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Greece: Archeologists find a 4,000 year-old hilltop site, initially chosen for an airport project

The land was designated for a radar station to serve a new airport under development in Kastelli.

A 4,000-year-old stone structure uncovered on a Cretan hilltop is perplexing archaeologists and threatening to derail a major airport project on the Greek tourist island.

Greece’s Culture Ministry said Tuesday that the edifice is a “unique and extremely interesting find” from Crete’s Minoan culture, which was known for its opulent palaces, flamboyant art, and perplexing writing system.

The remnants of the labyrinthine, 1,800-square-metre edifice, which resembled a gigantic automobile wheel from above, were discovered during a recent archaeology project.

The land was designated for a radar station to serve a new airport under development in Kastelli. It is scheduled to open in 2027 and will replace Heraklion, Greece’s second-largest airport, with a capacity of up to 18 million passengers annually.

Archaeologists still do not know what the hilltop construction was for. It is still being excavated and has no known Minoan equivalents. For the time being, experts believe it may have been utilised for a ritual or religious purpose.

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Greece: Archeologists find a 4,000 year-old hilltop site, initially chosen for an airport project

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