered, but also palaeolithic stone tools! What means the first settlements might date back to 130’000 ago. After 2008 the research and digging did go on and we were very happy and proud to have the group of archaeologists at Ifigenia Apartments whilst their six week digging at the Damnoni site in 2013!