The largest Bronze Age archaeological site is the Palace of Knossos, which was the ceremonial and political centre of Minoan civilization. The palace was built between 1700 and 1400 BCE. It covers 6 acres and has a total of 1,300 interconnected rooms. Parts of it were built up to five stories high. The centrepiece is the so-called Throne Room, where the alabaster ‘throne’ is flanked by frescoes of two griffins couchant. Much of the palace is decorated with highly coloured frescoes, depicting people, mythological scenes, animals and marine life. The double-bladed axe (labyrys) is a recurring motif. The extensive storerooms of the palace held large clay containers (pithoi) used to store oil, wine, dried fish, olives, beans. Much of the local agricultural produce was processed in the grain mills, olive presses and wine presses of the palace before being traded and redistributed.
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