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In the shadow of
Mt Psiloritis, in the lush valley opened between the southern foot of the mountain and the opposite hills, lies the village
Apodoulou, a place where human presence has been uninterrupted since the beginning of the Minoan civilization until today.
The remains of the Minoan years were found in various locations around the village. Among other things, the archaeological excavations revealed the remains of a settlement dating to the period of the first palaces (19th cent. - 1600 BC). Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of the natural route from
Monastiraki, the settlement of Apodoulou seemed to operate as a stopover between the two major palatial centres of the region.
Clear traces of fire upon the ruins suggest what caused the destruction of the settlement, at exactly the same period when both its neighboring centers were destroyed. However life at Apodoulou and Phaistos continued into the New Palace period, in contrast to Monastiraki which was abandoned. The most characteristic monument of this period in Apodoulou is the Late Minoan villa, excavated by Sp. Marinatos in 1934. The building has a length of approximately 30 m. and is dated to 1600 BC. The excavation also yielded important movable finds, such as a clay rhyton (ritual vase for libations) in the shape of a bull’s head, a gold and a bronze double axe, and a stone offering table bearing Linear A' symbols.
As only witnesses of the later Minoan history at Apodoulou stand today a total of six vaulted tombs, scattered in various sites around the village. They all date between 1390 and 1190 BC, namely in the Post-palatial period, when Crete was under new rulers, the Dorians.
The next visible remains of past habitation in the area come from the city of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, found in the hill "Kastri", about 4 km southwest of Apodoulou.