Ideally situated in a sheltered gulf surrounded by mountains, Zakros (or Kato Zakros) in south-eastern Crete, was the fourth largest Minoan settlement after Knossos, Phaistos and Malia. The ancient name has been lost and the present one derives from the nearest local town. Inhabited since Neolithic times, the settlement achieved its greatest influence in the palatial period c. 2000 BCE to c. 1450 BCE. The fertile land brought prosperity indicated by large palace-like buildings, hundreds of food storage jats and Linear A tablets. used for administration. The palace of Kato Zakors was destroyed, possibly by the eruption of the Thera volcano, although the date of this is much disputed, and abandoned c. 1450 BCE with the surrounding settlement also being abandoned c. 1330 BCE.

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