MALIA PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENT
The palace is surrounded by the town, one of the most important Minoan towns in Crete. To the north of the west court is the agora and the curious "hypostyle crypt", which has been interpreted as a kind of council chamber, connected with the prytaneia of historic times.
The most important of the excavated sectors of the town and isolated houses are sector Z, houses E, Da, and Db; very important is sector M, dated to the First Palace period, which covers an area of c. 3,000 sq.m. and is actually the most important settlement of this period in Crete. The unusually extensive buildings of this neighbourhood included religious, official, and storage rooms, and workshops, and it seems that in general, it had functions similar to those of the palace.
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