By Hugh C. S. Ferguson
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Head east on the National Road towards Ágios Nikólaos. Before the town, at the first set of traffic lights, turn left and follow the coast road for 10km to Eloúnda and Spinalónga. 70km. Crete & the Venetian Empire Crete became part of the Venetian Empire in 1204, when the 4th Crusade forgot its mission statement to free the Holy Land from Moslem domination and instead sacked Byzantine (Christian) Constantinople. Crete was separated from the Byzantine Empire and handed over to Venice. To the island’s new rulers, Crete was just another part of their mercantile empire, a source of food and raw materials, a staging post to provide safe harbours, and the means to repair and maintain their ships.
This is both good and bad news—modern archaeologists approve far more of Halbherr’s methodology, but for the non-specialist, Evans’s reconstructions and interpretations at Knossós stir the imagination far more effectively. However, some interesting artefacts were discovered at Festós—in particular, the exquisite and mysterious Phaistos Disc—between 3500 and 4000 years old, 15cm in diameter, made of fired clay, and with a spiral of hieroglyphic symbols on both sides that you feel should have been easy to interpret, yet never have been.
Agii Deka Ormos Mátala Ambelos Sideros Mesaras N. Psira Pompia DIKTI Harakas Skinias Sitía N. Gavdos Akr. Lithino Kalo Horio Mochlós KOFINAS 11 Kali Limenes E75 Pirgos Palekastro Ano Viannos Airport O R N O Piskokefalo Tripiti Kato Horio Anatoli Ferry Route THRIPTIS Zákros Lithines Ierapetra Ziros 0 20 mi Libyan Sea N. Kavalli N. Chrisí 0 20 km N. Koufonisi Platanos Kissamos Pondikonisi The Best Special-Interest Tours 52 Oddball Crete 53 ravelling around Crete researching this book, I came across interesting things or places that didn’t fit into any particular category.